The Foot Soldier’s Best Friend……

Memorial Day 2017


Aaron Pyle is a relative of Ernie’s and a searcher. He sent along these photographs today…they reminded me that not everyone who rushes to the front is in the military. None the less, they earn our respect and admiration.


AT A COMMAND POST, Ie Island, Ryukyus, April 18 (AP)–Ernie Pyle, the famed columnist who had reported the wars from Africa to Okinawa, met his death about a mile forward of the command post.

Mr. Pyle had just talked with a general commanding Army troops and Lieut. Col. James E. Landrum, executive officer of an infantry regiment, before “jeeping” to a forward command post with Lieut. Col. Joseph B. Coolidge of Helena, Ark., commanding officer of the regiment, to watch front-line action.
Colonel Coolidge was alongside Mr. Pyle when he was killed. “We were moving down the road in our jeep,” related Colonel Coolidge. “Ernie was going with me to my new command post. At 10 o’clock we were fired on by a Jap machine gun on a ridge above us. We all jumped out of the jeep and dived into a roadside ditch.

“A little later Pyle and I raised up to look around. Another burst hit the road over our heads and I fell back into the ditch. I looked at Ernie and saw he had been hit.
“He was killed almost instantly, the bullet entering his left temple just under his helmet.
“I crawled back to report the tragedy, leaving a man to watch the body. Ernie’s body will be brought back to Army grave registration officers. He will be buried here on Ie Jima unless we are notified otherwise.
“I was so impressed with Pyle’s coolness, calmness and his deep interest in enlisted men. They have lost their best friend.”

58 thoughts on “The Foot Soldier’s Best Friend……

  1. Gosh. What can one say in times like this? I’ve tried repeatedly, but it doesn’t seem enough. Thank you for sharing this story.

  2. Its all so sad for these men that fight in war. They are extremely brave. I can’t even imagine.

  3. Thank you both for sharing the wonderful memories and photos Mr. Pyle and Flyer Fenn. Valor acknowledged and…. exemplified.

  4. So many untold stories that almost every family has.
    God knows them all and may they receive His comfort!

  5. I’d like to plug a book called Ernie Pyle’s Southwest. From page 1 a real treat for the searchers.

    “Any pilot who doesn’t know Ernie Pyle is a nobody”
    ~Amelia Earhart

  6. The Albuquerque home of Ernie Taylor Pyle, has been converted to a City of Albuquerque Library and is a National Historic Landmark.

    Ernie affectionately called it his “little white cottage in Albuquerque”, it is a small library, but a big landmark for me when I sometimes pass right by it on my way to the golf course, what a history is there, this courageous soul Ernie who was once a Naval Petty Office in WW1 and so accurately and bravely recorded those struggles in WW2.

    Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said ref. to Pyles Home “These National Historic Landmarks help tell of America as a country and of Americans as a people-our land our culture, our literature and architecture and our struggles”. “I encourage all Americans to visit these places and breathe deeply of our history”

    Ernie, if you are listening up there, you make me feel proud to have been a Naval Petty Officer like you, different war, different result, all gave some and some, like you,… gave all.

    Thanks Dal and Forrest for the forum and the patriotic salute to this Great American, Ernie Pyle.

    Tom Terrific

      • Years ago, when I was a boy, there was an Ernie Pyle Movie Theater, on the corner of 4th Street and Menaul.

        I paid 20 cents for two tickets, and my little girlfriend paid 10 cents for a bag of popcorn that we shared. – I know – How cute! JDA

    • Tom,
      Yesterday, I attended a small town Memorial Day Parade & the program afterward where a retired Master Chief Petty Officer spoke eloquently about remembering our veterans. And today, thanks to Forrest, Dal, Aaron & yourself, I learned about Ernest Pyle. Thank you all & thank you for your service!

  7. Thank you everyone who has served. Those who have friends and family lost, we appreciate your sacrifice.

  8. They don’t make em like Ernie Pyle anymore. I wonder if he would have been published in today’s world, or if anyone would bother to read his stories if they were published. That saddens me.

    Colonel Coolidge was visibly shaken as he told the facts of the columnist’s death. Almost tearfully, he described the tragedy. He said he knew the news would spread swiftly over the island.

    The general also was visibly upset as he read a message about Mr. Pyle’s death. He said: “I am terribly sorry to hear this news. Just before Ernie went up this road [pointing toward the front lines] he talked with me and Colonel Landrum at this command post, and Ernie made arrangements to meet me back here at 3 o’clock. I told him if he was not here on time I couldn’t wait for him, as I had to be back on my flagship.”

    While the general was talking soldiers standing near by were grieved to hear of Mr. Pyle’s death. A short distance ahead enemy machine guns and our own guns and artillery were rattling and roaring. Soldiers exhibited “short-snorter” bills that the writer had signed for them less than an hour before.

    Mrs. Pyle Grief-Stricken

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., April 18 (UP)–Mrs. Geraldine Pyle, “That Girl” in Ernie Pyle’s stories, was grief-stricken today at her husband’s death.

    Mrs. Pyle said she had been notified of his death before it was announced in Washington. Mrs. Pyle answered the telephone in a calm but very low voice. She said she had received no details of his death.

    Neighbor Informs Pyle’s Father

    DANA, Ind., April 18 (UP)–William C. Pyle, father of the war correspondent, and the writer’s “Aunt Mary”–Mrs. Mary Bales–were stunned today by word of Ernie’s death. Mrs. Ella Goforth, a neighbor, said the aging relatives of the newspaper man had received the news from another neighbor, who had heard the news on the radio. Mrs. Goforth said: “They’re not taking the news very well.”

    Feared Being Disliked

    Ernie Pyle was haunted all his life by an obsession. He said over and over again, “I suffer agony in anticipation of meeting people for fear they won’t like me.” No man could have been less justified in such a fear. Word of Pyle’s death started tears in the eyes of millions, from the White House to the poorest dwellings in the country.

    President Truman and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt followed his writings as avidly as any farmer’s wife or city tenement mother with sons in service. Mrs. Roosevelt once wrote in her column “I have read everything he has sent from overseas,” and recommended his writings to all Americans. For three years these writings had entered some 14,000,000 homes almost as personal letters from the front. Soldiers’ kin prayed for Ernie Pyle as they prayed for their own sons.

    In the Eighth Avenue subway yesterday a gray-haired woman looked up, wet-eyed, from the headline “Ernie Pyle Killed in Action” and murmured “May God rest his soul” and other women, and men, around her took up the words. This was typical.

    It was rather curious that a nation should have worked up such affection for a timid little man whose greatest fear was “Maybe they won’t like me.” Yet this fear had started in childhood. Ernie Pyle was born on Aug. 3, 1900, in a little white farmhouse near Dana, Ind., the only child of William and Maria Taylor Pyle. They were simple people, content to spend their lives in the little white house on the dusty Indiana country road, as William Pyle’s parents had spent their lives. Ernest–they always called him that, and never “Ernie”–seemed destined to plod along in much the same way, except that he was restless, and his thoughts strayed from the family acres to far horizons. He was shy in the country school house, apt to sit apart from classmates during games, and later, in high school and in Indiana University, went off for lonely walks.

    He worked on The Indiana Daily Student in the one-story brick building where the paper was put together, and sometimes he strayed down to the Book Nook, the Greek candy kitchen on the campus, but not often. When Stuart Gorrell, who gets out the Chase National Bank house organ here now, and Paige Cavanaugh, other journalism students, crowded around the Book Nook’s broken-down piano to hear Hoagy Carmichael, another classmate, play his “Stardust,” Ernie was likely to be off in a corner, smiling and affable, but silent. He took journalism, incidentally, not because he had any burning desire for a career in it, but because it was rated then as “a breeze.” He had no flaming ambition for anything.

    He quit college in 1923, a few months before graduation, to work as a cub on The La Porte (Ind.) Herald-Argus and moved on a few months later to a desk job on The Washington (D. C.) News. If any one thing inspired him, during this period, it was Kirke Simpson’s news story on the burial of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. Simpson was an Associated Press reporter. “I cried over that,” Pyle told friends later, “and I can quote the lead or almost any part of the piece.”

    He stayed on at The Washington News as copy editor from 1923 to 1926, had a year in New York on The Evening World and on The Evening Post and did aviation for the Scripps-Howard papers from 1928 to 1932. He was managing editor of The Washington News from 1932 to 1935, when he wearied of desk work and started a roving assignment, writing pieces as he went.

    With him went his wife. She had been Geraldine Siebolds of Stillwater, Minn., when he met her in Washington and in their tours she was always “That Girl.” Millions of readers came to know and love them, then. The Pyle writings of that period, as in the war years, were nothing more or less than simple letters home. He traveled to Canada and wrote of the Dionnes. He visited Flemington, N. J., and recalled the Hauptmann trial there; toured through drought-throttled Montana and the Dakotas, and pictured all he saw. In 1937 he was in Alaska, writing of simple folk and of their labors, their hopes, their desires. He went 1,000 miles down the Yukon, sailed Arctic seas with the Coast Guard.

    Each day’s experience was material for a column–a letter home to farm-bound or pavement-bound poor people and invalids who could never hope to make such journeys. He wrote simple, gripping pieces about five days spent with the lepers at Molokai, and put his feeling on paper: “I felt unrighteous at being whole and clean,” he told his readers when he came away. He wrote of Devil’s Island, of all South America, which he toured by plane. He covered some 150,000 miles of Western Hemisphere wearing out three cars, three typewriters; crossed the United States thirty-five times.

    Magnet Pulls Him to London

    In the fall of 1940 he started for unhappy London. “A small voice came in the night and said go” was the way he put it, and his writings on London under Nazi bombings tore at his readers’ hearts. He lived with Yank troops in Ireland and his descriptions of their day-by-day living brought wider reception. When he went into action with the Yanks in Africa, the Pyle legend burst into flower. His columns, done in foxholes, brought home all the hurt, horror, loneliness and homesickness that every soldier felt. They were the perfect supplement to the soldiers’ own letters. Though he wrote of his own feelings and his own emotions as he watched men wounded, and saw the wounded die, he was merely interpreting the scene for the soldier. He got people at home to understand that life at the front “works itself into an emotional tapestry of one dull dead pattern–yesterday is tomorrow and Troiano is Randozzo and, O God, I’m so tired.”

    He never made war look glamorous. He hated it and feared it. Blown out of press headquarters at Anzio, almost killed by our own planes at St. Lo, he told of the death, the heartache and the agony about him and always he named names of the kids around him, and got in their home town addresses. By September, 1944, he was a thin, sad-eyed little man gone gray at the temples, his face seamed, his reddish hair thinned. “I don’t think I could go on and keep sane,” he confided to his millions of readers.

    He started home, with abject apologies. The doughfoots had come to love him. Hundreds of thousands of combat troops, from star-sprinkled generals to lowly infantrymen, knew him by sight, called “H’ya, Ernie?” when he passed. He wrote, “I am leaving for just one reason . . . because I have just got to stop. I have had all I can take for a while.” Yet the doughfoots understood. They wrote him sincere farewells and wished him luck.

    Pacific Foxholes Called

    His books “Here Is Your War” and “Brave Men,” made up from his columns, hit the high spots on best-seller lists, made Hollywood. He was acclaimed wherever he dared show himself in public. He loafed a while in his humble white clapboard cottage in Albuquerque, N. M. He would sit there with “That Girl” and stare for hours across the lonely mesa, but the front still haunted him. He had to go back.

    He journeyed to Hollywood to watch Burgess Meredith impersonate him in the film version of his books and last January he left for San Francisco, bound for the wars again–the Pacific this time. He had frequent premonitions of death. He said: “You begin to feel that you can’t go on forever without being hit. I feel that I’ve used up all my chances, and I hate it. I don’t want to be killed.” Fortune had come to Ernie Pyle–something well over a half-million dollars the past two years–and his name was a household word. He might have rested with that. “But I can’t,” he wrote. “I’m going simply because there’s a war on and I’m part of it, and I’ve known all the time I was going back. I’m going simply because I’ve got to–and I hate it.” So he went, and in the endless hours over the Pacific, in great service planes, he wrote with a soft touch of glorious Pacific dawns and sunsets at sea, of green islands and tremendous expanses of blue water.

    Shared GI’s Post-War Hopes

    He journeyed to Iwo on a small carrier and wrote about the carrier crew. Then he moved on to Okinawa and went in with the marines, and there were homely pieces about that. He had post-war plans. He thought he would take to the white clean roads again with “That Girl” and write beside still ponds in the wilderness, on blue mountains, in country lanes, in a world returned to peace and quiet. And these were the dreams of the doughfoot in the foxhole as much as they were his own.

    But he knew that death would reach for him. In his last letter to George A. Carlin, head of the United Feature Syndicate which employed him, he wrote: “I was completely amazed to find that I’m as well known out here as I was in the European Theatre. The men are depending on me, so I’ll have to try and stick it out for a long time. “I expect to be out a year on this trip, if I don’t bog down inside again, and if I don’t get sick or hurt. If I could be fortunate enough to hang on until the spring of 1946, I think I’ll come home for the last time. I don’t believe I have the strength ever to leave home and go back to war again.” But yesterday Ernie Pyle came to the end of the road on tiny Ie, some 10,000 miles from his own white cottage and from “That Girl.”

    In one of his first columns from Africa he had told how he’d sought shelter in a ditch with a frightened Yank when a Stuka dived and strafed, and how he tapped the soldier’s shoulder when the Stuka had gone and said, “Whew, that was close, eh?” and the soldier did not answer. He was dead. So yesterday on Ie a doughfoot, white and tense, looked up from a thin-faced, gray-haired figure prone beside him. Ernie Pyle had written his last letter home.

    Truman Pays Homage
    U.S. Civil and Military Leaders Mourn ‘Foxhole Correspondent’

    WASHINGTON, April 18 (AP)–Ernie Pyle’s death was announced by Navy Secretary James V. Forrestal, and President Truman issued a statement of condolence. “The nation is quickly saddened again, by the death of Ernie Pyle,” Mr. Truman said. “No man in this war has so well told the story of the American fighting man as American fighting men wanted it told. He deserves the gratitude of all his countrymen.”

    Mr. Forrestal’s statement said:

    “With deep regret, the Navy announces the death on Ie Shima (Island) of Ernie Pyle, whose reporting of this war endeared him to the men of the armed forces throughout the world and to their families at home. “He was killed instantly by Japanese machine-gun fire while standing beside the regimental commanding officer of Headquarters Troop, Seventy-seventh Division, United States Army. At the time of his death he was with the foot soldiers, the men for whom he had the greatest admiration. “Mr. Pyle will live in the hearts of all service men who revered him as a comrade and spokesman. More than anyone else, he helped America to understand the heroism and sacrifices of her fighting men. For that achievement, the nation owes him its unending gratitude.”

    President Praises Service

    In his tribute to the 44-year-old reporter for Scripps-Howard newspapers, who covered the war in Europe before going to the Pacific early this year, President Truman said: “More than any other man, he became the spokesman of the ordinary American in arms doing so many extraordinary things. It was his genius that the mass and power of our military and naval forces never obscured the men who made them. “He wrote about a people in arms as people still, but a people moving in a determination which did not need pretensions as a part of power. “Nobody knows how many individuals in our forces and at home he helped with his writings. But all Americans understand now how wisely, how warm heartedly, how honestly he served his country and his profession. He deserves the gratitude of all his countrymen.”

    Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson said today that soldiers have “lost a champion” in the death of Mr. Pyle. “The understanding of Americans in battle which ran through all of Ernie Pyle’s dispatches was drawn from hours spent with them under fire, sharing dangers they endure,” Mr. Stimson said.

    Marshall Expresses Sorrow

    Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff said: Ernie Pyle belonged to the millions of soldiers he had made his friends. His dispatches reached down into the ranks to draw out the stories of individual soldiers. He did not glorify war, but he did glorify the nobility, the simplicity and heroism of the American fighting man. The Army deeply mourns his death.”

    Eisenhower Pays Tribute

    Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower paid tribute to Ernie Pyle Wednesday night, saying: “The GI’s in Europe–and that means all of us here–have lost one of our best and most understanding friends,” a Blue network correspondent, Herbert Clark, reported in a broadcast from Paris, according to The Associated Press.

    Dewey Sees Loss to Nation

    ALBANY, April 18 (UP)–Governor Thomas E. Dewey said today that the death of Mr. Pyle “is a great personal loss to this country and to American journalism.”

    “Ernie Pyle was a great reporter,” Mr. Dewey said. “His warm, human stories of our fighting men– Ernie’s beloved GI’s–had become an integral part of our American life. Every day millions of American newspaper readers eagerly read his column, which was a daily link between us here on the home front and our men fighting on the battlefronts of the world.”

    New Mexico Mourns “Son”

    ALBUQUERQUE, N. M., April 18 (AP)–Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico were stunned today by the news that Ernie Pyle had been killed. Only recently the seventeenth Legislature of New Mexico, by resolution, declared Aug. 3, the columnist’s birthday, as “Ernie Pyle Day.” “Ernie Pyle was Albuquerque’s adopted son, and all of us sorely grieve his passing,” said former Governor Clyde Tingley, Mayor of Albuquerque.

    General Clark Salutes Writer

    FIFTEENTH ARMY GROUP HEADQUARTERS, Italy, April 18 (UP)–General Mark W. Clark paid tribute today to Ernie Pyle in the following message: “A great soldier correspondent is dead, perhaps the greatest of this war. I refer to Ernie Pyle, who marched with my troops through Italy, took their part and championed their cause both here and at home. “His reporting was always constructive. He was “Ernie” to privates and generals alike. He spoke the GI’s language and made it a part of the everlasting lore of our country. He was a humble man and in his humility lay his greatness. “He will be missed by all of us fighting with the Fifteenth Army Group. There could have been only one Ernie Pyle. May God bless his memory. He helped our soldiers to victory.”

    • Goofy, you nailed it with your intro, “They don’t make em like Ernie Pyle anymore. I wonder if he would have been published in today’s world, or if anyone would bother to read his stories if they were published. That saddens me”.

      So much has been lost in the realm of journalism, you notice it too don’t you? Goofy you, Dal and ff are great story tellers, you get to the fling of writting and what’s important is what you reveal.

      Sadly much of what stories emerge from New York Tames, Wash-ed up Post seems to be dummed down and suddenly it is more important that great stories and ideas are squelched by stuff like “Melania Trump” disgraces America by not wearing the traditional scarf in front of Saudi Royalty” OMG..

      I guess these so called purveyors of “National News” are a little Fakey, or are they just Flakey? As for me I cant watch a lota ABC, CBS or Nothin but Commercials TV. Yes it sickens me…too
      Thank Goodness for the writers on this Blog!
      Tom T

  9. May everyone’s Memorial Day be filled with thoughtfulness and respect, for all of those who served and died to protect each of us.

    • Thank you Forrest. Thank you Goofy. So many sacrifices have been made for our freedom. What a wonderful man.

  10. It sounds like we need more men in the world today like Ernie Pyle.

    Thank you to all that have served this country with bravery and honor, and to those that have lost loved ones who died protecting our freedoms.

  11. Thank you for bringing my attention to Mr. Ernie Pyle on this here Memorial Day.

  12. The Desert Southwest

    It was before WW II. Ernie pointed to the western skyline saying, “Bob that mountain ridge must be 50 miles from here, can you imagine that?” We are standing in his new front yard that had no grass (yet) and at a new tract house out near the airport. “Uncle Shag” as he was known to me, was right proud of me being an artist, now enroute to the big war. During my two day visit, he asked me to paint a border around his one bathroom with some blue and black paint he had. He wanted nautical subjects, being a Navy reservist. That little house on Gerard Street is now a museum/monument to my mentor Ernest Taylor Pyle. He treated me like I was really famous and laughed at my stories. He had a lot to do with my future since bringing me and my mother home from the hospital when I was born some years earlier. He’s gone now but his little desert house still stands proudly in the hot Albuquerque sun, which made Ernie feel good.

    By Bob Bales

    • Bob,

      Ernie was great man. I have always had tremendous respect for him. He’s probably the first artist and author that gave the front line Soldiers and Marines the attention and the voice they deserved and showed the reality of war. I have wanted to do a new film about Ernie for years ..


  13. Thanks Goofy, Brought back memories. Uncles who came home ‘different’ and some who didn’t come home at all. Gold Star aunties and grandmas. Newspapers were read cover to cover before they wrapped the fish, or lined the canary cage or cleaned the windows. Our Saturdays movies had matinee bond drives (10 cent stamps to paste in little books) and ‘movie shorts’ of war news. If there is deterioration in journalism, consider the demand side, the buyer gets what the buyer wants.

  14. “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”

    —John F. Kennedy

  15. Thanks for the story . I have been to the Ernie Pyle library in Albuquerque a fewtimes. There is a huge trove of New Mexico information and books there. I never did know anything about Mr. Pyle, though. It’s good to know.

  16. Thanks Goofy for posting that info regarding Ernest. I hadn’t heard of him before which saddens me. It seems that people are forgetting how things used to be, the patriotism that used to abound in this country. Perhaps we haven’t taught the young people well enough. Thank you for sharing this with me so I may pass it on so Ernest isn’t forgotten. Thank you all for your service and sacrifices. God bless you all.

  17. Thank you for sharing, and for the service of all enlisted and formerly enlisted men & women. I hope everyone had a good weekend of remembrance and honor.

  18. The comments here indicate to me that most people do care today. With 24 hour news slots to fill most of it appears to me to be less than newsworthy, at least compared to when we were raised, eons ago. I still think there is plenty of good news in the world, it’s just not as sensational to those that make the choices of what to air. It never ceases to amaze me when I here someone say what the American people want, as if they had any idea.

  19. There is no such thing as best friends in my mind.
    That’s for the other to decide.

    • Gee Jake, what a attitude, but I understand, blood relatives can be the worse!

  20. Interesting yet sad. While so many were out shopping, BBQing, and occupying every motel across the country, there are others visiting memorial sites and sharing memories of heroes. It is good to be reminded that heroes are from all walks of life and various career paths. I happened upon a museum honoring the USS Nimitz. It is on that ship that I lost a loved friend. It was a blessing to happen to be there on Memorial Day. Dennis died during a fire upon the ship. Thank you for the memory of the writer. So often we need to remember that there are many people sacrificing their lives for us. The question is: Are there heroes to come who are so dedicated to their fields and operating with truth, dignity, and honesty and with a work ethic that contains them as calm and productive in spite of challenges surrounding them? To honor a hero is to become more like that person – at least in character. My heroes live within me as I strive to acquire their characteristics (patience, trust, endurance). This is a point I made to people who lost a magnificent leader last October – the body is gone but the teachings and goodness live on if they chose to live their lives according to the characteristics of greatness. Amazing how many were surprised to hear such lasting hope. Thanks to those in the military and the wives and children who remain home. God bless them all.

  21. Dal.,
    Thank you for this post.
    I had to think about it a few days.
    I can’t express the horrific actions of WAR, all
    I know is people have short memories!
    I know history repeats itself and that’s what’s​
    I wish he would have stayed home with that woman!
    Unfortunately you can’t stop a good man, and he was a hero!
    Broken hearted, Martha

    • My Uncle was shot three times in Vietnam. They were throwing his body overboard to reduce the vessel weight while under heavy fire. He whispered his presence and they pulled him back in. After, he was the VP for MIT for a bit before taking a job as a nuclear physicist for the Pentagon. His son is a newly appointed General fighting as I type. My Grandpa survived Normandy in the Navy, he spoke of his war rarely. He was relieved from duty when my Grandmother went into labor with my mother. His entire ship was blown up two days after his departure. My mother saved his life. My favorite chapter in TTOTC was My War For Me. Giving a soldier space to let him/her process. Our experiences in life often hold on to us, even when we wish they wouldn’t. Even now we still live in the greatest country. I’m so proud to be an American.

      • Hello Copper. This is an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it.

        I hope some day you’ll find your boots laced and enjoy the wonderful experiences along the way. My boots seems to be put on hold this summer.

  22. Thank you for sharing this story and, once again, introducing us to someone we should remember. It’s a wonderful Memorial Day tribute.

  23. I’ve had many relatives, friends and my husband who served in the military. I respect them all and are grateful for their fight for freedom.
    There is only one relative that I honor this Memorial Day, he died while serving our country. My Great Uncle, Jesse Lambert. He fought in France during WWI, got tear gassed and brought home. He died 31 days later, in a military hospital, all alone, at the age of 20. I named my grandson, Jesse, after him with the old fashioned hopes that he will carry Great Uncle Jesse’s traits. So far, he hasn’t disappointed me.

    As we stood in our neighbor, A.J.’s yard, watching him raise the flag at 0600, we all waited to recite the Pledge of Allegiance after he played taps on his cornet. Jesse, being autistic, was tightly holding my hand as he witnessed what was a strange ceremony to him. He remained still, staring at the flag.
    Then, something strange happened. As we put our hands on our hearts and recited the allegiance , he stepped up to the flag pole, tilted his blond head up to the flag, and recited the WHOLE pledge, as succinctly as you or I would have, from start to finish!

    No one interrupted him, he said it for all of us. Afterward, he went right back to being his bouncy little self, chattering away in his secret language only he knew.

    I’d like the believe that his class says it every day, he memorized it. But in my heart, I know Uncle Jesse was there, guiding his twisted little tongue , delivery the most eloquent Pledge of Allegiance any of us has ever heard.

    Thank you, Jesse Lambert, for your service to our wonderful freedom.

    ¥Peace ¥

  24. Thank you so much for the interesting stories.
    What a huge role our boys played in history.

  25. The third anniversary of my dad’s passing was three days ago. He served in the US Navy for 20 years. He was a very loyal retired USN sailor until he passed. And I miss him.

    • Swwot… I salute your father… our freedom is a gift from brave men and women such as him..

      I’m sure he’s looking down on you very proud…

      Have a great evening my friend

  26. War correspondents in WW II front lines were required to wear arm bands with a C on them and given the temporary rank of Captains in case they were captured they would be treated as an officer.

  27. My dad was in the ninth armored division during WWII. I had always assumed he was drafted and had to go to war. So, I was surprised when I learned that he had enlisted in 1942 when he was 33 yrs old. He drove a truck and carried soilders to the front lines, dead bodies back, ammunition, even booze for VE Day celebration. He said for some reason that run took him a lot longer. All the terrible things he saw in war he said the saddest and what brought tears to eyes was a little German boy he found whose family had been killed. My dad befriended him, gave him his K-rations to eat, just hung out with him and had him smiling again. He thought his company would be there for a couple days but instead were ordered to immediately pulls out. He had to pull out and leave his little friend. He didn’t even get his name. He said that was the most difficult thing he had to do during the war and was what bothered him the most out of all the horrific things he experienced. He always regretted not being able to help that little boy and he wished he could have done more for him. He said he still remembers that little boy running after his truck as he was pulling out.

    • My grandfather was in the 3rd Army he was the one in charge of entertainment for those men who where on grave duty near Saarbrucken. Pattons tank Divisions came up from Metz, France. They came to this town and Patton wanted all the “Entertainment” for his troops and ordered my grandfather to move out the gravediggers and accommodate his troops, Grandpa flat out told him No! Then Patton pulls rank and Grandpa finally gets Eisenhower involved who then orders Patton to be remove from theater and confined to a hotel and told told to keep his mouth shut! The guys on grave detail got the entertainment and the tank Divisions worked Security. ~True Story, Thanks Grandpa.

      • Grandpa enlisted a PFC and after 3years was a Major. That pissed Patton off so much he grabbed a guard and slapped him around telling him he’s weak. Man what a looney! Grandpa had his number~

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