Basilone served two years in the U.S. Army before joining the Marine Corps in 1940. He would go on to whoop ass like it was his favorite pastime. Actually, whooping ass was his favorite pastime. Basilone was a champion boxer in the Philippines before the Corps and for the rest of his short life, he would be known as “Manila John.” He earned both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross during WWII. Basilone returned to the Pacific and found himself on the blood-soaked beach of Iwo Jima in 1945. He fought his way through heavily fortified Japanese defenses, mortars and machine gun fire. He worked his way through the enemy until he was directly on top of a blockhouse full of enemy soldiers. He single-handedly destroyed the entire position with grenades and demolitions. He also helped clear an American tank that was trapped under intense enemy fire and guided it to safety. As he continued to fight alongside the airfield, Japanese mortar shrapnel killed him. His bravery helped Marines break down the Japanese defenses and move beyond the beach during the start of the battle. He would have been 98 today.