Summary

Medal of Honor Recipient

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Marine Corps 1
Rank:
Gunnery Sergeant 1
Birth:
04 Nov 1916 1
Buffalo, NY 1
Death:
19 Feb 1945 1
Iwo Jima 1
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
John Basilone 1
Also known as:
"Manila John" 1
Birth:
04 Nov 1916 1
Buffalo, NY 1
Male 1
Death:
19 Feb 1945 1
Iwo Jima 1
Cause: Killed In Action 1
Residence:
Place: Raritan, NJ 1
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Birth:
Mother: Dora Bencivenga 1
Father: Salvatore Basilone 1
Marriage:
Lena Mae Riggi 1
10 Jul 1944 1
Oceanside, CA 1
Spouse Death Date: 11 Jun 1999 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Marine Corps 1
Rank:
Gunnery Sergeant 1
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Occupation:
Gunnery Sergeant, USMC 1
Religion:
Roman Catholic 1
Race or Ethnicity:
Caucasian 1
Army Service:
Duty Station: Philippines 1
Enlistment: 1934 1
Honorable Discharge: 1937 1
Unit: Company "D", 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment 1
Battle Honors:
Assault & Occupation of Iwo Jima: 15 February - 16 March 1945 1
Capture & Defense of Guadalcanal: 10 August 1942 - 8 February 1943 1
Marine Corps Service:
Enlistment: 11 Jul 1940 1
Rank: Gunnery Sergeant 1
Serial Number: 287506 2
Unit 1: Company "D", 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division 1
Unit 2: Company "C", 1st Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division 1
Military Awards:
American Campaign Service Medal: 1943 1
American Defense Service Medal: "Base" clasp 1
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Service Medal: 2 Battle Stars 1
Medal of Honor: 24-25 October 1942 1
Navy Cross: 19 Feb 1945 1
Presidential Unit Citation: Guadalcanal 1
Presidential Unit Citation: Iwo Jima 1
Purple Heart: 19 Feb 1945 1
USMC Good Conduct Medal: 11 Jul 1944 1
WWII Victory Medal: 7 December 1941 - 31 December 1946 1

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Medal of Honor Citation

Guadalcanal

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Platoon Sergeant John Basilone (MCSN: 287506), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action against enemy Japanese forces, above and beyond the call of duty, while serving with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division in the Lunga Area. Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on the night of 24 - 25 October 1942. While the enemy was hammering at the Marines' defensive positions, Platoon Sergeant Basilone, in charge of two sections of heavy machineguns, fought valiantly to check the savage and determined assault. In a fierce frontal attack with the Japanese blasting his guns with grenades and mortar fire, one of  Platoon Sergeant Basilone's sections, with its guncrews, was put out of action, leaving only two men able to carry on. Moving an extra gun into position, he placed it in action, then, under continual fire, repaired another and personally manned it, gallantly holding his line until replacements arrived. A little later, with ammunition critically low and the supply lines cut off, Platoon Sergeant Basilone, at great risk of his life and in the face of continued enemy attack, battled his way through hostile lines with urgently needed shells for his gunners, thereby contributing in large measure to the virtual annihilation of a Japanese regiment. His great personal valor and courageous initiative were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

 

Navy Cross Citation

Iwo Jima

Navy Cross
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The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone (MCSN: 287506), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving as a Leader of a Machine-Gun Section, Company "C", 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 19 February 1945. Shrewdly gauging the tactical situation shortly after landing when his company's advance was held up by the concentrated fire of a heavily fortified Japanese blockhouse, Gunnery Sergeant Basilone boldly defied the smashing bombardment of heavy caliber fire to work his way around the flank and up to a position directly on top of the blockhouse and then, attacking with grenades and demolitions, single-handedly destroyed the entire hostile strong point and its defending garrison. Consistently daring and aggressive as he fought his way over the battle-torn beach and up the sloping, gun-studded terraces toward Airfield Number 1, he repeatedly exposed himself to the blasting fury of exploding shells and later in the day coolly proceeded to the aid of a friendly tank which had been trapped in an enemy mine field under intense mortar and artillery barrages, skillfully guiding the heavy vehicle over the hazardous terrain to safety, despite the overwhelming volume of hostile fire. In the forefront of the assault at all times, he pushed forward with dauntless courage and iron determination until, moving upon the edge of the airfield, he fell, instantly killed by a bursting mortar shell. Stouthearted and indomitable, Gunnery Sergeant Basilone, by his intrepid initiative, outstanding skill, and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of fanatic opposition, contributed materially to the advance of his company during the early critical period of the assault, and his unwavering devotion to duty throughout the bitter conflict was an inspiration to his comrades and reflects the highest credit upon Gunnery Sergeant Basilone and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

Commander in Chief Pacific Forces: Serial 35683 (September 13, 1945)

 

Gunnery Sergeant Basilone was the only enlisted Marine to earn both the Medal of Honor and Navy Cross during World War II.

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