Hero of the Pacific : the life of Marine legend John Basilone James Brady Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley, c 2010 Hardcover. 1st ed., later printing. x, 254 p. : ill., maps, ports. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 241-242) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
In September 1942 Sgt. Basilone landed on the southern Pacific island of Guadalcanal to participate in the ongoing campaign to hold the airfield there against Japanese attempts to recapture it. On the night of 24-25 October 1942, during a vigorous enemy assault on the Marines’ defensive perimeter, he was responsible for a section of machine guns. His “extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry” in keeping his guns in action in the face of heavy attacks contributed greatly to the failure of the Japanese offensive and was recognized by the award of the Medal of Honor.
From the summer of 1943 to early 1945, John Basilone was one of the most famous and admired people in America. As the first enlisted man to be awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II, for extraordinary bravery under fire at Guadalcanal, he toured the nation with movie stars, shared podiums with mayors and governors, shook the hands of thousands of citizens, and was even rumored to have made a romantic connection with a beautiful young actress.
Why would a man who had proven his courage beyond any doubt, who had gone above and beyond the call of duty, and was reaping the rewards of his sacrifice beg his commanding officers to break with tradition and send a Medal of Honor winner back into combat? Columnist James Brady explores this and many other puzzling questions in this thrilling and surprising biography.
Hero of the Pacific tells the dramatic and compelling life story of a small-town boy who became one of World War II’s greatest and best-known heroes, only to be forgotten after his death during another famous and hellish battle on Iwo Jima. You may never have heard of John Basilone, but once you read this powerful tale, you’ll never forget him.