Tuesday, August 17, 2010

American Patriot/Hero of the Week

This post was delayed a week to honor another Medal of Honor recipient and the people who are attempting to aide his widow, and other surviving family. While I would not normally bump a post as near and dear to my heart as the Patriots/Heroes posts, the time constraints of the Baker family's need called out to me to publish their story as soon as possible, and I am sure that Corporal Stein would understand and approve.

This week I honor Marine Corporal Tony Stein. Cpl. Stein died two weeks after the events that earned him the Medal of Honor as a volunteer rooting out Japanese machine gun emplacements during the battle of Iwo Jima, and for aiding wounded comrades. Below is Cpl. Stein's Medal of Honor citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company A, First Battalion, Twenty-Eighth Marines, Fifth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, in the Volcano Island, February 19, 1945. The first man of his unit to be on station after hitting the beach in the initial assault, Corporal Stein, armed with a personally improvised aircraft-type weapon, provided rapid covering fire as the remainder of his platoon attempted to move into position and, when his comrades were stalled by a concentrated machine-gun and mortar barrage, gallantly stood upright and exposed himself to the enemy's view, thereby drawing the hostile fire to his own person and enabling him to observe the location of the furiously blazing hostile guns. Determined to neutralize the strategically placed weapons, he boldly charged the enemy pillboxes one by one and succeeded in killing twenty of the enemy during the furious single-handed assault. Cool and courageous under the merciless hail of exploding shells and bullets which fell on all sides, he continued to deliver the fire of his skillfully improvised weapon at a tremendous rate of speed which rapidly exhausted his ammunition. Undaunted, he removed his helmet and shoes to expedite his movements and ran back to the beach for additional ammunition, making a total of eight trips under intense fire and carrying or assisting a wounded man back each time. Despite the unrelenting savagery and confusion of battle, he rendered prompt assistance to his platoon whenever the unit was in position, directing the fire of a half-track against a stubborn pillbox until he had effected the ultimate destruction of the Japanese fortification. Later in the day, although his weapon was twice shot from his hands, he personally covered the withdrawal of his platoon to the company position. Stouthearted and indomitable, Corporal Stein, by his aggressive initiative, sound judgment and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of terrific odds, contributed materially to the fulfillment of his mission, and his outstanding valor throughout the bitter hours of conflict sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Mike aka Proof said...

Men like Corporal Stein are a rare breed. Thanks for posting this!

Right Wing Extreme said...

They are rare aren't they?