A group of detectives is doing some sleuthing at Indiana University to determine whether a rare typewriter owned by an Oregon man once belonged to famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle.
Eric Warlick of Portland, Ore., contacted producers from PBS’ “History Detectives” in hopes of proving his vintage Corona 3 typewriter once belonged to Pyle, whose dispatches during World War II appeared in newspapers nationwide.
Warlick’s grandfather received the typewriter from an Army major who claimed it belonged to Pyle, said Chelsea Chick, the show’s associate producer.
Only two typewriters have been confirmed as belonging to Pyle. His employer, Scripps Howard Newspapers, in 1946, donated one to Indiana University, which Pyle had attended. Pyle had died a year earlier on an island off Okinawa.
The typewriter, Pyle’s passport, watch and Pulitzer Prize certificate are displayed in an IU journalism building bearing his name.
A second Pyle typewriter is in a museum in Albuquerque, N.M., where Pyle and his wife lived.
Chick said her team has been tracing Warlick’s typewriter for about two months. A crew from “History Detectives” has interviewed a museum curator in Albuquerque and planned to meet Tuesday with IU journalism professor Owen Johnson, who is working on a book of Pyle’s private letters.
Johnson said the war columnist was known to visit friends in Portland, but he noted the typeface on the Oregon typewriter doesn’t match that of Pyle’s letters.
“I’m not going to say it definitely was not used, but it was not the one that Pyle regularly used,” Johnson said.
The program will air during the season that starts next summer. No date has been announced.