History’s greatest war correspondent columns available to NNA members

May 9, 2019

The Friends of Ernie Pyle and Scripps Howard Foundation are making available the three columns Ernie Pyle wrote immediately after the Normandy landings.

The son of a tenant farming parents in west-central Indiana, Ernie Pyle became history’s greatest war correspondent. When Pyle was killed by a Japanese machine gun bullet on the tiny Pacific island of Ie Shima in 1945, his columns were being delivered to more than 14 million homes according to his New York Times obituary.

During the war, Pyle wrote about the hardships and bravery of the common soldier, not grand strategy. His description of the G.I.’s life was more important to families on the home front than battlefront tactics of Gens. Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton or Omar Bradley.

Prior to the United States’ entry into World War II, Pyle traveled to England and wrote about the Nazi’s continual bombing of London. His columns helped move the mood of America from isolationism to sympathy for the stubborn refusal of Great Britain to succumb to the will of Adolf Hitler.

The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist’s legacy rests in his words and the impact they had on Americans before and during a war that threatened to take the world behind a curtain of fascism. His columns open a window to the hardships endured by the common U.S. soldier during World War II and serve today to honor what has been called “The Greatest Generation.”

NNA members have permission to reprint these columns. In addition, there are four photos from The National Archives that can be published. Download here

If you want to expose your readers to additional columns by Ernie Pyle, you could include the following link to the Indiana University School of Journalism, housed in Ernie Pyle Hall on the Bloomington, Indiana, campus, where your readers can access additional stories written by him: https://sites.mediaschool.indiana.edu/erniepyle/wartime-columns/#WartimeColumns

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