Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

War Reporting Is Hell, Too 'Assignment to Hell' Details the Famous Journalists Who Witnessed the Worst in World War II

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

War Reporting Is Hell, Too 'Assignment to Hell' Details the Famous Journalists Who Witnessed the Worst in World War II

Article excerpt

"ASSIGNMENT TO HELL: THE WAR AGAINST NAZI GERMANY WITH CORRESPONDENTS WALTER CRONKITE, ANDY ROONEY, A.J. LIEBLING, HOMER BIGART, AND HAL BOYLE"

By Timothy M. Gay.

NAL/Caliber ($26.95).

'If you ever have to go to war," Walter Cronkite said late in life, "don't go by glider." Gliders in wartime do not always glide the way they are supposed to, and the canvas-covered, aluminum- framed one carrying Cronkite to cover Operation Market Garden in September 1944 broke apart upon impact with the ground, tossing him and soldiers and equipment all over the landing spot in Holland.

Actually, Cronkite had "gone to war" long before that. He had come to the European Theater as a United Press correspondent in August 1942 and seen war in many of its forms, including the North Africa campaign, B-17 bombing missions and the D-Day landing.

Though to most Americans today World War II war correspondence is mainly associated with the name Ernie Pyle, there were hundreds of journalists covering various areas of the war for varying lengths of time. Five of the best and longest-serving are chronicled in Timothy M. Gay's broadly reasearched "Assignment to Hell."

Cronkite, who went on to fame as a broadcast journalist for CBS, was the longest serving. From 1942 until 1946, when he covered the Nuremberg trials, he never -- unlike the others -- got leave back to the States.

Hal Boyle, of the Associated Press, called himself "the poor man's Ernie Pyle." His columns and style of reporting on the average GI never received the acclaim that Pyle's did, but he did, like Pyle, receive a Pulitzer Prize for it.

Homer Bigart, a former Herald Tribune copyboy, overcame a stutter and a truncated education to become perhaps the most knowledgeable and respected of all war correspondents. He won two Pulitzers, the second for Korean War reportage.

Andy Rooney was an Army sergeant reporting for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes. Along with Cronkite and Bigart, he was one of a group of eight journalists known as the Writing 69th trained to fly on bomber missions with the 8th Air Force. (The name was a play on the Fighting 69th, nickname of New York's 69th Infantry Regiment. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.