Ernie Pyle Suffered Just Like Everyone Else.

by Daniel Russ on March 15, 2020

 

About a thousand GIs and British soldiers who showed signs of Malaria were left behind before the HUSKY transports departed. Another ten thousand cases would sweep across 7th Army and another twelve thousand through the British 8th Army.

 

The Catalania Plains in the area around Messina in north east Sicily feature swamps, and so invaders also suffered Dengue Fever, sandfly and Malta fever, and all of these casualties represented more casualties that were taken in combat.

 

“A frail little fellow in Army fatigue coveralls, carrying a bedroll.

 

Ernie Pyle had been diagnosed with malaria and then dysentery. “Too much dust, bad eating, not enough sleep, and the unconscious nervous tension that comes to everyone in a front-line zone.”

 

Pyle noted that “Dying men were brought into our tent, men whose death rattle silenced the conversation and made us all thoughtful…. and dirt and exhaustion reduce human faces to such a common denominator.”

 

“The dying man was left utterly alone, just lying there on his litter on the ground, lying in an aisle because the tent was full…..the aloneness of that man as he went through the last minutes of his life was what tormented me.”

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