Brian Keith Posted February 22, 2022 Share #1 Posted February 22, 2022 In the early/mid-1980’s I put on WW II military history exhibits for Ernie Pyle Days in Dana, IN. I became friends with the curator of the historic Ernie Pyle Home, run by the State of Indiana. One time, she asked me to come up to see somethings they had just received from one of the family members. These were his personal items sent to the family after he was killed on Ie Shima. I made a few layouts and photo’s. In this photo I made, (I was doing a lot of B&W photography at the time-dark room and all) you see his lighter with “EP” scratched on it, his small AWOL type bag with his name, one of his Navy caps with the Correspondent insignia, and a shirt with a Navy Correspondent patch. Not in this photo, but in the grouping of items was his “Jeep” cap also. I can’t say what brand of lighter this is. I’m not sure if these items are even on display anywhere now. If you don’t know who Ernie Pyle was, and you like military history, you owe it to yourself to read about him and then read his books. Now, to tell a bit of a story of how I became friends with the curator, a very sweet lady. The first time I visited the site, I noticed that there was some Vietnam-Era web gear on display. Also, one of his shirts in an exhibit had the War Correspondent insignia on the wrong side. I very nicely asked her about these things. She said she had bought the web gear at an Army-Navy store for the display and that she had actually switched the insignia from the other shoulder because it fit the display she made better. I (again, very nicely) explained that there were regulations as to where the insignia was worn and to change it was not something that should be done. I actually had stopped at an antique mall that day and had purchased a WW II canteen set (cover made by the Hoosier Mfg. CO.) and I think a pistol belt. I actually went back to my car, got them, gave them to her and asked her to swap out the Vietnam-era items with these. I also mentioned that she should make note on the labels that they are examples of the type of items he would have carried, but were not his items. At one of the Ernie Pyle Days we set up at, one of the Speakers was Andy Rooney, (WW II Stars and Stripes correspondent) he visited the display and told me a story of when he “captured” a German. He still had the P-38 pistol he took from him. I wonder where it is now! Thanks for looking, BKW Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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