U.S. Marine Sergeant John Basilone (1916 – 1945) "had been star attraction of the Treasury's Third War Loan Drive throughout the East; he had become part of a comic book series on war heroes as Manila John (a nickname his Marine buddies had given him because of his three years with the peace-time Army in the Philippines). He could have stayed, safe, in the United States. But Manila John would not have it that way. Asking for reassignment to combat duty, he left the girl he married last July - a sergeant in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve - and went back to the Pacific. He explained: 'I'm just an ordinary soldier. I want to get back to my boys. And most of all, I want to be one of the first guys ashore at Manila.' Fate denied him that wish, but elsewhere John Basilone went down in the best tradition of the fighting Marines."
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