Roving Reporter, Ernie Pyle

The Pittsburgh Press (April 26, 1945)

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Before he was killed on Ie Shima, Ernie Pyle, as was his habit, had written a number of columns ahead. He did this so there would be no interruptions in the column while he was getting material for more. Several more are expected.

OKINAWA (by Navy radio) – Back nearly two years ago when I was with Oklahoma’s 45th Division in Sicily and later in Italy, I learned they had a number of Navajo Indians in communications.

When secret orders had to be given over the phone these boys gave them to one another in Navajo. Practically nobody in the world understands Navajo except another Navajo.

Well, my regiment of First Division Marines has the same thing. There are about eight Indians who do this special work. They are good Marines and very proud of being so.

There are two brothers among them, both named Joe. Their last names are the ones that are different. I guess that’s a Navajo custom, though I never knew of it before.

One brother, Pfc. Joe Gatewood, went to the Indian school in Albuquerque. In fact, our house is on the very same street and Joe said it sure was good to see somebody from home.

Joe has been out here three years. He is 34 and has five children back home when he would like to see. He was wounded several months ago and got the Purple Heart.

Joe’s brother is Joe Kellwood who has also been out here three years. A couple of others are Pfc. Alex Williams of Winslow, Arizona, and Pvt. Oscar Carroll of Fort Defiance, Arizona, which is the capital of the Navajo reservation. Most of the boys are from around Fort Defiance and used to work for the Indian Bureau.

Knew invasion wouldn’t be tough

The Indian boys knew before we got to Okinawa that the invasion landing wasn’t going to be very tough. They were the only ones in the convoy who did know it. For one thing they saw signs and for another they used their own influence.

Before the convoy left, the far south tropical island where the Navajos had been training since the last campaign, the boys on a ceremonial dance.

The Red Cross furnished some colored cloth and paint to stain their faces. They made up the rest of their Indian costumes from chicken feathers, seashells, empty ration cans and rifle cartridges.

Then they did their own native ceremonial chants and dances out there under the tropical palm trees with several thousand Marines as a grave audience.

In their chant they asked the great gods in the sky to sap the Japanese of their strength for this blitz. They put the finger of weakness on the Japs. And then they ended their ceremonial chant by singing the Marine Corps song in Navajo.

I asked Joe Gatewood if they really felt their dance had something to do with the ease of our landing and he said the boys did believe so and were very serious about it, himself included.

“I knew nothing was going to happen to us,” Joe said, “for on the way up here there was a rainbow over the convoy and I knew then everything would be all right.”

They can’t hurt us

One day I was walking through the edge of a rubbled Okinawa village where Marine telephone linesmen were stringing wire to the tops of the native telephone poles.

As I passed, one of the two linesmen at the top called down rather nervously saying he was afraid the wobbly pole was going to break under their weight.

To which one of the men on the ground, apparently their sergeant, called back reassuringly:

“You’ve got nothing to worry about. That’s imperial Japanese stuff. It can’t break.”

There are very few cattle on Okinawa, but there are lots of goats and horses. The horses are small hike western ponies and mostly bay or sorrel. Most of them are skinny, but when you see well-fed ones, they are good-looking horses. They are all well broken and tame.

The Marines have acquired them by the hundreds. Our company alone has more than 20. The boys put their heavier packs on them but more than that they just seem to enjoy riding them up and down the country roads.

They have rigged up rope halters for them and one Marine made a bridle using a piece of bamboo for a bit. They dug up old pads, and even some goatskins to use as saddle blankets. But it’s surprising how many men in a company of Marines don’t really know how to ride a horse.

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The Pittsburgh Press (April 27, 1945)

Big ship named for Ernie Pyle

WASHINGTON (UP) – The Maritime Commission announced today that it will name one of its largest ships for Ernie Pyle, the famous Scripps-Howard war reporter who was killed on Ie Island April 18.

The Maritime Commission said:

Pyle many times honored the men of the Merchant Marine for the vital, and often heroic, part they have taken in the war effort. Millions of Pyle’s G.I.s have crossed the oceans to the fighting fronts on ships manned by his friends in the Merchant Marine.

The Ernie Pyle will be a C-4 military type cargo ship – 522 feet long, 14,600 deadweight tons, 9,000 horsepower, and 14,000-mile cruising radius.

Medal of Honor urged for Pyle

LONDON, England (UP) – Pvt. Karl Detzer Jr. and “50 other Joes” proposed in a letter to the Army newspaper, Stars and Stripes, today that the Congressional Medal of Honor be awarded posthumously to Ernie Pyle, war correspondent recently killed on Ie Island.

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Before he was killed on Ie Shima, Ernie Pyle, as was his habit, had written a number of columns ahead. He did this so there would be no interruptions in the column while he was getting material for more. His last column will appear tomorrow.

OKINAWA (by Navy radio) – There is one very small Marine who is as nice as he can be, always smiling and making some crack. But the boys say that in battle he doesn’t give a damn for anything.

The first afternoon I joined his company he didn’t know who I was and as we passed, he said very respectfully, “Good evening, Colonel.” I had to chuckle to myself. Later he mentioned it and we laughed about it and then he started calling me Ernie.

He was Cpl. Charles Bradshaw of Indianapolis. He is only 19, but on his third campaign in the Pacific. He’s had three pieces of shrapnel in him at various times and months later they would work out through the skin. Another one is just about to come out his finger now.

in the Marines, Cpl. Bradshaw is called “Brady” for short. Before joining the Marines, he worked on a section gang for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He usually wears one of those wide-brimmed green cloth hats instead of the regulation Marine cap.

He always carries a .45 and it has a slightly curved 25-cent piece imbedded in the handle. As he says, “To make it worth something.”

Brady found two huge photograph albums in a cave. The albums are full of snapshots of Japanese girls and Chinese girls and young Japs in uniform and of family poses. He treasured it as though it were full of people he knew. He studied it for hours and hopes to take it home with him. “Anything for a Souvenir” could be the motto of the Marines.

Prefers Okinawa to Panama

Another Indianapolis Marine I met on Okinawa was Pfc. Dallas Rhude who used to be a newspaperman himself.

In fact, he worked on our paper there, The Indianapolis Times. He started carrying The Times when he was eight, then got into the editorial room as a copy boy and kept that job till he joined the Marines.

He is a replacement; in other words, he is in the pool that fills up the gaps made by casualties. But since there have been very few casualties, he hasn’t replaced anybody yet.

Dallas spent 22 months in Panama, was home for a little while and now has been over here for four months. He says this Okinawa climate sure beats Panama.

Sentimental as anyone

Marines may be killers, but they’re also just as sentimental as anybody else.

There is one pleasant boy in our company that I had talked with but didn’t have any little incident to write about him, so didn’t put his name down. The morning I left the company and was saying goodbye all around, I could sense that he wanted to tell me something, so I hung around until he came out. It was about his daughter.

This Marine was Cpl. Robert Kingan of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He has been a Marine 13 months and over here 11 months. His daughter was born about six weeks ago. Naturally he has never seen her, but he’s had a letter from her!

It was a V letter written in a childish scrawl and said:

Hello, Daddy, I am Karen Louise. I was born Feb. 25 at four minutes after nine. I weigh five pounds and eight ounces. Your daughter, Karen.

And then there was a P.S. on the bottom which said: “Postmaster – Please rush, My Daddy doesn’t know I am here.”

Bob didn’t know whether it was actually his wife or his mother-in-law who wrote the letter. He thinks maybe it was his mother-in-law – Mrs. A. H. Morgan – since it had her return address on it.

So, I put that down and then asked Bob what his mother-in-law’s first name was. He looked off into space for a moment, and then started laughing.

“I don’t know what her first name is,” he said. “I always just called her Mrs. Morgan!"

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The Pittsburgh Press (April 28, 1945)

Editorial: ‘So long’

He squatted at his typewriter, struggling again to array a troop of sturdy words that would serve his mood.

There were many words in his mind; but the ones he wanted had to come from his heart. And his heart was brooding, for another of his friends was dead. As man to man, he wanted to call out, “So long,” in an hour when so many were dying, so many that anything less than death was beginning to seem incredible.

The words came from his typewriter, slowly, but firmly and sincerely. They spoke of the terror of death and the way it can grip a man; and at the end they said: “I know that he, like myself, had come to feel that terror.”

Ernie Pyle snapped shut the lid on his typewriter. His story was done. It proved to be his last. Ernie had said: “So long.”

And so, with great sorrow, we print Ernie Pyle’s final column today.

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Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

This is Ernie Pyle’s last column. It is a beautiful tribute to Fred Painton, war correspondent who died of natural causes on Guam a few weeks ago. Ernie was on Okinawa when he was informed of Mr. Painton’s death. Ernie took time out from covering the war to write this touching story about his friend. Only a few days later, Ernie was killed.

OKINAWA (by Navy radio) – This is a column about Fred Painton, the war correspondent who dropped dead on Guam a short time ago.

Fred wrote war articles for Reader’s Digest and many other magazines. He even gambled his future once writing a piece for the Saturday Evening Post about me.

Fred was one of the little group of real old-timers in the European war. He was past 49 and an overseas veteran of the last war. His son is grown and in the Army. Fred had seen a great deal of war for a man his age.

He was just about to start back to America when he died. He had grown pretty weary of war. He was anxious to get home to have some time with his family.

But I’m sure he had no inkling of death, for he told me in Guam of his post-war plans to take his family and start on an ideal and easy life of six months in Europe, six in America. He had reached the point where life was nice.

Fred Painton was one of the modest people; I mean real down-deep modest. He had no side whatever, no ax to grind, no coy ambition.

He loved to talk and his words bore the authority of sound common sense. He had no intellectualisms. His philosophy was the practical kind. He was too old and experienced and too wise in the ways of human nature to belittle his fellow man for the failures that go with trying hard.

Prided self on production

Fred didn’t pretend to literary genius but he did pride himself on a facility for production. He could get a thousand dollars apiece for his articles and he wrote a score of them a year. And his pieces, like himself, were always honest. I’ve known him to decline to do an assignment when he felt the subject prohibited his doing it with complete honesty.

Fred’s balding head and crooked nose, his loud and friendly nasal voice, his British Army trousers and short leggings were familiar in every campaign in Europe.

He took rough life as it came and complained about nothing, except for an occasional bout with the censors. And even there he made no enemies for he was always sincere.

There were a lot of people Fred didn’t like, and being no introvert everybody within earshot knew whom he didn’t like and why. And I have never known him to dislike anyone who wasn’t a phony.

Fred and I have traveled through lots of war together. We did those bitter cold days, early in Tunisia, and we were the last stragglers out of Sicily.

We both came home for short furloughs after Sicily. The Army provided me with a powerful No. 2 air priority, while Fred had only the routine No. 3.

We left the airport at Algiers within four hours of each other on the same morning. I promised Fred I would call his wife and tell her he would be home within a week.

When I got to New York I called the Painton home at Westport, Connecticut. Fred answered the phone himself. He had beat me home by three days on his measly little priority! He never got over kidding me about that.

Natural death seems incongruous

As the war years rolled by, we have become so indoctrinated into sudden and artificially imposed death that natural death in a combat zone seems incongruous, and almost as though the one who died had been cheated.

Fred had been through the mill. His ship was torpedoed out from under him in the Mediterranean. Anti-aircraft fire killed a man beside him in a plane over Morocco.

He had gone on many invasions. He was in Cassino. He was ashore at Iwo Jima. He was certainly living on borrowed time. To many it seems unfair for him to die prosaically. And yet…

The wear and the weariness of war is cumulative. To many a man in the line today fear is not so much of death itself, but fear of the terror and anguish and utter horror that precedes death in battle.

I have no idea how Fred Painton would have liked to die. But somehow, I’m glad he didn’t have to go through the unnatural terror of dying on the battlefield. For he was one of my dear friends and I know that he, like myself, had come to feel that terror.

This is Ernie Pyle’s last column. The Press has printed all the stories written before he was killed by Jap machine-gun bullets on Ie Island, off Okinawa.

For the second time in little more than a year, we publish with sadness and deep regret the final column of a great reporter and a splendid human being. In February 1944, we printed the last column of Raymond Clapper who, like Ernie, met death covering the Pacific warfare.

It has been suggested that The Press publish some of Ernie’s former columns. But we have done this in the past when he was on vacations, and another publication of those columns would, we believe, probably be something of a letdown after the stories which led to his death.

Hence, this is goodbye to Ernie. As he, himself, wrote in the concluding sentence of his book Here Is Your War:

“When we leave here for the next shore, there is nothing we can do for the ones beneath the wooden crosses, except perhaps to pause and murmur: ‘Thanks, pal.’”

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‘Are you all right?’ Ernie asked of major just as bullet hit him

Pyle lived 2 or 3 minutes, officer said, but he was unconscious all the while
By Bryce Watson, USCG combat correspondent

This story just arrived. It tells of Ernie Pyle’s last words, and details of the ambush of which he was the victim. His last column is printed today, on this page.

ON THE IE SHIMA BEACHHEAD (delayed) – I watched a battered jeep return with the body of Ernie Pyle, bringing him 500 yards from the forward area.

The Ie Shima terrain is smooth here, looking like the Indiana farmland where he was born – except it is broken by lines of advancing tanks and tractors.

Maj. George H. Pratt, who was beside Ernie on that tragic instant, was sitting wearily in front of an abandoned Jap cave.

“Ernie Pyle,” Maj. Pratt said softly, “was worth two divisions as a morale factor alone.”

Ernie’s body had just been recovered from beneath the machine gun and sniper fire up ahead by John J. Barnes of Petersburg, Virginia. He was the driver of the jeep when it happened, and had remained with Ernie, pinned down by fire.

5 start out in jeep

The body was resting near Maj. Pratt. Ernie’s battledress was unpressed, his dusty shoes shielded from the sun by a poncho.

“He was one of the enlisted men really,” Maj. Pratt said.

When the jeep had started out, hours before, there had been four men in it besides Ernie – Dale Bassett from Denver, Colorado; Lt. Col. L. B. Coolidge of Helena, Arkansas; Barnes, the driver, and Maj. Pratt, who is from Eugene, Oregon. They were driving to the front lines.

Suddenly, a Jap machine gun opened up.

The swath of fire swung to the right and swept under the jeep which pitched to a halt.

Dive into ditches

All five men went into the ditches. Barnes dived to the left, the others to the right.

The machine gun swept back and forth across their positions.

“I looked to my left,” said Maj. Pratt. “Ernie looked at me and smiled. He raised up slightly and said: ‘Are you all right?’”

There had been a slight break in the firing. Just as Ernie Pyle asked his question, a burst got him.

Lives several minutes

“He went backward slowly,” Maj. Pratt said. “It was a head wound. Thank God he never knew what happened. It was two or three minutes before he was dead, maybe, but he was unconscious all the time.”

The machine gun was joined by sniper fire. All four men on the right side of the road managed to crawl away.

But Barnes had to remain until a special detail of infantrymen cleaned out the area, about four and a half hours later.

Then Barnes drove his flat-tired jeep back with Ernie’s body.

Voice breaks

As I talked to Maj. Pratt, his voice broke several times.

“He was so damned modest and human,” he said.

I walked toward the beach, to the temporary burial ground. Men were standing about, saying nothing.

There were other dead there. In death, Ernie Pyle was lying among the common, trudging foot soldiers – the brave men – he had glorified in life.

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That Girl: Your memory of Ernie his reward

Saturday, April 28, 1945

The following statement to Ernie Pyle’s readers is published at the request of Mrs. Pyle:

To all of you who have tried to find words to express the grief in your hearts for the deeply personal loss you feel because Ernie has gone from us, I want to say I am one of you. Our loss is a common loss. Your letters and messages made me feel you had come to me for comfort – the comfort that Ernie had given you each day.

That he will live in your hearts forever will be his reward – his monument.


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Seventy-nine years later, it still rings true… :saluting_face:

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To the TimeGhost Army: Share your favorite Ernie Pyle stories here.

Ernie’s writing style was very effective by speaking directly to regular people. He focused on the positive elements he observed and did not use his voice to denigrate anyone. He saw firsthand how important everyone’s role was to the war effort. If he did not write about a specific person then one can conclude he did not have anything positive to say about them. His voice was a rarity in his day and we would all be better served if he were here today writing stories.

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It’s difficult to choose my personal favorite of his stories: His dispatches from North Africa, his series of articles on the WACs, his dispatches from Italy and France, and even his rather hilarious time in Central Africa.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 29, 1945)

President’s tribute to Pyle to be foreword to film

Clark Gable’s gift to socialite an item – other odds and ends
By Erskine Johnson
Saturday, April 28, 1945

HOLLYWOOD, California – EXCLUSIVELY YOURS: President Truman’s tribute to Ernie Pyle will be used as the foreword to The Story of G.I. Joe. Ernie’s movie, glorifying the foot soldiers, will have a South Pacific premiere… Socialite Dolly O’Brien is displaying a jeweled cigarette case to friends in New York. It’s a gift from Clark Gable… Frances Langford’s backless evening dresses prompted Bob Hope to quip: “She’s the biggest ham in Hollywood. She gets applause both coming and going.” … Myrna Loy has dieted away so much weight they’re thinking of changing the title of the series to The Thin Woman… Kathleen (Forever Amber) Winsor has purchased a Westwood home – with four bedrooms.

Sight of the week: Veronica Lake in a white turtleneck sweater for her role in The Blue Dahlia. Veronica, incidentally, will take a full year’s retirement from the screen to have her baby.

Frank Sinatra has promised pals, we are told, that he will take a punch at me the next time we meet. Apparently, we are feuding, dating back to the time he thought we said, over the radio, that he ought to be in the Army. Another radio commentator said this and we offered to submit our scripts as proof. Instead, Frankie goes on ignoring the truth.

If it is on the level that he will take a punch at me, there are certain stipulations. The fight must be staged for the benefit of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello’s foundation to prevent juvenile delinquency and I’ll spot him the first chorus of “I Couldn’t Sleep a Wink Last Night.” If such can be arranged, I promise to stay in there and keep punching, let the bobbysocks fall where they may.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 30, 1945)

Ernie Pyle Memorial Fund set up at Indiana University

Journalism scholarships will honor writer – plan he approved expanded

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (SHS) – Friends of Ernie Pyle planned today a living memorial to him on the campus of Indiana University, where he spent his college days.

Indiana University Foundation, Bloomington, Indiana, announced establishment of the Ernie Pyle Memorial Fund, to provide scholarships for journalism students – especially returning veterans of this war – lectures by the nation’s outstanding newspaper men, and a memorial room, or library wing in which will be maintained a permanent display of his manuscripts, photographs, letters and personal belongings.

Approved by Ernie

The project was launched before his death in action, and had been given his personal approval the last time he was on the university campus – when he was given an honorary degree last November.

Originally it was planned as a rather modest affair, to provide an Ernie Pyle Scholarship to promising students who wanted to learn to write – a subject close to his own heart.

Since his death, it has been expanded. Unsolicited gifts already have been arriving, Lawrence Wheeler, director of the Foundation at Bloomington, said today.

Servicemen contribute

Contributions have arrived from many men in service. In one or more army camps movements were reported underway to establish memorials, and sponsors of some of these have been in contact with the foundation.

Alumni of the university also have displayed a keen interest in the project, and were prepared to give it civilian support on a nationwide basis. More than 500 students have passed through the university’s School of Journalism.

The fund will be administered by the Board of Directors of the Indiana University Foundation.

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Wasn’t it a stray bullet that killed him? Who should we blame for that? Physics?

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The Pittsburgh Press (May 1, 1945)

New Superfortress will honor Pyle

NEW YORK (SHS) – William Pyle, father of the late Ernie Pyle, will christen a new Boeing Superfortress at Wichita, Kansas, this afternoon, naming it the Ernie Pyle. In the ceremony he will swing a bottle of water from the old family well in Indiana.

The bomber was purchased through sale among Boeing employees of $600,000 in Seventh War Loan bonds. It is being dedicated to Ernie’s memory at the request of the employees.

Mr. Pyle was accompanied by his Dana, Indiana, pastor, Rev. H. L. McBride.

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The Pittsburgh Press (May 3, 1945)

Pyle memorial May 15

LOS ANGELES, California – Mayor Fletcher Bowron today set aside May 15 as Ernie Pyle Memorial Day, when Los Angeles citizens will honor the late war correspondent, killed last month by a Jap machine-gun bullet.

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The Pittsburgh Press (May 4, 1945)

Group seeks blood donors in honor of Ernie

Friday, May 4, 1945

In honor of Ernie Pyle, who was killed in action on Ie Shima, off the coast of Okinawa, the B’nai B’rith Council of Pittsburgh is seeking 400 blood donors.

The 15th blood donor day is scheduled Wednesday, May 23, at the Red Cross Station, Wabash Building. I. H. Kantrowitz is general chairman of the drives aided by Myer M. Cohen.

Members of the Bakery Drivers Union, Local 485 (AFL), are conducting a drive to enroll donors in honor of 438 members of the union serving in the Armed Forces and in memory of seven members who have been killed. The donors are to meet at the Red Cross Center Tuesday, May 22. On the committee are F. H. Hofbauer, Fred Martin and William H. Tappe.

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The Pittsburgh Press (May 9, 1945)

Editorial: Ernie Pyle and V-E Day

Ernie Pyle had some ideas about V-E Day.

His ideas, we think, are pretty much the ideas of most G.I.’s.

He wrote them long before V-E Day, which he never lived to see. He wrote them from his heart and out of the long months in which he trudged the bitter, tragic paths of war – war, which he once described as “a flat, black depression without highlights, a revulsion of the mind and an exhaustion of the spirit.”

As we mark the end of fighting in Europe and turn to the tedious, painful months of death and anguish still to come in the Pacific war, listen to Ernie’s words on V-E Day:

The end of the war will be a gigantic relief, but it cannot be a matter of hilarity for most of us. Somehow it would seem sacrilegious to sing and dance when the great day comes – there are so many who can never sing and dance again.

We have won this war because our men are brave, and because of many other things – because of Russia, and England, and the passage of time, and the gift of nature’s materials.

We did not win it because destiny created us greater than all other peoples. I hope that in victory we are more grateful than we are proud. I hope we can rejoice in victory – but humbly. The dead men would not want us to gloat.

And all of us together will have to learn how to reassemble our broken world into a pattern so firm and so fair that another great war cannot soon be possible.

These are the words of a gifted writer, a writer who knew not only the filth and dirt and numbing horror of war, but knew the innermost confidences and thoughts and hopes and fears and ideas of the men who fight wars, and die in them.

For the great numbers of us at home, who have been so jubilant over the news from Europe, those of us who have fought the war in petty inconveniences and shortages, in small and paltry sacrifices, these are good words for us to know.

Let’s keep them in our minds until V-J Day, and in our hearts forever.


The Pittsburgh Press (May 13, 1945)

Ernie Pyle V Norman

What end of war means to G.I.’s who fought it

By Ernie Pyle

This excerpt is from the final chapter in Ernie Pyle’s book, Brave Men. It tells how the late war correspondent felt about the victory he saw coming in Europe, about the unfinished war in the Pacific, and about peace.

It will seem odd when, at some given hour, the shooting stops and everything suddenly changes again. It will be odd to drive down an unknown road without that little knot of fear in your stomach; odd not to listen with animal-like alertness for the meaning of every distant sound; odd to have your spirit released from the perpetual weight that is compounded of fear and death and dirt and noise and anguish.

The end of the war will be a gigantic relief, but it cannot be a matter of hilarity for most of us. Somehow it would seem sacrilegious to sing and dance when the great day comes – there are so many who can never sing and dance again.

For some of us, the war has already gone on too long. Our feelings have been wrung and drained; they cringe from the effort of coming alive again. Even the approach of the end seems to have brought little inner elation. It has brought only a tired sense of relief.

I do not pretend that my own feeling is the spirit of our armies. If it were, we probably would not have had the power to win. Most men are stronger.

Why we won

We have won because of many things. We have won partly because the enemy was weakened from our other battles. The victory here is the result of Russia, and the Western Desert, and the bombings, and the blocking of the sea. It is the result of Tunisia and Sicily and Italy; we must never forget or belittle those campaigns.

We have won because we have had magnificent top leadership, at home and in our allies and with ourselves overseas.

We won because we were audacious. One could not help but be moved by the colossus of our invasion. It was a bold and mighty thing, one of the epics of all history.

We have won this war because our men are brave, and because of many other things – because of Russia, and England, and the passage of time, and the gift of nature’s materials.

We did not win it because destiny created us better than all other peoples. I hope that in victory we are more grateful than we are proud. I hope we can rejoice in victory – but humbly. The dead men would not want us to gloat.

Half-peace, half-war

The end of one war is a great fetter broken from around our lives. But there is still another to be broken. The Pacific war may yet be long and bloody. Nobody can foresee, but it would be disastrous to approach it with easy hopes. Our next few months at home will be torn between the new spiritual freedom of half-peace and the old grinding blur of half-war. It will be a confusing period for us.

Thousands of our men will soon be returning to you. They have been gone a long time, and they have seen and done and felt things you cannot know. They will be changed. They will have to learn how to adjust themselves to peace.

And all of us together will have to learn how to reassemble our broken world into a pattern so firm and so fair that another great war cannot be possible.

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