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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Diego in San Diego County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone

November 4, 1916 - February 19, 1945

 

—Piazza Basilone —

 
Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., May 27, 2015
1. Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Marker
Inscription. Sergeant John Basilone was one of the first enlisted Marines to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor of World War II. He was also posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

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,
Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., May 29, 2015
2. Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Marker
February 19, 1945 when Gunnery Sergeant Basilone again distinguished himself, single-handedly destroying a Japanese blockhouse while braving a bombardment of heavy enemy fire. Hours later his fighting heart was stilled by a Japanese artillery shell. For his exploits that day he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. Gunnery Sergeant Basilone exemplifies the courageous action of Marines in battle and has become one of the legends of the Corps. With this Piazza, we pay tribute to John Basilone in honor of the patriotism displayed by the boys of Little Italy who never came back and to Italian Americans in the military throughout United States history.
 
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. 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
Bust of Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., May 27, 2015
3. Bust of Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone
(approx. ¾ mile away); Balboa Theatre (approx. 0.8 miles away); United States Aircraft Carrier Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Assoc., 1911 (approx. 0.8 miles away); USS San Diego Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Diego.
 
Categories. War, World II
 
Piazza Basilone, home to the Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., May 28, 2015
4. Piazza Basilone, home to the Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Marker
On the wall are listed other Italian Americans who gave their life in World War II. image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., May 29, 2015
5. On the wall are listed other Italian Americans who gave their life in World War II.
Piazza Basilone dedication marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., May 29, 2015
6. Piazza Basilone dedication marker
Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., May 28, 2015
7. Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Marker
Donors' names are creatively included within the Piazza.
Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Fountain image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W.
8. Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Fountain
Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 18, 1999
9. Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Grave Marker
He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 12, grave 384
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 31, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 247 times since then and 24 times this year. Last updated on May 31, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 31, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   8. submitted on August 27, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   9. submitted on September 14, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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