"Raritan's Hero - The John Basilone Story"
'The first biography of John Basilone is now available
- it is called Raritan's Hero - The John Basilone Story.
Raritan resident Bruce Doorly has written an 82-page
book that tells the inspiring story of Marine Gunnery Sergeant John
Basilone. He was awarded The Congressional Medal of Honor at Guadalcanal
in 1942. He was later killed in Iwo Jima in 1945 where he was awarded
The Navy Cross. John Basilone is the only soldier to be awarded
both of these honors.
The book was compiled through interviews with John's
family, local residents, and soldiers who served with John, as well
as newspaper articles from the 1940's. Raritan's Hero tells how
John, a restless child from an Italian family of ten, who lived
on First Avenue in Raritan, became a national hero during World
After he was awarded The Congressional Medal of Honor,
Basilone was sent home to go on a bond tour. A parade of 30,000
welcomed him home.
He then had the option of staying home for the remainder
of the war, but he chose to return to battle, as an easy desk job
when there was a war going on was not his idea of being a Marine.
He was killed during the first hours of the Battle at Iwo Jima after
he was instrumental in getting the U.S. invasion started.
The book also tells what the town of Raritan was
like during World War II. It was a small community where everyone
knew each other - and where the local stores were owned by the local
For 23 years, the town of Raritan has had a parade
to honor their local hero. Now the town has a book which can serve
as a lasting tribute to their hero.
Raritan's Hero is now on sale in downtown Raritan
at The Raritan Pharmacy, Scott's Florist, Gaetano's Beauty Salon,
E&M Deli, Agway, The Razor's Edge, Raritan Tire & Auto Center,
and Towne Pharmacy. The book costs $ 20.00. All proceeds from the
book go toward the annual John Basilone Memorial Parade.
Bruce Doorly lives on Bound Brook Avenue in Raritan
and can be reached at home (908) 725-7336, cell (908) 581-1917.'
One additional note not mentioned in the press
release: A tremendous thank you to Anna Bongiovi of Bongiovi Funeral
Home in Raritan for providing the funding to start printing of the