Lewis Puller enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1918 at the age of twenty. That day he and the Corps formed a bond that would forever link them together in history. "Chesty" received his nickname for his barrel chest, but he became a legend in his own time while serving valiantly in Haiti, Nicaragua, the Pacific during WW2, and Korea. His record of earning five Navy Crosses for valor has never been matched, nor has his place in Marine Corps history as one of the finest combat officers ever. Good night, Chesty Puller, wherever you are!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Robert Leckie -- Author and War Hero

 James Badge Dale as Robert Leckie in HBO's The Pacific

Robert Leckie is the author of Helmet For My Pillow, one of two books that form the basis for HBO's The Pacific. He is also one of the main characters and had the most screen time during episode one. After watching the first episode of The Pacific I wanted to know more about Mr. Leckie and thought I would share what I found.

 Robert Leckie Saluting

Sorry this doesn't directly have something to do with Chesty Puller, but I figure if you love Chesty you might also want to learn about other great Marines.

Robert Leckie and the actor who plays him, James Badge Dale

Robert Leckie (December 18, 1920 – December 24, 2001) was an American author of popular books on the military history of the United States. As a young man, he served in the Marine Corps with the 1st Marine Division during World War II. His experiences as a machine gunner and intelligence scout during the Battle of Guadalcanal and later campaigns are said to have greatly influenced his writing.

Leckie was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 18, 1920 to an Irish Catholic family of eight children. He grew up in Rutherford, New Jersey. He began his professional writing career, before World War II, at age 16 as a sports writer for The Record of Hackensack in Hackensack.

The 1st Marines take a break from killing the enemy

In 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served in combat in the Pacific theater, as a scout and a machine gunner in the 1st Marine Division. He participated in every major 1st Marine Division campaign except Okinawa.

Getting ready to hit the Beach

Following World War II, Leckie worked as a reporter for the Associated Press, the Buffalo Courier-Express, the New York Journal American, the New York Daily News and The Star-Ledger. His first and best-selling book, Helmet for My Pillow, a personal war memoir, was published in 1957. Leckie subsequently wrote more than 40 books on American war history, spanning from the French and Indian War (1754–1763) to Desert Storm (1991). (source wiki  )

 Leckie (actor James Badge Dale) on Guadalcanal

I just started reading Helmet For My Pillow and it is pretty damn good. Leckie starts the book with his journey to Parris Island and tells one hell of a story. Check it out!

Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific 

Leckie in his Marine Dress

Want to learn more about Robert Leckie? Check out this Interview he did 1995.

God Bless You Robert 

More to come later, and don't forget, episode 2 of The Pacific airs tonight at 9pm on HBO.


Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Chesty Puller was the man!

Anonymous said...

The Pacific is awesome. I'm glad it led me to a great book like "Helmet For My Pillow".

It took a long time, but people like Leckie deserve the props they are now finally getting.

parrow1978 said...

Thanks for the comments. And yes, "Helmet For My Pillow" is a great book.

Anonymous said...

Bob Leckie was the cool i loved the pacific on hbo

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