Wilmer A. "Bud" Wagner was the second man in Northern
Minnesota to be drafted into the war. He carried a small pocket
camera and kept a diary from beginning to end, from Camp Claiborne
to Ireland to North Africa and the Italy Campaigns. His keen day
by day observations have been amplified with a lifetime of research
and reflection to provide readers with important insights through
the eyes of a young soldier from rural Minnesota.
Mr. Wagner - cook, machine gunner and company agent - had the privilege of being on the first convoy to make its way across the Atlantic for the European theater. And the good fortune of having survived the duration of the war without becoming a casualty - in North Africa and Italy, which included beachheads at Anzio and Salerno.
The book is a joint project involving the research skills and memoirs of WW II veteran Bud Wagner, his son Lloyd Wagner (Masters in Literature). For years I encouraged Mr. Wagner to amplify his diaries and make a book of them. He has greatly exceeded my expectations and, with the able editing of his son, has produced a fascinating manuscript. A large collection of photographs accompanies the text.
Excerpt: September 11, 1943