WHY DO WE HAVE A MEDAL OF HONOR PAGE?
Although we're all Americans, and by that fact we are exceptional... there are those that have also done exceptional things. We see movies with “superheroes” but to truly know what that means outside of the fantasy is to learn what these people did or sacrificed to be recognized. We are not only inspired but truly in awe of the selfless and brave acts of these Americans. We hope the accounts of these Medal of Honor recipients will inspire you as they have our team.
WW2 Superhero Tony Stein
On February 19, 1945, Dayton, Ohio native and U.S. Marine Cpl. Tony Stein earned the Medal of Honor, and here's how...
This badass was attached to the 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, where he found himself heading to the Japanese held island of Iwo Jima. Aboard ship, using his previous skills as a toolmaker and machinist before the war, Stein helped customize a .30 caliber machine gun from a wrecked Navy fighter plane, into a personal handheld ground weapon that he’d later name “The Stinger”.
The Stinger was an air-cooled, belt-fed monster created from a multitude of aircraft and light infantry weapons to make it portable and easier to fire. The stock of an M1 Garand, a homemade trigger, and the barrel of a light machine gun were added and replaced some of the heavier aircraft parts, and the 200 round box aircraft magazine was substituted for 100 rounds to also help with weight. “Stein’s Stinger” fired an incredible 1380 rounds per minute and was a death-dealing ammunition eating beast.
Upon the initial amphibious landing on Iwo Jima, Feb 19 at 09:12 on Green Beach, Cpl. Stein began leading Marines onto the island. Iwo Jima would eventually claim the lives of 6,800 Marines and Sailors (and another 28,000 wounded). He immediately employed the Stinger machine gun to suppress the enemy Japanese forces and provide cover fire for his unit's advance.
Unable to move off the beachhead, Stein repeatedly exposed his position to draw fire to himself and away from his unit. After he was able to locate the enemy positions, Stein used his Stinger to personally charge enemy pillboxes and annihilate 20+ entrenched enemy soldiers.
As his Marines stalled under the Japanese bombardment, Stein knew he needed to help his unit move forward. But due to the rapid-fire rate of his weapon, his homemade monster needed more ammo which was located further back on the beach. To help him move quicker, this hard-charging Devil Dog removed his shoes and helmet to make himself quicker and easier to run on the soft lose sand of the island.
Under heavy enemy fire of machine guns and mortars, Tony returned to the beach for ammo a total of 8 times. Every time he went back, he carried or assisted a wounded Marine back to an aide station. Later that day, although his weapon would be shot out of his hands on two occasions, he personally covered the withdrawal of his platoon back to the company position. How’s your day going so far?
Tony was later wounded by a mortar fragment in the shoulder and was evacuated to a hospital ship and missed his regiments iconic flag-raising atop of the extinct volcano Mount Suribachi. After several days he requested to be reinserted back with his unit and was sent back on March 1. Upon arrival, he promptly led 19 Marines on a mission to take out another enemy pillbox which had Company A pinned down.
Tony Stein was killed in action on Iwo Jima by a Japanese sniper later that same day in 1945, he was 24 years old. His Medal Of Honor was presented to his widow on February 19, 1946, one year after sacrificing his life to protect his brothers and do what he could to defend the United States from Imperial Japan.
In 1972, the USS Stein, a Navy Knox Class Frigate was commissioned and named in his honor.
In 1989 the Marine Corps dedicated the Moving Target Simulator Building located in the 3D Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) Battalion’s area of operations on Camp Pendleton in California to Tony Stein.
Aspire to do great things and never stop moving. Protect those you care about and those that can’t protect themselves, be like Tony Stein.
Black on Ammo Apparel
Tony Stein’s Paramarine (1st Marine Parachute Regiment), and 5th Marine Division insignias
First Marine Parachute Regiment
3rd Marine Division