Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

John Basilone.

Discussion in 'Land Warfare in the Pacific' started by ozjohn39, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    31
    I have long been an admirer of the performance of this MOH winner on Guadalcanal.

    Some years ago I stumbled on a record of interview, face to face, one on one, between a Marine Officer and Basilone after the action. They chatted fairly informally of the sequence of events and Basilone's part in them. Even down to counting the number of empty ammo belts lying around after the action.

    It is presented as an original typewritten format of quite a few pages.

    I had copied that interview to My Docs but lost it in a crash a year or three ago.

    Does anyone here know of it or have a link or can provide me with a copy? I would be VERY grateful!

    OJ
     
  2. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    1,618
    Location:
    God's Country
    I do. I'm at the hospital with the wife right now but will post it when I get home.
     
  3. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    31
    Thank you!
     
  4. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    31
    5550
    Many thanks to USMCPrice, very much appreciated.

    A fascinating account in great detail of the action that very deservedly got him the MOH.

    31,000+ rounds of Browning MG ammo put through 4 guns.

    John
     
  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    1,618
    Location:
    God's Country
    So that was the correct interview you were looking for? If so, you're very welcome, if not I'll see what else I have. The one I sent you I got off the USNI web site several years ago.
     
  6. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    1,618
    Location:
    God's Country
    You know about Mitchell Paige also don't you? He's mentioned in the PDF I sent you. He got the Medal of Honor for an action similar to Basilone's the next night. He too was a machine gun section leader, only with 2/7, Basilone was in 1/7.

    [​IMG]

    The Medal of Honor Ceremony in Australia, General Vandegrift, Col. Edson, Mitchell Paige and John Basilone. (Vandegrift and Edson had received their medals earlier in February and December).

    https://www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck/mitch-paige-forgotten-hero






    Herman Hanneken, mentioned by Paige, commanded 2/7 on Guadalcanal and was a real badass in his own right.
     
    KodiakBeer and rkline56 like this.
  7. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,190
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    CA Norte Mexico, USA
    There is a Memorial Highway that has been named in his honor at Camp Pendleton, Home of the First Division. In a rural area of San Diego County, CA. Basilone Road takes you to the beach campground and the famous "Trestles" surf beach since the 1950's, thereabouts. There are bridges and other highways named in his honor in NJ and other states. Quite a Hero.
     
  8. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    31
    905
    yes, it sure was the right one. Thanks again.

    http://history.unimelb.edu.au/overhere/noflash/george-washington.html

    One of many sites on the 1st Marine Div's stay in my city of Melbourne, Very popular they were, especially with the 'ladies'. In fact, popular with the entire country. The "top half" had been bombed rather badly, and for a time in late 1942 it really seemed that we were going to be invaded.

    The Coral Sea, Midway, Milne Bay, and Kokoda, all in the space of 8 months, turned the tide.


    John

    (Australia's richest man at that time had just built a new 6 story department store. As soon as it was finished he handed it over to the US to use as it so wished. Also our brand new Royal Melbourne Hospital, and our main sports stadium, all handed over in gratitude.)
    912
     
  9. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    1,618
    Location:
    God's Country
    I know that one of the big digs by many, of the mini-series "The Pacific", was the Australia episode. I said then and say now, the time spent in Australia and New Zealand deeply effected the Marines of the 1st and 2d Marine Divisions. The people of those two nations welcomed the beat up Marines as their own. They helped heal the souls that had been ripped out (as Sledge's father says) and helped restore their battered and weakened bodies. In virtually every Marine account from that period the people of Australia and New Zealand are fondly remembered. It was a huge part of their wartime experience. It is also notable that most of the post war movies about the Marines in WWII included segments on the Marines stay there. "The Pacific" would not have told the 1st Divisions story properly without that episode. From a page in your link OzJohn.

    Irving ‘Red’ Schlesinger sums up the overwhelming sense of gratitude the Marines feel towards the people of Melbourne: ‘I and all my “cobbers” in the 1st Marine Division have always considered Australia as our second home. I can not put into proper perspective the manner in which those fine Australian people treated we fellows, who had just come out of combat with the enemy and were in dire need of love and affection. Honestly, it was love at first sight when we left Guadalcanal on January 5, 1943 and arrived in your wonderful country’.
     
  10. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    31
    1485
    A small personal anecdote!


    When I came down to the big city of Melbourne and began 'courting' my girl in the suburb of Hartwell in 1957, they had a shop up the road that sold nothing else but ice cream.

    The Ice cream shop was called 'American Maid', and the shop was adorned with many large photos of US soldiers etc. I asked my future FiL what the story was, and he related that the man was a n ex US Marine that had been in Melbourne on leave during WW2.

    The Marine had married here and in due course migrated back to Australia with his parents, and they had set up the make and sell Ice cream shop. A very rare business in Melbourne in those days.

    The shop was still there in the '80s but is gone now, but was a thriving business then.

    John
     
  11. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    31
    .

    3570
     
  12. ss456

    ss456 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    I know this is a very late reply. But is there someway I could read the interview as well? I have read a lot about John Basilone, he is endlessly fascinating for me! I was recently in New Jersey for work, took a detour to go see his statue in Raritan. There is a 'John Basilone Memorial Foundation' close by, but it was closed the day I was there.
     
  13. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    1,618
    Location:
    God's Country
    I'll see if I still have it. If so I'll send it to you.
     
  14. ss456

    ss456 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    It would be much appreciated! Thank you
     
  15. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,257
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    You know, John Basilone learned the machine gunners trade while he was in the Army.
     
  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    1,618
    Location:
    God's Country
    And perfected it as a Marine. You have to go to elementary school before you can go to College.
     
    RichTO90, George Patton and CAC like this.
  17. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,257
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Perhaps, but he did see action in the Philippines against insurgents from time to time, so the basics were in place. He was a fine soldier, and a great Marine. While he was in the Army in the Philippines, he met MacArthur during a boxing match he was in. Manila John was boxing, not Mac. Mac was there as a fan. Basilone had great respect for Mac, unlike many in the Marine Corps at the time. And he had nothing bad to say about his 4 year stint in the Army, except that they (in the PI) were at the end of the logistical line, and with the Great Depression on at the time, things were made worse.
     

Share This Page