Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday's Hero: Ernie Pyle

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Greta

Ernie Pyle

Ernie Pyle
August 3, 1900 – April 18, 1945

Ernie Pyle is oft considered the best, and most loved, war correspondent in American history. Pyle's involvement with the military began early in his life. He wasn't even 18 years old when he joined the Navy Reserve, but because WWI ended soon after he only served for three month.

After he dropped out of Indiana University he began his career in journalism when he worked for a local Indiana paper for three months after which he got a job at The Washington Daily News. In 1928 he became the countries first aviation columnist. Pyle stayed on at The Daily News until 1942 when America entered WWII.

His style of writing during this time was different than anyone else was doing. Pyle wrote from the perspective of the Soldier. A style that won him popularity as well as the Pulitzer.

On April 18, 1945 Ernie Pyle was killed on Ie Shima, an island off Okinawa Honto when he was hit by enemy fire. He was riding in a Jeep with Lt. Col. Joseph B. Coolidge when a machine gun began firing at them. They stopped and ran for a ditch. Pyle's last words were to Lt. Col. Coolidge when he asked him "Are you all right?"

Upon his death, Ernie Pyle was buried with his helmet on, the Army, Navy and Marine Corps were all represented at his service and he was one of the few American civilians to be awarded the Purple Heart.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

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Storm'n Norm'n said...

Ernie Pyle, truly one of America's greatest correspondents; either in war or peace.
If you recall the 'On The Road' series (CBS News) with Charles Kurault then you must know that Charles copied that line of work directly from Ernie Pyle. Pyle convinced his editor to travel across the country and report in weekly with stories about America only that was in the days before television...and before the war.

Ernie had published a book sometime before going off to war and I don't recall the title. I think it was his first and only book...except. Except that a publisher gathered up many of Ernie's weekly reports and had them published (1939?)...the publisher describes the book as Ernies first book because the collection was was indeed prior to Ernie's other so-called first book.
About five years ago I went to an estate sale at the home of a recently deceased retired army sergeant major...everything was for sale including the book collection...unbelieveable prices! I picked up that 1939 book for twenty-five cents. The greatesst On the Road series I've ever read.

Storm'n Norm'n said...

PS to my prvious reply.

While stationed at Naha Air Base Okinawa I could see on the horizon the sun's reflection on the monument to Ernie Pyle away off to the northwest on the island of Ie Shima. Never made it over to Ie Shima (I regret it now) but the closest I ever got was on the helicopter trips to Miako and some of the other Islands where we had radar installations.


Findalis said...

The book thatErnie published before the war was Ernie Pyle in England.

The rest were either published during the war, or posthumously.

There has not been a journalist of his caliber since. Not even close.