I have no idea what Ian Farmer is up to these days. He would be 18 or 19 by now. But at age 12, in November 2010, he could have taught a future President of the United States more about the real value of the Fourth Estate, as a force devoted to the public's right to know the truth, and to freedom of expression, than Donald Trump will ever know. Without the Press, Trump might not be speaking a language that passes for English today.
Trump was born almost 14 months to the day after war correspondent Ernie Pyle died on Iejima in Okinawa. But he cannot be forgiven for not grasping what Pyle and war correspondents like him did in the service of the free world. Ian Farmer was a Denver School of the Arts student when his one-boy performance of Pyle won the US Marine Corps History Award. Farmer's interest began when he saw Saving Private Ryan in 2008, and he started seeking out other movies and books about the war. Then he came across a 1945 copy of Here Is Your War, a collection of Pyle’s articles about the Allied campaign in North Africa, Italy, Sicily and France. Farmer was especially taken with “The Death of Captain Waskow”. Farmer created a solo performance centred on that essay and did so well at the Colorado History Day competition he was chosen to compete in the national contest in Bethesda, Maryland. There, judges from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation found his presentation so moving they awarded Farmer the Marine Corps History prize. He received the award in a ceremony in Arlington, Virginia.Above, members of the 77th Infantry Division erect a memorial to Pyle at Okinawa on the spot where Pyle was killed by machine gun fire in April 1945. Below, Pyle, at his makeshift desk in Europe.
Australian Alan Wood , considered one of the gutsiest war correspondents ever, types his despatch on September 18, 1944, at Arnhem in Holland. Wood was parachuted in behind enemy lines with the 1st British Airborne Division. He's lying in a ditch astride the Utrechtseweg near Oosterbeek.
TIME correspondent Bill Walton at his typewriter during the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944. Walton parachuted into Normandy with the 82nd Airborne Division.
A correspondent covers the Desert War in North Africa in 1942.
Above, Marguerite Higgins of the New York Herald Tribune and the News Chronicle on the Korean front lines, July 1950. Below, Higgins writing her copy in slightly safer surrounds.
Correspondents report from the front lines in the Korean War, 1950.
War correspondents on the Korean Press train.
When the all-out Allied air bombardment of Cherbourg opened on D-Day, Lee Carson Reeves of the International News Service flew over the beleaguered port with the bombers. She was the first Allied war correspondent to enter Paris after its liberation. Attached to the 4th Army, she rode in on a Jeep, and reported on the Parisian Hepcats and civilians who had resisted occupation. She later joined the 1st Army with fellow war correspondent Iris Carpenter and crossed the Seigfried Line at Aachen. Carpenter and Carson reported on the Battle of the Bulge and witnessed the first GIs meeting Russian troops. On April 15, 1945, assigned to the task force which liberated the Castle, Carson entered Colditz and took the only photo of the "cock" glider, built by inmates and hidden in an attic. A week later Carson was present at the liberation of the Erla work camp at Leipzig, where she was horrified at the suffering of the inmates.
In the music room of Goebbels' house, Allied war correspondents write their stories.
Russ Monro was the Canadian Press's lead war correspondent in Europe in World War II. He covered a Canadian raid in Spitsbergen, the 1942 raid on Dieppe, the Allied landings in Sicily, the Italian campaign, D-Day and the campaign in North-western Europe. His memoirs of the campaigns, published as From Gauntlet to Overlord, won the Governor General's Award for English-language non-fiction in 1945. Monro later covered the Korean War.
CBS News journalist Quentin Reynolds spews out the copy on Anzac Day 1944. Reynolds was associate editor at Collier's Weekly from 1933-45 and published 25 books, including The Wounded Don't Cry. But after World War II he was accused of being "yellow" and an "absentee war correspondent" by right-wing Hearst columnist Westbrook Pegler. Reynolds won $175,001 in damages. But in 1953 he was found guilty of publishing fake news. At least back then the liars got found out.
Above, Floyd Gibbons, who lost an eye in World War I, types his story at the Denver Post, and below in a hotel room in Washington DC. Covering the Battle of Belleau Wood in France, Gibbons was hit by German gunfire while attempting to rescue an American soldier. He was given France's greatest honour, the Croix de Guerre with Palm, for his valour on the field of battle.
A Vietnam War correspondent carries his Olympia De Luxe Traveller portable in Saigon on April 29, 1975, as Communist troops circle the city.