“No man in this war has so well told the story of the American fighting man as American fighting men wanted it told,” wrote Harry Truman. “He deserves the gratitude of all his countrymen.”
THIS is the final book of Ernie Pyle’s war reporting. After Africa, Italy, and D-Day on the European continent, Pyle took it the hard way again. There was still the Pacific war to win, and where the fighting was Ernie had to go, soul-sick though he was with the thousands of scenes of death and destruction he had already witnessed.
He was attached to the Navy early in 1945. In the Marianas first and then living with the boys who flew the B-29s over the Japanese homeland, Pyle was experiencing a side of the war that was new to him. Next he joined an aircraft carrier on the invasion of Okinawa. He made the landing with the Marines and saw Okinawa secured.
Then his luck ran out. A Japanese bullet killed Ernie Pyle on April 17th, 1945 on Ie Shima, and Americans lost their greatest and best-loved correspondent. Millions mourned the going of this modest man who wrote of the war with all honesty and no pretensions, and whose writings will stand as one of the most vital records of the struggle. LAST CHAPTER is a brief, brave little book to complete that record permanently. There is a sixteen-page picture section and an index of names and places.