"Raritan's Hero - The John Basilone Story"

Press Release:

'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 War II.

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 people.

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 book.