Thursday, April 18, 2013


Ernie Pyle
KIA - Ie Shima, Okinawa
18 April 1945

America Was On The Front Lines With Ernie Pyle

On April 18, 1945, war correspondent Ernie Pyle was shot and killed on an Ie Shima beach when a Japanese machine-gun crew opened up on his jeep. Pyle had gained fame in the 1930s as a national columnist, but it was his tales from the front lines that endeared him to Americans.

As The New York Times said when it reported his death: “His columns, done in foxholes, brought home all the hurt, horror, loneliness and homesickness that every soldier felt. They were the perfect supplement to the soldiers’ own letters.

“Though he wrote of his own feelings and his own emotions as he watched men wounded, and saw the wounded die, he was merely interpreting the scene for the soldier.

“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.”

He returned to “That Girl,” as he called his wife, Geraldine, in the hundreds of columns he had written from around North America. After a few weeks lolling about his modest home in Albuquerque, N.M., his restlessness returned. He headed for the Pacific Theater to cover aspects of the war he had given short shrift in his preference to his favored infantrymen battling the Nazis in Europe.

Read the rest of it HERE

I have stood before this memorial several times and paid my respects to Ernie Pyle. We used Ie Shima island for airborne and maritime operations training. The place is idyllic; great beaches, great diving - S.L.

This is the most famous and most widely-rep​rinted column by Ernie Pyle: The Death of Captain Waskow


1 comment:

  1. I was born on that day to a recently-deceased GI who died in France November 29, 1944, and his heart-broken wife.