Remembering Ernie Pyle

| April 18, 2013


MCPO Ret. in TN reminds us that Ernie Pyle gave his life on this day in 1945 in service to the troops. From the Tennessean;

“He got people at home to understand that life at the front ‘works itself into an emotional tapestry of one dull dead pattern — yesterday is tomorrow and Troiano is Randozzo and, O God, I’m so tired.’

“He never made war look glamorous. He hated it and feared it.”

In September 1944, after more than two years writing from the front lines, a tired, worn-out, 44-year-old Pyle headed home, writing apologetically to his millions of readers, “I don’t think I could go on and keep sane. … I have had all I can take for awhile.”

Ernie Pyle

From his obituary in the New York Times;

Ernie Pyle died today on Ie Island, just west of Okinawa, like so many of the doughboys he had written about. The nationally known war correspondent was killed instantly by Japanese machine-gun fire.

The slight, graying newspaper man, chronicler of the average American soldier’s daily round, in and out of foxholes in many war theatres, had gone forward early this morning to observe the advance of a well-known division of the Twenty-fourth Army Corps.

He joined headquarters troops in the outskirts of the island’s chief town, Tegusugu. Our men had seemingly ironed out minor opposition at this point, and Mr. Pyle went over to talk to a regimental commanding officer. Suddenly enemy machine gunners opened fire at about 10:15 A.M. (9:15 P.M., Tuesday, Eastern war time). The war correspondent fell in the first burst.

Ernie would want me to remind you that the legend goes that he was buried by the soldiers that he loved so much still wearing his helmet.

Category: Blue Skies

Comments (19)

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  1. GunzRunner says:

    On this day we not only lost a great correspondent, we lost a friend.

  2. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Thanks for the remembrance. It is good to think of such men. Below is a direct link to his most famous, piece, “The Death of Captain Waskow.” It comes courtesy of Indiana U’s School of Journalism and includes a reading of the Pyle masterpiece by one of the school’s professors.

  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I should caution those of you who are work that if you read the Pyle piece, The Death of Captain Waskow, you will be swallowing hard and your allergies will act up.

  4. CWO5USMC says:

    Having been to Ie Shima a few times during my years on Okinawa, I made sure to visit the site they have there.

    Men of this caliber are a rare breed. Rest well brother.

  5. James says:

    What happened to these men? These are journalists… not the whiny coiffed emasculated men on the screen today…

  6. NHSparky says:

    James–don’t forget that the late not-so-great whiny 60 Minutes “columnist” Andy Rooney was a WWII correspondent, but frankly couldn’t hold Ernie Pyle’s jockstrap.

  7. MCPO Ret. in TN says:

    He’s buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of The Pacific on Oahu – it’s a beautiful and peaceful place to spend a few hours.

  8. Ex-PH2 says:

    James, that generation of reporters who were real journalists died out with Walte Cronkite and George Page, who was a correspondent in the field in Vietnam and went on to start the “Nature” series on PBS.

    They care about what they were doing. This generation of camera-pretty dingbats has no clue.

  9. NHSparky says:

    Oh, don’t kid yourself, PH2–Cronkite was a loopy liberal as they came too.

  10. Spade says:

    I always find it interesting that he has a Purple Heart, but if he was doing it today he would be ineligible (and not just because most journalists today are rooting for our enemies).

  11. Retired Master says:

    Hate those damn allergies!!

  12. David says:

    Pretty good movie about EP too, starring Burgess Meredith. Excellent choice and one of his best roles.

  13. Common Sense says:

    A day for remembrances. I just read an article about the last four Doolittle Raiders. The end of an era.

  14. Derpy says:

    Let’s also remember that he lobbied hard in his stories for getting “fight pay” for the men on the lines, just like how aviators received flight pay. Basically, this was the predecessor to today’s Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger pay.

  15. 1stCavRVN11B says:

    Think of Ernie Pyle often. Have 4 of his original theatre cartoons that he gave a fellow trooper, Mr. Arceneaux, who recently passed and his family gave to me.

    Very few war correspondents today can begin to measure up to him.

  16. Former 3364 says:

    I used to shop in the Ernie Pyle annex on Ft Meade when I was in high school. I had never heard of him until I looked him up in my school library.

  17. Todd O'Brien says:

    I just visited the 77th ID’s monument to him on Ie Shima last week. (I am in the USMC on Okinawa and took a day trip to the island.) It was moving to be there where it happened.

    my photos:

  18. T-Bird Henry says:

    There are certain individuals who God has chosen to Bless us with in times of trouble. Ernie Pyle was one of them. When he died God also granted him the blessing of dying among his friends. No, the phrase “buddies” applies more correctly here. God Bless You Mr. Pyle. You were an inspiration to the men of my father’s generation and I pray we can live up to your standard. Well Done sir. Godspeed and God Bless.

  19. REED says:

    61:07 as Rx’d…glad that I finished it, dissapointed in my time compared to everyone else’s. I gues