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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ernie Pyle's Death Photo Surfaces: Some Of His Best Columns Are Here

CINCINNATI (TBD) -- No American war correspondent has ever been as celebrated -- or admired for his work and guts as he doggedly crisscrossed the battlefields of World War II -- like journalist Ernie Pyle. He covered the fox holes and front lines and perished in the Pacific while reporting on combat against the Japanese. A photo of his death 63 years ago has now surfaced and is attracting worldwide attention today. Pyle worked for the Scripps Howard newspaper chain, which is still based in Cincinnati, although it no longer publishes any papers in its home state. Indiana University has a collection of Pyle's wartime columns available online that can be accessed by clicking here. A machine gun slug caught Pyle in the temple.

Some consider Pyle's best piece a story from Jan. 10, 1944 when he was at the front in Italy with U.S. soldiers battling the Germans. He wrote about the death of Capt. Henry T. Waskow, who was beloved by his men. Said Miami University Journalism Prof. James E. Tobin, who was quoted in The Associated Press story about Pyle's photo:

"It's a striking and painful image, but Ernie Pyle wanted people to see and understand the sacrifices that soldiers had to make, so it's fitting, in a way, that this photo of his own death . . . drives home the reality and finaility of that sacrifice."

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