How can you be any more of a badass than Cpl Tony Stein?
This Marine carried a modified aircraft machinegun on Iwo Jima and earned the Medal of Honor.
Tony Stein enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 1942 and became a member of the elite Paramarines. (Paramarines were a specialized combat unit of the United States Marine Corps, trained to be dropped from planes by parachute). When the Paramarines were disbanded in 1944, at Camp Pendleton, he was promoted to corporal and assigned as an assistant squad leader to Company A, 1st Battalion, 28th Marines in the newly formed 5th Marine Division. Stein fought in the Bougainville Campaigns, shooting five Japanese snipers in a single day.⠀⠀
A toolmaker prior to the war, he helped a marine armorer customize a .30 caliber ANM2 Browning machine gun from a wrecked Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber, attached it to M1 Garand rifle butt, added a bipod from the Browning Automatic Rifle, and finished it with a 100 round box magazine. Out of nothing but spare parts, Stein created a highly effective personal machine gun he nicknamed the “Stinger” and carried it into combat. On the first day of the assault on Iwo Jima, Stein attacked enemy positions with his Stinger, taking out enemy pillbox after pillbox.
The Stinger’s heavy rate of fire meant Stein quickly ran out of ammo. Kicking his shoes off and throwing his M1 helmet down, he ran back down to the beach eight times to get fresh ammunition. Each trip back, he carried a wounded Marine on his back while under heavy enemy fire. For his actions that day, Cpl Stein was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Ten days later, March 1, 1945, he was killed by a sniper while leading a 19-man patrol to reconnoiter a machine gun emplacement which had Company A pinned down.
RIP Cpl Stein – Never Forget