Saturday, March 27, 2010
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Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone (November 4, 1916 – February 19, 1945) was a United States Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II. He was the only enlisted Marine in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.
He served three years in the United States Army with duty in the Philippines before joining the Marine Corps. In 1940 he joined the Marine Corps and after attending training was sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Solomon Islands and eventually to Guadalcanal where he held off 3,000 Japanese troops after his 15-member unit was reduced to two men. He was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Iwo Jima, after which he was posthumously honored with the Navy Cross. He has received many honors including being the namesake for streets, military locations and a United States Navy destroyer.
From Alan Sepinwall:
"I like to put John Basilone in context with Frank Sinatra," said Bill Connell, the chairman of the Seton Hall Italian Studies department. "Basilone went to war, Sinatra was 4-F. While men like Basilone were off fighting, Sinatra was home singing to the girls. After the war, Sinatra grabbed every war movie role he could."
By then, John Basilone was dead.
You get the point.
Sinatra was a star. Basilone was a hero. There’s a difference, you know.