John Thompson of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE saw a great deal of the Second World War. He had witnessed to the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of Paris and the horrors of the Buchenwald death camp. Throughout his life, Thompson held the distinction of being the last surviving war correspondent to land on Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings. This small piece was written in 1943 and pertains to some of his experiences in North Africa and Sicily:
"John Thompson was an old hand at Army parachute jumping... In North Africa he had become the first reporter to make a combat jump with the paratroopers at Algiers."
"So when the huge transport planes lifted into the sky from North Africa and headed toward the Sicilian shore, John Thompson sat in one of them with his parachute rigging in place. When the planes belched forth their human cargo over the Italian island, he was one of the first black specks floating slowly toward earth."
His editor told him to cut it out.
By the end of the war, Thompson had been awarded the Purple Heart, nine battle stars and was the first correspondent to receive the Medal of Freedom.
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