OUTPOST IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC: Marines in the Defense of Iceland
by Colonel James A. Donovan, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)
The basic sources for this work are: History of
U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II Pearl Harbor to
Guadalcanal by LtCol Frank O. Hough, Maj Verle E. Ludwig, and Henry
I. Shaw, Jr. (Washington: Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters
U.S. Marine Corps, 1958); A Brief History of the 6th Marines
(Washington: Marine Corps Historical Center, 1987) by LtGen William K.
Jones, USMC (Ret): Follow Me! The Story of the Second Marine Division
in World War II (New York: Random House, 1948) by Richard W.
Johnston; The Battle of the Atlantic (Alexandria, Virginia:
Time-Life Books, 1977) by Barrie Pitt and Time-Life editors; The
United States Marines: 1775-1975 (New York: Viking Press, 1976) by
BGen Edwin H. Simmons, USMC (Ret); The United States Marine Corps
(New York: Praeger, 1967) by Col James A. Donovan, USMC (Ret); The
United States Marines in Iceland (Washington: Historical Division,
HQMC, 1970) by LtCol Kenneth J. Clifford, USMCR; "Iceland," Marine
Corps Gazette, Nov65; The First Marine Brigade (Provisional)
1941-1942 (Washington: Historical Division, HQMC, 1946) by John L.
Zimmerman; Mr. Roosevelt's Navy (Annapolis: United States Naval
Institute Press, 1975) by Patrick Abbazia; and U.S. Marine Corps
Aviation (Washington: DCNO [Air Warfare] and ComNavAirSys, 1978) by
MajGen John P. Condon, USMC (Ret).
All oral history transcripts addressing the Marine
deployment to Iceland were examined. The interviews with the following
officers were found particularly useful: Gen Oliver P. Smith; MajGen
William A. Worton; MajGen Raymond L. Murray; and LtGen Leo D. Hermle. In
addition, the diary, notes, and comments of LtCol Oliver P. Smith about
his duties as CO, 1stBn, 6th Mar, serving at San Diego, California, and
Iceland were researched in the Personal Papers Collection, Marine Corps
Besides the letters, photographs, interview tapes,
and personal papers of the author, others from the following were
gratefully received and useful in writing this history: LtCol Harold K.
Throneson, USMC (Ret); Gen David M. Shoup, USMC (Ret) (Dec) (letters and
papers furnished by Mrs. D.M. Shoup); Col David E. Marshall, USMC (Ret);
LtCol Robert J. Vroegindewey, USMC (Ret); and Col James O. Appleyard,
USMC (Ret). The files of the Reference and Archives Sections of the
Marine Corps Historical Center were also searched for material and
official documentation relating to the Marine deployment to Iceland.
About the Author
Colonel James A. Donovan, U.S. Marine Corps
(Retired), entered the Marine Corps via the 1938 Western Platoon Leaders
Class. He was commissioned in the Reserve upon graduation from Dartmouth
College in 1939 and went on active duty with Chicago's 9th Reserve
Battalion in 1940.
He soon was assigned to the 5th Marines and remained
in the regiment throughout World War II, participating in battles at
Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, and Tinian. He served as platoon leader,
company commander, operations officer, and finally executive officer of
the 1st Battalion. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Silver Star
After World War II, he was editor of
Leatherneck Magazine. During the Korean War he was assigned to
1st Marine Division and later went to 3d Marine Division on Okinawa to
command the 2d Battalion, 9th Marines.
He retired from active service in November 1963 and
became publisher of the Army, Navy, Air Force Journal. In 1967 he
went to work at Georgia Tech in public relations and publications, and
retired in 1980.
Colonel Donovan is the author of The United States
Marine Corps (Praeger, 1967) and Militarism, U.S.A.
THIS PAMPHLET HISTORY, one in a series devoted
to U.S. Marines in the World War II era, is published for the education
and training of Marines by the History and Museums Division,
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as a part of the U.S.
Department of Defense observance of the 50th anniversary of victory in
Editorial costs of preparing this pamphlet have been
defrayed in part by a bequest from the estate of Emilie H. Watts, in
memory of her late husband, Thomas M. Watts, who served as a Marine and
was the recipient of a Purple Heart.
WORLD WAR II COMMEMORATIVE SERIES
DIRECTOR OF MARINE CORPS HISTORY AND MUSEUMS
Brigadier General Edwin H. Simmons, USMC (Ret)
WORLD WAR II COMMEMORATIVE SERIES
Benis M. Frank
George C. MacGillivray
EDITING AND DESIGN SECTION, HISTORY AND MUSEUMS DIVISION
Robert E. Struder, Senior Editor; W. Stephen Hill, Visual
Catherine A. Kerns, Composition Services
Technician, R.D. Payne, VolunteerWeb Edition, and Patrick Clancey,
Marine Corps Historical Center
Building 58, Washington Navy Yard
Washington, D.C. 20374-5040
PCN 190 003118 00