augusta free press news

Dewan to be at Bookworks to sign Red Raider Diary

Edited by Chris Graham

Tom Dewan will be at Bookworks, 101 W. Beverley St., Downtown Staunton, on Saturday, April 10, from 1-3 p.m. to sign copies of his book Red Raider Diary.

The book is a compilation of the wartime diaries of Dewan’s father, Merrill Thomas Dewan, who served in the Army Air Corps in World War II.

The elder Dewan was assigned to the 22nd Bomb Group and kept the diaries against military protocol because he didn’t want the efforts of the group to be forgotten. His 1942-1943 diary remained hidden along with other wartime memorabilia following his death in 1963, and it wasn’t until late 2008 that it was made available to his son Thomas, who was born while the B-26 navigator was stationed in Australia.

The younger Dewan, a resident of Augusta County and a Virginia Tech alumnus, had followed his father’s career path into the Air Force and, eventually, on to a career in both federal and state law enforcement. Having recently retired, he and his wife, Patricia, transcribed the diary from longhand, assembled background information and period photographs from relatives and surviving former crew-members, and had “Red Raider Diary” published by Rosedog Books in late 2009.