Ernie Pyle was America's most-famous war
correspondent. He died on the tiny island of Ie Shima, off the coast
of Okinawa, in the Pacific. He was three and one-half weeks short
of his 45th birthday.
About Pyle's Stature
As Owen Johnson reported in the Bloomington Indiana Times in 2005,
"No journalist since then has been dreamed of matching the
accomplishments of this 5-7, 110 pound native of Dana, Ind. Part
of the reason was Pyle's talent. Part of the reason is that journalism
has changed since Pyle's day. And part of the reason is the myth
that has grown up around Pyle.
Pyle's Newark Connection
Pyle's Newark Connection was revealed to me earlier this year in
correspondence with a friend in Florida, who is the widow of Burton
Goldstein Armm, a cousin whom she married in 1946, shortly after
his discharge from the war.
They were married at the Oheb Shalom Temple on High Street and
made their home in Newark. Their marriage ended with his death in
Armm served in the Navy as a Motor Machinist's Mate, Second Class.
He seldom talked about his war service, but it came out in conversations
with his wife, Adele, that he had been friendly with Ernie Pyle
and that they were together at the time of his death.
She recounted to me the details of Pyle's death as they had been
told to her over time by her husband. He had told her he had spent
most of his time in foxholes fighting the enemy. She recalled for
me "It was strange that he served in both Army and Navy positions."
Following is the story her husband told her about the time of Pyle's
"He was riding in a Jeep with Ernie Pyle and they were fired
at by snipers. They left the Jeep and huddled in a foxhole.
"Ernie Pyle raised his head and said 'What a hell of a war
this is' and was shot in the head and killed.
"I have no proof of this incident, except that this is what
I was told. I have Burt's discharge with a list of the APO numbers,
but nothing tells me where the location was, and which was the APO
where he first met Pyle."
AP Report at Time of Pyle's Death
An Associated Press report of April 18, 19451
had this to say of Pyle's death:
"Ernie Pyle's body lay alone for a long time in the ditch
at the side of the road ... A machine-gunner, still hidden in the
coral ridge, sprayed the area whenever anyone moved. Finally, after
four hours, a combat photographer, pushing his heavy Speed Graphic
camera in front of him, reached the body and snapped the shutter
.. a face at rest (with) a thin stream of blood running down the
Pyle's Burial Sites
Pyle, in death, was buried first on Ie Shima Island, but in 1949,
his remains were removed to Punchbowl Cemetery in Honolulu.
A 1997 report by Allan Andrews, Editor of the Pacific Stars and
STripes in Tokyo, Japan, added more fact to Pyle's Death ... written
after a visit to Pyle's final resting place in Honolulu2 in April
"We drove through the Punchbowl to visit the war memorial
cemetery on the hill. We had parked directly in front of the grave
of Ernie Pyle.
"The famous reporter's grave was flanked by the headstones
of two unknown soldiers3.
According to our guide, being buried between two unknown soldiers
had been Pyle's request.
"Pyle died on April 18, 1945. A sniper's bullet killed him
on the Island Ie Shima, just off the coast of Okinawa, where island-hopping
America forces were making a push toward mainland Japan."