This typewriter, a Corona (before the merger made Smith-Corona), belonged to Ernie Pyle, the columnist famous for traveling with the the foot soldiers of all services in World War II. Pyle won a Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for his columns in 1943, published collectively in the books Here is Your War and Brave Men. Pyle was killed covering the end of World War II in the Pacific, on an island named Ie Shima, on April 18, 1945.
The typewriter rests in the Albuquerque Museum. It comes with a story.
[Quote] Ernie Pyle interviewed Sergeant Don Bell, a rodeo rider, in June or July 1944 outside of St. Lo, France. Bell recalled that the foxhole they shared caved in during German shelling. Pyle said, “I have my notes, but my little portable typewriter is buried in that hole.” They hurriedly abandoned the foxhole, leaving the typewriter behind.
Sgt. Bell later salvaged it, kept it through the war, and donated it to the Museum in 1990. A photograph of Pyle in Normandy, typing on an Underwood, may have been taken after this event.
Bell recalled the interview as comforting. He wrote, “…Ernie had taken my ma’s wisdom and turned it into a soldier’s lesson: to find strength in battle you take hold of strength you’ve known at home…and of the faith that underlies it.” [End quote]