Ernie Pyle inducted into Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame


The Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame inducted Pulitzer Prize-winning World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle as part of the 2018 class of 21 new members.

The class of 2018 was enshrined Nov. 9 during a ceremony at the National Guard Armory in Lawrence.

The organization, which was launched five years ago, cut the ribbon in April on a new building at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Marion County.

Pyle became a bridge between the soldiers and sailors serving in World War II and their families at home. His columns focused on their lives in the armed forces, not grand strategy or military tactics.

He was so beloved that when he died from a Japanese machine gun bullet on the Pacific isle of Ie Shima that the announcement of his death was made by President Harry Truman.

Pyle was nominated for the Indiana Military Hall of Fame by Loogootee-born Kenny Greenwell. A Navy veteran, Greenwell said he became interested in World War II and the bravery of the greatest generation during his travels in the Navy.

Greenwell read about Ernie Pyle, visited various memorials in his honor and was quite impressed with all the facilities and organizations that existed in honor of, or were formed in tribute to Ernie Pyle.

He also noticed that Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes often mentioned Ernie Pyle so he read some books by Ernie and others about Ernie. When in West Lafayette, Greenwell helped get veterans housed in the Ernie Pyle Wing of the Indiana Veterans Home to the auditorium for mass on Saturday evenings.

Greenwell has served on the Board of Directors of Crane Credit Union for 40 years. When Crane, the Finance Center and other Credit Unions decided to support the creation of the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame (IMHOF), Greenwell became an instant proponent. He noticed after three years Ernie Pyle had not been nominated so he went to work.  He visited Dana, Pyle’s birthplace, which now is a part of the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum operated by the Friends of Ernie Pyle. He also visited Ernie’s grave in Hawaii as part of his research for the nomination.