Selfless. Gung-ho. Marine.
Three words that accurately describe Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, AKA “Manila John,” for his wild liberty run in the Philippines.
Basilone received the Medal of Honor for his bravery in leading his gun crew, despite being severely outnumbered during the battle of Guadalcanal in World War II.
“Basilone had a machine gun on the go for three days and nights without sleep, rest or food …. He was in a good emplacement, and causing the enemy lots of trouble, not only firing his machine gun but also using his pistol,” said Pfc. Nash W. Phillips, who was in the same unit.
Shortly after, he became a national hero, crisscrossing the country with celebrities and politicians selling war bonds to boost the nation's morale.
He then returned to the Pacific where he fought in Iwo Jima and earned the Navy Cross, becoming the only enlisted Marine to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross during World War II.
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