NURSE turned author Keith Genever hopes his third book is going to be his most successful to date.

Mr Genever, 79, who spent his whole working career at Roundway Hospital, has just finished My Visit To Hell which tells the true story of an American soldier.

He has been collating information on the life of US serviceman John E Kawa since he found his dog tag in Savernake Forest, Marlborough in 1989.

The keen metal detectorist found the silver chain and was fascinated by what story might lie behind it.

He wrote to the address on the tag and it was the start of a pen pal relationship which lasted until Mr Kawa died in 2002. The story of the dog tags returned after 45 years even made it into the pages of an American newspaper.

Mr Genever, who lives in Bromham, near Devizes, was spurred into action to finally get all of his information down in a book after reading a letter from American ambassador in London Robert Johnson in the Gazette in April.

It appealed for people to write to him about American soldiers based in Britain during the Second World War to mark 75 years since the D-D Landings.

Mr Genever wrote to the ambassador and was surprised and delighted to get a reply. He said: “A lot of people said he would never write back so when I saw the envelope with the embassy address I was almost in tears.

“It was such an honour to hear from him.”

During their telephone conversations and written communications Mr Kawa told Mr Genever about his part in the D-Day Landings at Omaha beach in Normandy.

He and his platoon were sent ahead to do the difficult job of removing bombs from the beach to allow soldiers to land more safely.

But Mr Kawa’s war experience started rather more gently in Wiltshire. He was in an engineering company in the US Army that from December, 1943 to June, 1944 were camped in Savernake Forest.

He was a NCO in charge of a store house of explosive materials and it was part of his job to guard the bombs day and night.

After Mr Genever found his dog tag the two men became good friends. Mr Genever said: “He told me lots of stories about his stay in UK and then about the rest of his war.

“He told me more about it than anyone as after demob he had never spoken about it.”

The books is on sale at Devizes Books priced at £12.