|John "Gunny" Basilone|
Basilone just after a major battle in Guadalcanal.
Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant
Battle of Iwo Jima
KIA, Iwo Jima
Medal Of Honor recip
Gunnery Sergeant John "Manila John" "Gunny" Basilone was a marine from the 1st Marine Division, later transferred to the 5th Marine Division who earned the Medal of Honor for his bravery in Guadalcanal.
Basilone's history reflects that of his real-life counterpart, including his service in the US Army while doing training in the Phillipines. He then joins in the marines in 1940, and is put in the 7th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division He is first seen as a Sergeant listening to a speech by LtCol. "Chesty" Puller with his friends Sgt. J.P Morgan, and Sgt. Manuel "Manny" Rodriguez. They later pay a visit to the Basilone household before they go off to Guadalcanal, with Basilone as a machine gunner.
After Robert Leckie's unit lands on the beach, Basilone and the other marines pass by and greet them. Basilone seems to have been promoted to Staff Sergeant by this time. A couple months later, John Basilone is leading a patrol. They walk through a tall grassy field when suddenly, the Japanese attack, killing an officer called Lt. Iseman in front of Basilone. The marines escape and Basilone then talks with Manny about the situation. Basilone's unit eventually gets attacked by Japanese soldiers in the dead of night. By this time, Manny has been reassigned as an ammo runner. Basilone then runs up with Cecil Evans and William LaPointe to reinforce J.P, armed with his machine gun all the way (though without his asbestos glove, the consequences are third degree burns on his left hand and forearm). There, he performs the actions that will eventually give him a Medal of Honor: he shoots down many Japanese soldiers, works a jammed round out of an M1917 Browning, runs back for ammunition when supplies run low and then risks his life to push Japanese bodies out of the way for a clear field of fire. After the battle is over, Basilone asks about Manny, then later finds him dead in the forest.
Basilone is later seen mourning Manny's death with Morgan, even setting a drink for their
dead comrade. An Australian man then walks up, taunting them and their dead friend, causing Basilone to well up in rage. Basilone is later sought out by Chesty Puller, who tells him that he has earned the Medal of Honor, and the
ceremony is later seen. To his surprise, Basilone is told that he will be going home to sell war bonds, to which he refuses at first, not wanting to leave the men, but which he does after much convincing from Chesty. As Basilone is leaving, Morgan sees him off before Basilone gets on the plane.
Basilone is later seen prior to Peleliu in an unrelated cameo in the states. Not much is found out from this scene, however.
Basilone is later seen in his war bonds tour. He is seen playing golf even after dark when everyone has left, remembering the traumatizing events of Guadalcanal, and his finding of Manny's dead body.
5th Marine Division
Basilone has it with the war bond drives and he eventually applies for a transfer to the 5th Marine Division. At the camp, now a Gunnery Sergeant, he is surprised to see that only two recruits were in the barracks at the time, Pfc. Charles "Chuck" Tatum and Pfc. Clifford "Steve" Evanson, who he immediately puts on machine gun duty. At first, they do their job rather badly, as seen on their first day. Eventually, it is revealed that Basilone's, now nicknamed "Gunny", enlistment ends in July, which was soon. The other recruits eventually arrive, just as green as the first two. Basilone trains them harder and tougher so they could be the best out there in Iwo Jima, and it is through this training that the recruits became marines indefinitely, including Tatum and Evanson, who formed a perfect machine gun team.
During all this time, Basilone falls in love with SGT. Lena Riggi, a female marine. The first attempts are a bust, since Lena was unimpressed with Basilone, thinking he'd used his fame to win her over. Basilone eventually manages to woo her with enduring persistence, and they eventually date, including a day on the beach.
Basilone eventually renews his enlistment to join his squad, who by this time was not so green anymore. After the briefing, he marries Lena and makes love with her before she gives him her necklace.
Basilone participates in the Battle of Iwo Jima, where he leads several Marines to take down many machine gun positions and bunkers. He eventually goes to the beach to help some others from his squad, while leaving Tatum, Evanson, and several others to help defend against a Japanese machine gun position.
Killed in Action
Basilone is killed in action on his first day of the battle when a bullet knocks him down, leaving him to bleed to death. As he lay dying, Tatum, Evanson, and others watched with undeniable sorrow. Basilone posthumously earned the Navy Cross due to actions performed during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Lena later visits his family and has an emotional meeting with them. She gives them John's Medal of Honor, saying they should have it.
- Basilone is the only one of the three main characters to be killed in action.
- He is also the only one of the three main characters to see action on Iwo Jima.
- In real life, Basilone did not get killed by a rifle shot, he was killed instantly by mortar shrapnel.
- Basilone's nickname in the 5th Marine Division, "Gunny", is a common nickname for Gunnery Sergeants in the USMC.
- Basilone is the only one of the three main characters to reach the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.
- Basilone sees least combat of the three main characters.
- Basilone is the only character to be part of two different divisions.