Ernie Pyle

Medic has obtained the service records of war correspondent Ernie Pyle from the National Archives. They are categorized as follows: Service Documents; Record Book; Medical Records; Correspondence; Reference Correspondence.

Ernest Taylor “Ernie” Pyle (1900–1945) was a popular American journalist and legendary WWII war correspondent,when he reported from Europe and the Pacific,until his death in combat on a Pacific island. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944.

Pyle joined the United States Navy Reserve at 17 and served three months active duty before World War I ended;he finished his reserve service with the rank of Seaman Third Class.

Ernie Pyle achieved initial success writing newspaper columns about out-of-the-way places he visited and the people who lived there. He wrote in a folksy style,much like a personal letter to a friend;many of these columns were collected in Home Country. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor he became a war correspondent,and generally wrote from the perspective of the common soldier. This approach gained him additional popularity and the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. Among his most widely read and reprinted columns is The Death of Captain Waskow. His wartime writings are preserved in four books: Ernie Pyle In England,Here Is Your War,Brave Men,and Last Chapter.

On April 18,1945,Pyle was traveling in a jeep with an officer and three other men on Iejima (then known as Ie Shima),an island northwest of Okinawa. The road had been cleared of mines,and hundreds of vehicles had driven over it. As the vehicle reached a road junction,Japanese troops began firing a machine gun located on a coral ridge about a third of a mile away. The men stopped their vehicle and jumped into a ditch. Pyle and the officer raised their heads to look around for the others; when they spotted them,Pyle smiled and asked the officer,”Are you all right?” Those were his last words. Pyle was struck in the left temple by machine gun fire and died instantly.

Ernie Pyle was among the few American civilians killed during the war to be awarded the Purple Heart, which is noted on his gravestone.

Wikipedia on Ernie Pyle