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Ernie Pyle : WWII War Correspondent

(comments by Dorothy Spangler)

... And then there's war correspondents.  One of the casualties [of the war] was American correspondent Ernie Pyle, who was killed by a sniper on Ie Shima in the spring of '45, during the Okinawa campaign.  Ernie was a favorite of the G.I.s. He captured the moral dimension of the war brilliantly but managed to do it in simple prose.  He could explain something very complex, like how bomb fuses worked, and make it completely understandable to the grandma or grocery clerk back home.  But most of all he captured people stories. His writing was like verbal photographs; you felt you knew pretty well who these GIs were when he wrote about 'em. 


Brave Men
Compilations were already being made during the war.  I checked one out of the library yesterday Brave Men. It's a collection of Pyle's columns detailingthe fight in Europe in 1943-44.

Description of Brave Men: "Long before television beamed daily images of comat into our living rooms, Pyle's on-the-spot reporting gave the American public a first-hand view of what war was like for the boys on the front. Pyle followed the soldiers into the trenches, battlefields, field hospitals, and beleaguered cities of Europe. What he witnessed he described with a clarity, sympathy, and grit that gave the public back home an immediate sense of the foot soldier's experience."

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See: Other books by and about Ernie Pyle

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