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Sketches from the front: WWII veteran's hand-drawn memoir

3 November 2011 Last updated at 01:46 GMT

As World War II raged in Europe, Joseph Farris arrived in France as a green US Army soldier from suburban Connecticut.

The young machine-gunner slogged his way through France and Germany, carrying not only weapons and ammo but drawing pads, paints, and ink.

He sketched his experiences between battles, and just after returning home when the memories were still fresh.

Now his work features in A Soldier's Sketchbook - Mr Farris's wartime memoir in pictures and letters.

Produced by the BBC's David Botti

Illustrations by Joseph Farris courtesy of the National Geographic Society from the book A Soldier's Sketchbook by Joseph Farris. Copyright © 2011 Joseph Farris/National Geographic

Additional photo/video: Getty Images, British Pathé, and courtesy Joseph Farris