Ernie Pyle.

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Photo Engineer, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Photo Engineer

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  2. Jim Jones

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    When I was on Okinawa in 1967-1969 there seemed to be hundreds of memorials to the Japanese and Okinawan war dead. Only three memorials were to Americans. One was to the American commanding general, Simon Buckner, who was killed by shell fire near the front lines a few days before the end of the battle. One was to a conscientious objector and medic, the late Desmond Doss. Google for his remarkable story. The third was on Ie Shima to Ernie Pyle. The original crude memorial erected by the 77th Inf. Div had, by 1968, been replaced by a modest and permanent one. It is interesting that only one of the three memorials was to a career officer, son of a Civil War general. The other two were to men who did not fight, but served in their own ways.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

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    Buckner was famous for his last words Jim. They were offshore in the water coming in for a landing and Buckner was standing upright to view the scene in the Bay. His aide said "shouldn't you get down general? they might shoot you here." and he said "Nah, we're too far a........."

    We called it Buckner Bay. The club build by the USA overlooking that bay had great food.

    PE
     
  4. IloveTLRs

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    The article is by Richard Pyle. Is that a coinsidence?
     
  5. Photo Engineer

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    Yes. It mentions that in the article at the end.

    PE
     
  6. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Similar final quotes have been credited to soldiers as far back as the Civil War, but it wasn't the last words by Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., on Okinawa. The Japanese were well dug in, and their artillary was sometimes precisely sighted in so their very first shot could be right on target. When they noticed the commotion that often accompanies a commanding general, they nailed him. It happened on the southern part of the Island, fairly near the west coast as I recall. I haven't been to the site for almost 40 years, and don't remember exactly. The memorial, like those for Pyle and Doss, were modest in comparison to many erected by the Japanese.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

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    Jim;

    I got the quote and saw a memorial on the east coast of Okinawa at Buckner Bay. As in war, there is fog in rememberance as well. History is often written by those who were not there. Buckner bay is on the east coast, Kadena and Naha are on the west coast. Naha is the site of the Teahouse of the August Moon. We usually overflew it and Naha field on our way into Kadena. I have posted a picture of that in my gallery. Naha in the photo is on the right, out of sight, Kadena is straight ahead, and Buckner bay is also straight ahead across the island to the east.

    PE
     
  8. Jim Jones

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    There may well be a Buckner memorial on the east coast because of the bay named after him. I couldn't pinpoint the site where he was killed, but it apparently isn't too far from Naha. Unfortunately, the online maps of Okinawa I've seen have dropped some of the American names used decades ago in favor of Japanese names, and usually are marked in Japanese. I never learned most of the characters for those names. Also, the roads, once pessimistically described as "The World's best system of impassible roads," are totally unfamiliar to me after these 39 years. In 15 months I drove about 25,000 miles in a miserable Japanese car, nowhere as big and powerful as a Volkswagon bug. Few Okinawans knew those roads as well. Now the island seems covered in golf courses and other vacation facilities for the rest of the Japanese.
     
  9. Curt

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    I came into Buckner Bay at the pier via ship, went to Kedana for a while, spent some time in the clearest water I have ever dived in, saw the caves and imagined what the big war was like while trying to forget the current war at the time. There was only one Ernie Pyle that's for sure.