by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

We had these old tin hats
upon out heads we wore,
they were made of 
rugged steel and they
really were a boor.

We wore them in the jungle,
we wore 'em on the shore,
we wore 'em doing every thing,
they were a bloody chore.

Some guys used them
as a pot to wash out
 their dirty socks,
some even made a stew
from the ration 
that they drew.

And some water
you could heat
for a shave
'twas hard to beat,
kept you lookin' 
 kinda neat.

In a pinch,
I am told,
you could even
dig a hole.

Many a guy’s
hat got a crease
by a bullet
he didn’t see.

That ol’ tin hat
had its place,
a fact I can’t deny,
and when I had 
to turn it in
I said a soft, 
“Good bye!”

*     *     *
The author: Robert Lin Cook served with Regimental Weapons Co. (2d-2d) from 1942–44, at Guadalcanal and Tarawa during a 33-month overseas tour.

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Our Ol' Tin Hats