San Diego in San Diego County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone
November 4, 1916 - February 19, 1945
—Piazza Basilone —
He was born to Italian immigrants, Salvatore and Dora Basilone, in Buffalo, New York. He and his ten brothers and sisters grew up in Raritan, New Jersey. Restless and adventurous by nature, John enlisted in the Army at the age of eighteen and was assigned to garrison service in the Philippines.
After his honorable discharge from the Army, Basilone returned to Raritan. As the storm clouds of war gathered, John believed his place was with the fighting forces. In July 1940 he enlisted in the Marine Corps.
It was on Guadalcanal that Sergeant Basilone achieved his place in Marine Corps history, becoming one of the first enlisted Marines to be awarded the Medal of Honor of World War II, the nation's highest award for extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action.
Ordered to duty in the United States following his heroic exploits of Guadalcanal, "Manila John" Basilone was honored everywhere in the country as he toured in aid of the War Bond drive. He was back at Camp Pendleton in California, where he met and married Lena Riggi, a fellow USMC Sergeant, on July 10, 1944.
In December 1944, Sergeant Basilone became restless to rejoin his fellow Marines, volunteering for combat. Before Christmas he kissed his new bride goodbye and shipped out. It was D-Day on Iwo Jima,
Erected 2003 by Little Italy Association.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients marker series.
Location. 32° 43.461′ N, 117° 10.109′ W. Marker is in San Diego, California, in San Diego County. Marker is at the intersection of India Street and West Fir Street, on the right when traveling north on India Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Diego CA 92101, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Madeleine & Vincent DePhilippis (within shouting distance of this marker); Little Italy Landmark Sign (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Fire Station Number Six (approx. 0.2 miles Ferryboat "Berkeley" (approx. 0.4 miles away); “Star of India” (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lane Field Ballpark Site (approx. 0.6 miles away); US Grant Hotel (approx. ¾ mile away); Balboa Theatre (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Diego.
Categories. • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 31, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 288 times since then and 65 times this year. Last updated on May 31, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 31, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 5. submitted on October 29, 2017, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. 6, 7, 8. submitted on May 31, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 9. submitted on August 27, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 10. submitted on September 14, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.