Indiana University
Journalism Ernie Pyle

Wartime Columns


For many journalists, Ernest Taylor Pyle, an Indiana native better known as "Ernie," continues to be an icon of excellence decades after his death at the hands of a Japanese machine-gunner in World War II. For the last 10 years of his life, he wrote feature columns six times a week, primarily for Scripps-Howard newspapers. As his fame increased during the war, other newspapers, including weekly ones, published Pyle’s work.

In 1944 Ernie Pyle won a Pulitzer Prize for his stories about the ordinary soldiers fighting in World War II.

On these pages is a selection of his wartime columns in both written and spoken versions. We welcome your comments about the site and stories you might have to tell about meeting Pyle or reading Pyle’s columns.

(These columns are reprinted with the permission of the Scripps Howard Foundation.)

Mapping and Engineering the War
Sept. 2, 1943

This is one of several columns that Pyle wrote about the soldiers who kept the Army going.

Fed Up and Bogged Down
Sept. 11, 1943

When Pyle took a break from the war in late summer 1943 and came back to the U.S. for a while, he had mixed feelings.

The Death of Captain Waskow
Jan. 10, 1944

This is the most famous and most widely-reprinted column by Ernie Pyle.

Bill Mauldin, Cartoonist
Jan. 15, 1944

Members of the Armed Forces admired cartoonist Bill Mauldin just about as much as they admired the writing of Ernie Pyle.

With the Air Force
Jan. 18, 1944

Life for airmen might have been easier, Pyle wrote, but they and Pyle’s beloved infantry were both necessary to win the war.

I've Had It
Feb. 4, 1944

Excerpts from two letters Pyle wrote in late winter and early spring of 1944 to friends and relations back home.

Buck Eversole: One of the Great Men of the War
Feb. 21, 1944

Ernie Pyle wrote several columns about Eversole who was one of Pyle’s favorite soldiers in the war.

No Area is Immune
March 28, 1944

Being under fire on the beachhead at Anzio was not pleasant, Pyle wrote.

The Quartermaster Corps
April 24, 1944

Pyle didn’t make many references to black troops, but he did in this story about the people who provided food, clothing and ammunition.

A Pure Miracle
June 12, 1944

In the first of three D-Day columns included in this series, Pyle marvels at and celebrates the Allied successes.