On Patrol Magazine September 2015 : Page 94

By Sandi Moynihan 94 | www.uso.org

REPORTING FROM THE FRONT LINES

Sandi Moynihan

The Life and Legacy of WWII War Correspondents

After writing one too many stories about troops who had taken off to bomb Germany never to come back, Andy Rooney, along with seven other World War II correspondents, wanted to see the action.

“We were tired of going up to those air bases and interviewing young guys our age that had lost friends in battle and returning to the comforts of London that night,” Rooney said, according to Timothy Gay’s book, Assignment to Hell.

So, in a bold move, the reporters requested permission to ride along on an air raid so they could write about the dangers of bombing missions through vivid, firsthand accounts.

After weeks of begging, the reporters finally got their wish and were sent to gunnery school for a week of intensive training to prepare for the assignment. Despite their noncombatant status as journalists, the military insisted the reporters, who dubbed themselves the “Writing 69th,” needed to have enough combat knowledge to be helpful in case something went wrong during the flight.

On the morning of February 26, 1943, six of the seven reporters took off for battle in their respective planes, unsure of the stories they would return with. A few hours into their mission, the Writing 69th got what they came up to see. The Luftwaffe had spotted their formation and attacked.

“We were shot at,” Rooney told On

Read the full article at http://bt.royle.com/article/REPORTING+FROM+THE+FRONT+LINES/2247033/269684/article.html.

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