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.”
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.