As you are well aware, your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker respects all of those who serve our great country. It takes a very special patriot to sign their name, in blood, with the U.S. military. This contract can become “due and payable,” with that soldier’s life, at any time or place. A soldier’s loyalty to our great country is one of tradition, passed on from generation to generation, since we fought the British Crown in the Revolutionary War. And while this hard-charging biker respects all soldiers, active and retired, he has a very special place in his heart for those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor – the highest military award our country bestows on its heroes.
A regular feature of The Grey Beard Biker is the Profile of Courage. This is dedicated to a soldier who has shown bravery above the call and duty. Today’s Profile of Courage post is about Marine Corps Corporal, Anthony Casamento. He was awarded his Medal of Honor some forty years after his actions on the island of Guadalcanal.
Corporal, Anthony Casamento – Profile of Courage
Unit: Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Date of Birth: November 16, 1920
Date of Death: July 18, 1987
Place of Death: Northport, New York
Final Resting Place: Long Island National Cemetery
Medal of Honor Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company “D” First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division on Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands in action against the enemy Japanese forces on 1 November 1942. Serving as leader of a machine gun section, Corporal Casamento directed his unit to advance along a ridge near the Mantanikau River where they engaged the enemy. He positioned his section to provide covering fire for two flanking units and to provide direct support for the main force of his company which was behind him. During the course of this engagement, all members of his section were either killed or severely wounded and he himself suffered multiple, grievous wounds. Nonetheless, Corporal Casamento continued to provide critical supporting fire for the attack and in defense of his position. Following the loss of all effective personnel, he set up, loaded, and manned his unit’s machine gun, tenaciously holding the enemy forces at bay. Corporal Casamento single-handedly engaged and destroyed one machine gun emplacement on the flank. Despite the heat of ferocity of the engagement, he continued to man his weapon and repeatedly repulsed multiple assaults by the enemy forces, thereby protecting the flanks of the adjoining companies and holding his position until the arrival of the main attacking force. Corporal Casamento’s courageous fighting spirit, heroic conduct, and unwavering dedication to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps of the United States Naval Service.
Thank you Corporal Casamento! Your bravery, intrepidity and devotion to country are an inspiration to the people of this great country. May you rest forever more along peaceful shores with the a warm sun at your back. You have done your duty, to the highest level, and this Grey Beard Biker salutes you, sir!