The Soldier Boy from Buffalo

Feb 29, 2024 2539

He seemed invincible. And for a while he was. Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1916, John Basilone was the sixth of 10 children brought into the world by Salvatore Basilone, an Italian immigrant, and his first–generation Italian–American wife, Dora.

A typical Catholic boy of his age, the future Marine was educated by nuns, good at boxing, and not interested in school. In October 1942, however, Gunnery Sergeant Basilone proved anything but typical when, with two machine guns and a .45 caliber pistol, he fended off 3,000 Japanese soldiers on Guadalcanal. 

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