Basilone, John, 1916-1945

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John Basilone (November 4, 1916 – February 19, 1945) was a United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who received the Medal of Honor for heroism above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle for Henderson Field in the Guadalcanal Campaign, and the Navy Cross posthumously for extraordinary heroism during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He was the only enlisted Marine to receive both of these decorations in World War II.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps on June 3, 1940, after serving three years in the United States Army with duty in the Philippines.

He was deployed to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and in August 1942, he took part in the invasion of Guadalcanal. In October, he and two other Marines used machine guns to hold off an attack by a far numerically superior Japanese force.

In February 1945, he was killed in action on the first day of the invasion of Iwo Jima, after he single-handedly destroyed an enemy blockhouse and led a Marine tank under fire safely through a minefield.

He has received many honors including being the namesake for streets, military locations, and two United States Navy destroyers.

Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1775 - . Photographic Reference File, ca. 1940 - ca. 1958. General – Medal of Honor – World War II. National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1775 - . General Photograph File of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1927 - 1981. At a Recent Parade at an Allied Base in the South Pacific, Members of a Marine Regiment Received High Decorations from Major General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, Commander at the Base, 5/21/1943. National Archives at College Park
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. MAYOR FIORELLO LaGUARDIA INTERVIEWS SGT. BASILONE National Archives at College Park
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities, ca. 1947 - 1980. Marine cemetery, Iwo Jima, 4/11/1945. National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1775 -. Photographic Reference File, ca. 1940 - ca. 1958. Platoon Sergeant John Basilone. National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Official Military Personnel File for John Basilone. 1940-1968 National Archives at St. Louis
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1775 - . General Photograph File of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1927 - 1981. Major General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, Marine Guadalcanal Commander, Stands with Men of His Command After Decorating Marine Heroes of Guadalcanal at an Allied Pacific Base Recently, 5/21/1943. National Archives at College Park
Relation Name
memberOf United States. Army corporateBody
memberOf United States. Marine Corps corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Buffalo NY US
Japan 00 JP
Subject
Occupation
Soldiers
Activity

Person

Death 1945-02-19

Birth 1916-11-04

Male

Americans

English

Information

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