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Articles tagged with: Lester Cowan

Ernie Pyle photos from "The Story of G.I. Joe", 1944 by Ned Scott

on Saturday, 08 January 2011. Posted in News

Newly acquired photographs of Ernie Pyle have just been posted on the website under Film Stars. Ned Scott created these images under the direction of producer Lester Cowan while the film was being shot in late 1944. A key feature of life then was the social process of smoking. Among Ernie's army pals, smoking was a cohesive force binding men together in difficult and stressful circumstances found on the battlefield. Ned Scott smoked as well, and he was always ready to light up since he had an Ohio Blue Tip match between his teeth most of the time. This habit caught on, as the photographs demonstrate, showing Ernie and newsman Lee Miller both chewing on the stick matches. Ned reflected later how much he enjoyed Ernie's company and how well they got along together. Ernie was convinced by Lester Cowan to do the film "The Story of G.I. Joe" despite the fact that film was not his genre. Nor was Hollywood an inspiring place or atmosphere for Ernie. But he was convinced to participate because he loved his army pals and wanted to celebrate their experiences in film just as he had in his own writings. It wasn't long after these photos were taken that Ernie packed up his gear and headed to the Pacific Theater. Ernie lost his life to a Japanese sniper during the battle for Okinawa in April, 1945. Lee Miller memorialized his friend Ernie and his accomplishments in his 1946 book "An Ernie Pyle Album". Several photographs attributed to Ned Scott appear in the book. These were shot on the set of the movie and include images of director William Wellman, actor Burgess Meridith (who payed Ernie's character in the movie), producer Lester Cowan, Ernie himself, and comedian and actor Bob Hope. William Wellman wrote his autobiography, "A Short Time for Insanity" in 1974. He chronicles his role in the film (and his role in convincing Ernie to participate). In the book there is a wonderful Ned Scott photograph of all the cast members in the film. These were men, veterans all, who had fought campaigns in Northern Africa, Sicily and Italy. Ernie knew them all and they played themselves in the film. As a result, this film is regarded as the most genuine and authentic war movie Hollywood ever made. I know my father was proud to have a hand in the making of this movie.

Ernie Pyle and Bob Hope on set of 'The Story of G.I. Joe"

Photograph of Ernie Pyle and Bob Hope sharing a moment on the set of "Story of G.I. Joe", by Ned Scott

New Photos from "The Story of G.I. Joe" discovered

on Saturday, 22 February 2014. Posted in News

The nursing shortage during WWII was acute.  The United States was fighing a war on two fronts in far flung areas of the globe.  Millions of men were engaged in combat.  By 1943, it was apparent to everyone that more nurses were immediately needed to care for wounded G.I.'s.  The Bolton Act of Juy 1, 1943 helped solve that problem by creating the Cadet Nurse Corps.  The act allowed accredited nursing schools in the U.S. to accellerate their training programs so that graduating nurses would be immediately available for transfer to combat areas.  Incoming candidates in their schools would receive free tuition and paid expenes, and in return these students would be required to serve in their communities as nurse substitutes until the war ended.  These students were called Cadet Nurses. 

This program was highlighted on the set of The Story of G.I. Joe during filming in the Fall of 1944.  Cadet Nurse Beulah Tyler was assigned to the production to represent the importance of the program to the U.S. Army.  Ned Scott had the opportunity to photograph her in her official Cadet Nurse uniform in a number of poses and situations.  She was a favorite of the combat veterans from the 34th Infantry Division who roamed the set in various film roles. 

Beulah Tyler is surrounded by admiring combat vets Corporal Pappy Nowlen, Pvt. Charles Rozell and Pvt. Fred Ross on the set of Story of G.I. Joe.


Cadet Nurse Beulah Tyler The Story of G.I. Joe