by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

As snow falls gently
by my door my
thoughts go back
once more to
when we stood watch
 on a foreign shore
that stood in 
harm's way.

We were sent 
to fend off
the foe
who menaced
those upon
this shore
of icy ground
 not yet secure.
'Twas a job for the
Leatherneck Corps.

We came afar
from a land that
knew not war yet
her sons stood watch
as oft before
to keep the flame
of freedom bright.
Our flag flew
through the night.

We stood our ground
in ice and snow
and watched
the ice-bound coast.
Our hands turned blue
our spirits too
 yet we stood both
proud and true
for we were the
Leatherneck Corps.

"For the wind blows cold
in Iceland" to quote
from another's score,
"to take a stand
in a faroff land
is a job for the
Leatherneck Corps"

There we stayed,
unafraid as
the wind howled 
o'er the hills.
We hunkered down
on frozen ground,
it took a lot of will.

Snow that drifts
by my window
brings thoughts
that won't go away,
I guess I'll recall
until my dying day.

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

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One of the most noticeable changes in the Marine Corps uniform at the outset of World War II was the transition from the M1917A1 helmet (above), reminiscent of World War I, to the familiar M1 helmet of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Mountainous landscape, glacier formations, and overall rugged and inhospitable terrain provided the background to the Marine camps set up in Iceland. Pictured left is a Nissen hut built by Marines after their arrival.
Click here to read
two chapters about
Iceland in Dick Bailey's
WWII memoir.