Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps.
Birth: 4 November
1916, Buffalo, N.Y.
Accredited to: New Jersey.
Other Navy awards: Navy Cross.
Citation: For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action
against enemy Japanese forces, above and beyond the call of duty, while
serving with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division in the
Lunga Area. Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 24 and 25 October 1942. While
the enemy was hammering at the Marines' defensive positions, Sgt. Basilone,
in charge of 2 sections of heavy machineguns, fought valiantly to check
the savage and determined assault. In a fierce frontal attack with the
Japanese blasting his guns with grenades and mortar fire, one of Sgt. Basilone's
sections, with its guncrews, was put out of action, leaving only 2 men
able to carry on. Moving an extra gun into position, he placed it in action,
then, under continual fire, repaired another and personally manned it,
gallantly holding his line until replacements arrived. A little later,
with ammunition critically low and the supply lines cut off, Sgt. Basilone,
at great risk of his life and in the face of continued enemy attack, battled
his way through hostile lines with urgently needed shells for his gunners,
thereby contributing in large measure to the virtual annihilation of a
Japanese regiment. His great personal valor and courageous initiative were
in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)