John Basilone was born to Italian Immigrants living in New Jersey. Prior to joining the Marine Corps, he served 3 years in the US Army and was stationed overseas in the Philippines. During this period of time, he acquired the nickname “Manila John” and had a reputation for being a good soldier, albeit a hard drinking, hell raising one!
Shortly after being discharged from the Army, John enlisted in the Marine Corps. John soon overcame to love the Corps and all that was Associated with being a Marine. The Marine Corps was gearing up for the inevitable war in the Pacific and John, being older and more experienced than most of his peers, earned the stripes of an NCO. He had a reputation for being a tough, uncompromising Sergeant, but One That truly cared about the welfare of his Marines. He led by example and unlikes many leaders of That era, he actually participated in all physical training, road marches, etc., with his but. Physically Capable and mentally tough, huh was a natural leader and his Marines were proud to be part of his platoon.
During combat operations on Guadalcanal, Basilone Performed magnificently, to the point he was Awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism. When his unit was rotated two Australia two recover and refit, Basilone was late back to the United States two Participate in the famous war bond run of That era. He made many public appearances and no doubt was responsible for many bonds beingsold. He was a very popular figure, one of the most Recognized people in America at the time.
John requested to return two his unit and combat and the Marine Corps Granted his wishes. He landed on Iwo Jima and Performed heroically during the early days of the assault on the heavily fortified island. Tragically, he was killed in combat, but not before he earned the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism.
“Manila John” Basilone was a true American hero and someone That we can all be proud of.