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For Brian Duddy, his latest book project began with an encounter with a woman at the Geneseo Air Show in 2010. Jan Wiseley approached Duddy, a senior research administrator for RIT’s Sponsored Research Services and a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, with a copy of her father’s diary—graphically detailing his exploits as an aircraft mechanic for an air transport squadron during World War II.
The result of that meeting is Invasion Stripes, a first-person account of U.S. Army Air Force Capt. Robert Uhrig as told directly from the pages of his diary and letters to his wife, Toots. The story follows Uhrig from jump school at Fort Benning to supplying British units in North Africa to the Sicilian and Normandy invasions, as well as other airborne operations in Europe.
“I was amazed by the amount of detail that Robert kept in his diary every day,” Duddy says. “His diary is an original source of history—not merely a recollection—written in the moment and recorded as the events in his life during the war were actually happening.”
Duddy explains that this unique piece of history has broad appeal and compares it to how many Americans would feel about finding a first-person diary of a soldier who fought the Battle of Gettysburg.
“This story is a true time capsule,” Duddy says. “Family members of those who served in Uhrig’s unit can get a clear picture of what their fathers and grandfathers experienced.”
Invasion Stripes, Duddy’s second book following Wings Over LeRoy, can be purchased through lulu.com.