Lt. Edmund DeVine Tells Of Talks With Ernie Pyle
CHICAGO—Lt. (jg) Edmund F. DeVine, USNR, of Ann Arbor, air intelligence officer with one of the leading fighter squadrons, has arrived in Chicago for a family reunion and a 30-day leave, after service on one of the Navy's busiest carriers with an action record that includes every major Pacific campaign since last October.
Lt. DeVine was greeted here by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank B. DeVine of Ann Arbor, and his sister, Beatrice, whose husband, Lt. (jg) Kevin Kennedy, is stationed at Great Lakes. After a brief visit with the Kennedys here, the lieutenant and his parents will return to Ann Arbor, where Lt. DeVine will spend the remainder of his leave.
Run Into Tempest
After being transported to the combat zone by an escort carrier, Lt. DeVine's squadron was moved Mboard their own flattop, a medium carrier of the Independence class and sister-ship of the ill-fated Princeton. The transfer was effected in the midst of a raging typhoon, and several skeptics, according to the lieutenant, fostered serious doubts as to whether their new home could weather the tempest.
But from then on it was one tempest after another, with the typhoon only a minor memory as ship and air group waded against the Japs in the Philippines, Formosa, the China Sea, Tokyo and the Inland sea, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Kyushu.
"We thought things would ease up toward the last,” he said, "but the Nips kept us on our toes constantly, throwing as many as 200 , planes into their attacks, and we just prayed that they'd leave us alone for even an hour.
“Our most interesting operation, though," he continued, “and one which we entered with fluttering hearts, was against enemy units in the Inland sea. We knew we could get in all right, but we were afraid of being trapped between the Philippines and Formosa on the way out. Tokyo provided even greater fears, and we thought we’d show Ernie Pyle, who came aboard just before this raid, a good show, but we had to disappoint him when the Japs proved so surprisingly quiet."
Then Went Ashore
It had been Pyle's intent to take a cruise on every type of Navy ship, but he left DeVine's ship to go ashore with the Marines at Okinawa...because he “felt more at home in a foxhole and their first meeting in almost two with the Marine and infantry type of warfare."
"Ernie at once became beloved by all aboard," related DeVine, "and though gentle and kind to all as he searched out every individual story, he had no sympathy for the occasional griper who complained of his food. Being so accustomed to K-rations in the trenches, he considered every Navy meal a banquet.
"We became close friends during his short tour," the lieutenant continued, "and he made no bones about hating war and wanting to get home for good. He hardly had time to really explore his new home in Albuquerque, and actually knew very few of the residents there. He continued the gruesome business of war reporting only because he felt it was his duty.”
Saw His Brother
Ed’s happiest day in the Pacific was provided by a reunion with his younger brother, John, also a Navy lieutenant and attached to the destroyer Wadsworth. It was was made possible when both of their ships were at anchor at an advanced base. Later the two ships operated in the same task group, but with brother John helping screen to Ed and his carrier, they never again were close enough for contact.
Besides the Pacific ribbon, which will soon be adorned by many battle-stars representing major engagements, Ed wears the Bronze Star and the Philippines Liberation ribbon with two stars, the latter an award by the Philippine government for those who participated in the liberation of the islands. The Bronze Star, which ranks above the Air Medal for fliers, came as the result of DeVine's excellence in disseminating intelligence material to his squadron during the peak of operations during October and November.
Following his leave, Lt. DeVine will report to San Francisco for further assignment.
Lt. (jg) Edmund F. DeVine