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"‘Ernie was one of us’" Topic


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758 hits since 20 Feb 2021
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2021 7:56 p.m. PST

"On April 18, 1945, at around 10 o'clock in the morning, U.S. Army lieutenant colonel Joseph B. Coolidge and four other men were bumping along in a jeep on a shell-pitted dirt road some 200 yards from the beach at Ie Shima (now Iejima), a small island just off the northwest coast of Okinawa, Japan. Coolidge, commanding the 305th Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, was en route to his forward command post; the others were bumming a ride. The road had been cleared of mines, booby traps, and other hazards, but it offered a clear line of sight to a coral ridge 300 yards away. Without warning, a Japanese machine gunner opened fire. The men jumped clear, tumbling into a roadside ditch. Coolidge and one of the other men, both of whom should have known better, raised their heads to look around. "Are you all right?" the man asked. Before Coolidge could reply, there was another brief burst of fire. Coolidge fell backward, unhurt, but his companion sagged to the ground, killed instantly by a bullet to the left temple, just below his helmet.

His name was Ernie Pyle, and at the time of his death he was the world's most famous war correspondent, perhaps the most famous in American history. Certainly, he was the best liked. It was fitting that Pyle used his last words to ask about a fellow American soldier: He'd spent the past three years doing just that, in person and in print. "Ernie Pyle, the Soldier's Friend," his newspaper editors styled him, and millions of readers back home with husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, sweethearts, and friends serving on the front lines of World War II counted on Pyle to keep them informed of their loved ones' lives—and, all too often, their deaths. Pyle took that responsibility very seriously, and it ultimately wore him down physically and mentally. Indeed, it may have been sheer exhaustion, more than anything, that unaccountably caused the veteran combat observer to raise his head while under fire at Ie Shima…"
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Amicalement
Armand

Andy ONeill21 Feb 2021 9:48 a.m. PST

I was thinking of a different ernie for a moment there.

link

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2021 2:31 p.m. PST

(smile)

Amicalement
Armand

Oddball22 Feb 2021 11:46 a.m. PST

The more I read about Ernie Pyle the more I respect him as a reporter.

One of his more famous articles, "Death of Capt. Waskow".
link

Information on Capt. Waskow
link

Also, if anyone is interested in Ernie Pyle his book, "Brave Men", is very good.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2021 11:21 a.m. PST

Thanks!.


Amicalement
Armand

Beagle17 Mar 2021 4:42 p.m. PST

Brave Men on sale on eBay here: auction

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