Remembering US Marine John Basilone A Hero of World War II as John Basilone was a United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who became a national hero during World War II. Born in Buffalo, New York, on November 4, 1916, he was the sixth of ten children in an Italian immigrant family. Growing up, Basilone worked odd jobs and played sports, but his real passion was for the military. He enlisted in the Army in 1934 but was honorably discharged a year later due to health issues. He then worked as a truck driver and boxer before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1940.
Basilone was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and was stationed in the Pacific theater during World War II. He saw action in Guadalcanal, where he was awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery and leadership during a brutal battle against Japanese forces. He was one of only two Marines to receive this award for actions on Guadalcanal.
Basilone’s heroism at Guadalcanal made him a celebrity back home, and he was sent on a war bond tour to help raise money for the war effort. However, he was determined to return to the front lines and requested to be sent back into combat. In 1945, he was sent to Iwo Jima, where he was killed in action on February 19, 1945.
John Basilone’s legacy lives on, and he is remembered as one of the greatest heroes in Marine Corps history. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Iwo Jima, making him the only enlisted Marine to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross during World War II. In addition to the Medal of Honor and Navy Cross, Basilone was also awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Basilone’s heroism and sacrifice have been immortalized in numerous books, movies, and television shows. His story has been told in the HBO miniseries The Pacific, where he was portrayed by Jon Seda. The John Basilone Memorial Foundation was also established in his honor, which provides scholarships to students in his hometown of Raritan, New Jersey.
John Basilone’s heroism and bravery continue to inspire Marines and Americans alike. His unwavering dedication to his country and fellow Marines is a testament to the highest ideals of the Marine Corps and the United States military. He will always be remembered as a true American hero.
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