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.)

The Horrible Waste of War
June 16, 1944

In the second of three D-Day columns in this series, Pyle sees the terrible cost of victory on the Normandy beaches.

A Long Thin Line of Personal Anguish
June 17, 1944

In the third and final of the three D-Day columns in this series, Pyle personalizes the losses on the beaches of Normandy.

On the Lighter Side
June 21, 1944

Once in a while, Pyle told funny stories.

Anticipation is the Worst
July 13, 1944

The quiet heroism of the troops getting ready for battle impressed Pyle.

In Praise of Ordnance
July 25, 1944

From time to time Pyle turned his attention from the infantry to the units that helped supply or support the infantry.

Mobile Maintenance
July 26, 1944

Pyle marveled at the men who fixed things that were broken.

A Slow Cautious Business
Aug. 11, 1944

The tactics that helped the Allies beat the Germans are described by Pyle in this column.

Liberating the City of Light
Aug. 28, 1944

Pyle finds joy as the Allied troops capture Paris.

Farewell to Europe
Sept. 5, 1944

A week after the liberation of Paris, Pyle left Europe for the last time.

Back Again
Feb. 6, 1945

Pyle views shipping out to the Pacific with apprehension.