The Medal of Honor

John Basilone's Citation for his Congressional Medal of Honor

Which he earned at Guadalcanal

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 in the Lunga Area, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 24 and 25 of October 1942. While the enemy was hammering at the Marines defensive positions, Sgt. Basilone, in charge of 2 sections of heavy machine guns, 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 “gun crews”, 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 arrives. A little later, with ammunition critically low and the supply lines cut off, Sgt. Basilone, at great risk to his own 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.

Franklin D. Roosevelt


Citation for Navy Cross