Ernie Pyle Writes About Willow Run

Ernie Pyle was a Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent during World War Two, much beloved by the troops for having the courage to march alongside them into battle zones, reporting the war from “GI Joe’s” point of view. His reportage brought tales of sacrifice and courage home to the States, while boosting the morale of our fighting men overseas.

But what did Ernie Pyle have to say about Willow Run?

Ernie Pyle reports on the massive WW2 officer’s mess at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, remarking on the operation’s efficiency in feeding thousands of servicemen every day… by comparing it to Willow Run!

In his 1944 book, Brave Men, Ernie writes, “In London’s West End there was a mess for American officers. They believed it to be the biggest Army officers’ mess in the world. Sometimes they served six thousand meals a day.”

“The vast dining room seated nearly a thousand people, and sometimes it was emptied and refilled three times in one continuous operation during one meal. The mass of humanity flowed through so smoothly that the mess was affectionately known as ‘Willow Run.'”

Ernie Pyle shares a cigarette with soldiers on Okinawa in 1945, shortly before his death.

Ernie Pyle was a casualty of war, taking a bullet on the island of Okinawa in April of 1945 while doing his job… talking with ordinary soldiers and reporting on the war from their perspective.

In the words of Harry S. Truman, “No man in this war has so well told the story of the American fighting man as American fighting men wanted it told. He deserves the gratitude of all his countrymen.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said of Pyle, “I shall never forget how much I enjoyed meeting him here in the White House last year, and how much I admired this frail and modest man who could endure hardships because he loved his job and our men.”

Ernie Pyle was a national treasure, and his writings survive to tell of the bravery and sacrifice of the typical American soldier during WW2.

Willow Run is also a national treasure, a symbol of America’s preparedness for war and industrial might. Willow Run showcased the know-how of our industrial leaders and their engineers, and the determination of everyday working men and women. These were the forces that ensured Victory for America and her Allies in WW2.

Help us save, preserve, and renovate mighty Willow Run to become the future new home of the Yankee Air Museum!

Thank you for your support!
The Michigan Aerospace Foundation
The Yankee Air Museum
Campaign Co-chairmen: Jack Lousma, NASA Astronaut (retired); Bob Lutz, GM Executive (retired)

 

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