Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone: Recipient of Medal of Honor
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“There are only two kinds of people who understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else just has a second-hand opinion.” (Gen William Thornson, U.S. Army) For decades, the United States Marine Corps has established an identity as a unique and fearless war fighting machine. On November 10th, 1775 the Marine Corps was established in Tun Tavern during the Revolutionary War. Since that time, the Marines have played an important role in securing America’s freedom through countless battles. The Marines have distinguished themselves as an elite force specializing in military tactics which assist in defeating the enemy under any circumstance. The Marine Corps is a small branch with limited personnel which allows them the…show more content… His war bond tour took him all around the United States. John Basilone wanted to be in the fight instead of touring the country selling war bonds. While being interviewed by reporter James Golden one day he told him “Look Golden, forget my part. There wasn’t a man on the Canal that night who doesn’t own a piece of the medal awarded to me.”(Proser 2004) He ended up requesting to return to the war front but the Marine Corps denied his request. To keep him content the Marine Corps offered Basilone a commission that he respectfully declined. He was also offered an instructor position but he declined that offer as well. The war bond tour lasted from September 1943 until December 1943. In December 1943 Basilone’s request to get back in the fight was finally approved and he was sent to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California for training. He was in charge of a platoon of new Marine fresh out of boot camp, it was his job to bring them up to speed on being a machine gunner. While he was stationed at Camp Pendleton he met his wife Lena Mae Riggi. She was a Marine Corps reservist who worked in the mess hall. They were married in July of 1944 in Oceanside, California.
Iwo Jima remains the Marine Corps’s deadliest campaign. February 19, 1945 was the day of the initial assault on Iwo Jima. That morning nearly eight hundred vessels, ranging from battleships, cruisers, and destroyers to