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Ernie Pyle Photos

These Ernie Pyle photos  taken by Ned Scott all originated from the process of filming The Story of G.I. Joe in 1944.  Ernie Pyle had arrived on the set of the film at the request of independent film producer Lester Cowan.  It was late in 1944, and Ernie had already been to the overseas war theater twice, once to North Africa and Sicily, and then to Southern Italy and France.  These sojourns as a U.S. War Correspondent had served as journalistic basis for his two books, Here Is Your War and Brave Men. Ernie's role while there in Hollywood was to polish the movie script which had already been created.  Over the few short weeks he was there, however, his presence became a story in and of itself.  He lent a unique quality to the filming process because of who he was to all war veterans, serving soldiers and news-reading Americans everywhere.

Ernie had an infectious sense of humor which was on display while he toured the front lines in combat areas.  He was no pampered or special envoy.  Never shrinking from the sometimes brutal enemy fire, Ernie shared the privations of the regular army doughfoot by hunkering down with them as they took cover from shrieking artillery shells and diving aircraft.  His willingness to get dirty at the front endeared him to his men, and when he interviewed them at slack times, they willingly opened up with their stories.  Everything about them was important to Ernie, where they lived, sisters or brothers, where they attended school and such mundane facts.   His style of writing was therefore simple and clear, but at the same time, it was eloquent.

New Ernie Pyle photos by Ned Scott will be added to the gallery as they are unearthed, and we hope you enjoy these that are here.  

According to Lee Miller,  Ernie habitually went two or three days without shaving.  He could often be seen with a visible stubble, as seen here.  Portrait from the set of The Story of G.I. Joe. According to Lee Miller,  Ernie habitually went two or three days without shaving.  He could often be seen with a visible stubble, as seen here.  Portrait from the set of The Story of G.I. Joe. Ernie Pyle poses for Ned Scott under the bas-relief statue of the Virgin Mary.  Nothing was suggested by Ned Scott when he posed Ernie for this image, just the form complemented the man.  Though Ernie looks larger here, he only weighed in at 110 pounds. While working on the movie set, Ned Scott could always be found chewing on a match stick, an Ohio Bue Tip ,atch stick to be precise.  And when he was not chewing on a stick, he was lighitng up and enjoying one of his Kent cigarettes.  Ernie Pyle and Burgess Meredith decided to imitate Ned Scott with synchronous poses for this photograph.  It was a light moment, one of many, and it speaks to the sense of comradery these men all felt toward one another on the set of Story of G.I. Joe. Pausing for a moment's reflection, Ernie Pyle, author of Here Is Your War and Burgess Meredith, star of the upcoming movie Story of G.I. Joe share thoughts while on the movie set.
Lee Miller extends a courtesy to Ernie Pyle, lighting his cigarrette while both men take a monent's pause while on the movie set of Story of G.I. Joe.  Dressed in their War Correspondent's uniforms, both men assisted in the making of the film by polishing the script.  And the presence of Ernie Pyle energized the combat war veterans who participated in the film as cast members.  Both men were very good friends having been in the news business together for many years.  There is an ease, an intimacy shown here between these two which only the ritual of lighting a cigarrette can properly convey. Burgess Meredith, star of Story of G.I. Joe, walks the movie set with Ernie Pyle who is dressed in his AWC (American War Correspondent) uniform, discussing the upcoming filming of the movie. Burgess Meredith discusses Ernie Pyle's new book Here Is Your War with Ernie Pyle on the set of The Story of G.I. Joe.  Meredith had been furloughed from active duty as a captain in the U. S. Army by the War Department, and here he is wearing his regulation uniform with captain's rank insignia.  Meredith plays the role of Ernie Pyle in the movie. Ernie Pyle and one of the soldiers relax between filming of the movie.  Surrounding Ernie are authentic weapons and battle gear from the film production. Ernie Pyle takes a break on the bombed out set of the movie Story of G. I. Joe.  Leaning against metal stack, Ernie sizes up the situation while dressed in his War Correspondent's uniform. Ernie Pyle talks with the children who were visiting the set of Story of G.I. Joe.  These were the children of Tom Treanor, a distinguished war correspondent, who was Ernie's contemporary and friend in the European theater of the war.  The children's names are Tommy, 11, John, 9 and Cordelia, 6.  Mrs. Tom Treanor, the correspondent's widow, looks on with satisfaction and approval.  Tom Treanor lost his life covering the conflict.
One of Ernie's fellow War Correspondents assigned to the film production of The Story of G. I. Joe teases Ernie about his regulation haircut and knit hat which Ernie always wore at the front. Burgess Meredith who played the role of Ernie in the film, looks on with approval.  On the set during filming, Meredith wore this hat or one identical to it for authenticity. Ernie chats with Morrie Riskind on the set of The Story of G.I. Joe.  Riskind, himself a Pulitzer Prize winner and a distinguished playwright, wound up of the set of The Story of G.I. Joe to assist in polishing the script for Director William Wellman and Independent film producer Lester Cowan. Ernie Pyle interviews Pvt. Kenneth Fowler of the 34th Infantry Division, a combat veteran of the North African and Sicilian campaigns of 1942-43.  Ernie Pyle performed many similar interviews while serving as a U.S. War Correspondent during his tour of duty with the U.S. Army.  These interviews formed the basis of his many news dispatches sent to outlets back in the United States.  And these together with his own stories of his many weeks at the front create the core of his famous book , Here Is Your War, on which the film The Story of G.I. Joe is based. Ernie Pyle poses with Corporal James Slayton, one of the most decorated G.I.'s of World War II.  At Camp Baldwin, the headquarters for the infantry company which appeared in The Story of G.I. Joe, the track which circumnavigated the camp was renamed Pyle Road in Ernie's honor.  With arms outstretched , a  bas-relief statue of the Virgin Mary gathers protectively behind Ernie Pyle as he poses on the set of The Story of G.I. Joe.  Ned Scott was making a hopeful statement with this prosaic pose.  Keep Ernie Safe.  In October and November of 1944 when this photograph was taken, no one could have predicted the tragic fate which would befall Ernie has he ventured to the Pacific Theater in 1945 on non-combatant duty as a U.S. War Correspondent. Lee G. Miller, former editor of the Washington Daily News and Ernie Pyle relax on the set of The Story of G.I. Joe as they observe filming in progress.  Lee Miller and Ernie had been friends for many years in the news business.  Both Miller and Paige Cavanaugh, another of Ernie's close news buddies joined Ernie on the set of the film as paid consultants.  Producer Lester Cowan no doubt agreed to this idea which most  likely emerged in the many discussions surrounding the final tweaking of the movie script.
Ernie Pyle relaxes with Special Forces Army officers (Rangers), combat veterans of the D-Day Campaign, on the set of The Story of G.I. Joe. Ernie Pyle, here wearing his War Correspondent's uniform, relaxes with actor Burgess Meredith on the film set of "The Story of G.I. Joe."  In the film Meredith plays the role of Ernie Pyle, decorated war correspondent, during the Allies drive to Rome after landing on the boot of the Italian Penninsula in WWII.  Ernie stayed about three weeks on set while the film was in porduction, then he shipped out to the West Pacific where he ulitmately lost his life at the hands of a Japanese sniper.  Director William Wellman's epic war drama "The Story of G.I. Joe", 1945.