Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 30: Ernie Pyle Bill Passed

On this date in History .... June 30, 1944:

Congress passes Public Law 393 giving soldiers 50% more pay for combat service. This bill was also known as the Ernie Pyle Bill.  

Pyle, a famous war correspondent, born and raised in Indiana, had dropped out of Indiana University just one semester before graduating to work for an Indiana newspaper.  Within a few months, he was working for a Washington D.C. paper, lured by the extra pay of $2.50 per week.  

Pyle with the infantry
on Okinawa

As a war correspondent, he had pushed for extra combat pay for the infantry in his columns. Airmen already received flight pay, and Pyle, who traveled mostly with the infantry, believed these “underdogs of the military” should receive comparable “fight pay”. 

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