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State transfers Ernie Pyle home to nonprofit

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INDIANAPOLIS – The state has transferred ownership of Ernie Pyle's home and an adjacent museum to a nonprofit group that will now operate both for tourists.

The Friends of Ernie Pyle are taking over the Hoosier journalist's home in Dana, which had previously been operated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Indiana State Museum. The group formed after state officials decided in 2009 to close the facility.

The site, located in Dana, is dedicated to Pyle's time as a World War II correspondent after the state stopped operating the property in 2009. It has been renamed the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum and will focus on teaching visitors about World War II and the generation of American men and women who fought it.

"Primarily, the museum will always exist to honor and commemorate Dana's native son, Ernie Pyle," said Cynthia Myers, president of the Friends of Ernie Pyle. "But we also want to use this special place to honor all World War II veterans and their place in history. We think Ernie would have wanted it that way."

Pyle died at age 44 on April 18, 1945, when on assignment as a war correspondent. He was struck by a machine gunner's bullet on Ie Shima, a small island near Okinawa in the South Pacific.

A nationwide fundraising campaign is in the works to help ensure that the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum will remain open and accessible.

Timothy Cox is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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