Skip to main content

Letters to the Editor

Remembering Ernie Pyle

April 2021
1min read

Marion Jones in Ausburg, Germany in 1951.
Marion Jones served in the Pacific after graduating from high school in Trinidad, CO. He  was photographed in Ausburg, Germany in 1951.

There were more than 1,000 emails and comments on our Facebook page about the article in our Spring issue about the 75th Anniversary of Ernie Pyle's death on Ie Jima (Ie Shima) in the Pacific.  Here are some of our favorites.

I Was Near Ernie Pyle on Le Jima 

I was about one half of mile up the beach from where Ernie Pyle was shot on April 18, 1945. We had landed a battalion of Army Engineers the day before on the 17th. I was one of the few on our LST who knew who Pyle was since I am also from New Mexico and he, Ernie, had moved there from Indiana a couple of years before his death. He had reported mostly in Europe and I believe this was his first reporting stint of an invasion in the Pacific.--Marion Jones, Albuquerque, NM

My Dad's Destroyer Took Him To Okinawa

Pyle visited my dad’s destroyer, the USS Moale, a few days before he was killed. If I recall correctly the Moale carried him part way, then Pyle transferred to a transport, which brought Pyle the rest of the way to a landing craft. Destroyers at Okinawa formed the outer ring of the radar and defense perimeter for the US invasion fleet.
--Paul Gregory Azpeitia, Long Beach, CA

Ernie Pyle transferred by breeches buoy from the carrier USS Cabot tto the destroyer USS Moale on February 23, 1945
To get to Okinawa, Ernie Pyle transferred by breeches buoy on February 23, 1945 from the carrier USS Cabot to the destroyer USS Moale, which took him to a landing craft off the island. National Archives photo.
Pvt Spencer painted the sign where Pyle died.
Charles Spencer painted the sign where Pyle died.

He Painted the “Lost a Buddy” Sign

It was Pvt. Charles Spencer of Greensboro, NC who painted the “Lost a Buddy Ernie Pyle” sign where Pyle was killed that you published in your article. He gave me this picture of himself in 1995 and autographed it.--Monty Allen

How My Father Got His Purple Heart

My father served in the 77th Infantry Division during WW2. The only story he would tell was about how he got shot trying to pull Ernie Pyle's body out of the road. Dad did not keep anything from the War and didn't talk much about it. But I saw his Purple Heart metal when I was a kid. I don't know what happened to it. --Jamie Clark, Lakeville, IN

What a Guy!

What a guy Ernie Pyle was. European Theater, then the Pacific. Played so well by Burgess Meredith in "Story of GI Joe" with Robert Mitchum. Thanks, Ernie!
--Brian K. Gallagher

Robert Mitchum won an Oscar for his portrayal of Burgess Meredith and Robert Mitchum
In the movie "The Story of G.I. Joe," Robert Mitchum (left) won an Oscar for his portrayal of a character based on Capt. Henry T. Waskow, whose death was described so memorably by Ernie Pyle, played by Burgess Meredith.

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support this 70-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.

Donate