Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Pacific : From Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima


Gunnery Sergeant John Basilon,USMC and Sgt Lena Mae Basilone,USMC(WR)

Quiet in the world of blogging....need to find blogging mood. what attracted me to write today is about the HBO miniseries called The Pacific. its a wonderful stories of american heroes who fight in the pacific war during 40s. what i like about the story is that it shows and well portrayed the courage and bravery of young man fight in the battle in the service of his country. im a patriotic person though....and dats the reason i like The Pacific. The character in the story that is attracted me the most is the GySgt John Basilone. GySgt means gunnery sergeant of which the rank is just above staff sergeant and just below master sergeant and staff in sergeant in the U.S military system. Gunnery sergeant is a staff non-commissioned officer (SNCO).

before i continue, let me tell you that this is based on the true story that happened during the Pacific war.

okey then.....

John Basilone (November 4, 1916 – February 19, 1945) was a United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant 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 both 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. After attending training, Basilone deployed 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 other 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.


While on Guadalcanal, his fellow Marines gave him the nickname "Manila John" due to his prior service in the Philippines and how much he talked about it. During the Battle for Henderson Field, his unit came under attack by a regiment of approximately 3,000 soldiers from the Japanese Sendai Division. On October 24, 1942, Japanese forces began a frontal attack using machine guns, grenades, and mortars against the American heavy machine guns. Basilone commanded two sections of machine guns that fought for the next two days until only Basilone and two other Marines continued fighting.Basilone moved an extra gun into position and maintained continual fire against the incoming Japanese forces. He then repaired and manned another machine gun, holding the defensive line until replacements arrived. As battle raged, ammunition became critically low. With supply lines cut off, Basilone fought through hostile ground to resupply his gunners with urgently needed ammunition. By the end of the battle, the Japanese regiment was virtually annihilated. For his actions during this battle, he received the United States military's highest award for bravery, the Medal of Honor.

Afterwards, Private First Class Nash W. Phillips, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, recalled from the battle for Guadalcanal:

"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 Japanese lots of trouble, not only firing his machine gun, but also using his pistol."


After his request to return to the fleet was approved, he was assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division during the invasion of Iwo Jima. On February 19, 1945, he was serving as a machine gun section leader in action against Japanese forces on Red Beach II. During the battle, the Japanese concentrated their fire at the incoming Americans from heavily fortified blockhouses staged throughout the island. With his unit pinned down, Basilone made his way around the side of the Japanese positions until he was directly on top of the blockhouse. He t
hen attacked with grenades and demolitions, single-handedly destroying the entire strongpoint and its defending garrison. He then fought his way toward Airfield Number 1 and aided an American tank that was trapped in an enemy mine field under intense mortar and artillery barrages. He guided the heavy vehicle over the hazardous terrain to safety, despite heavy weapons fire from the Japanese. As he moved along the edge of the airfield, he was killed by Japanese mortar shrapnel. His actions helped Marines penetrate the Japanese defense and get off the landing beach during the critical early stages of the invasion. For his valor during the battle of Iwo Jima, he was posthumously approved for the Marine Corps' second-highest decoration for bravery, the Navy Cross.

He was interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia and his grave can be found in Section 12, Grave 384, grid Y/Z 23.5. Lena M. Basilone died June 11, 1999, at the age of 86 and was buried at Riverside National Cemetery. Lena's obituary notes that she never remarried.

source : wikipedia and The Pacific


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