He was a celebrated World War II correspondent who became a household name and earned a Pulitzer Prize for his stories about hometown soldiers. But the photo that captured Ernie Pyle’s death on the battlefield only turned up recently, surprising historians, AP reports. The never-before-published photo shows Pyle lying on the ground after being shot by the Japanese in 1945.
An Army photographer captured the image but says the War Department withheld it out of respect for Pyle’s widow. Newseum, a news museum scheduled to open in Washington this year, may acquire one of a few known prints. "It's a striking and painful image, but Ernie Pyle wanted people to understand the sacrifices that soldiers had to make, so it's fitting that this photo of his own death drives home the reality and the finality of that sacrifice," said a professor.