Corporal Tony Stein (September 30, 1921 - March 1, 1945) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in repeated singlehanded assaults against the enemy and outstanding valor in aiding wounded Marines during the initial assault on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945.
Less than two weeks after the action in which he earned the Nation's highest award for valor, on March 1, 1945, he was killed during a mission in which he and a group of fellow Marines had volunteered to locate some enemy machine gun emplacements which were holding up the advance of his entire company.
Corporal Stein's Medal of Honor and citation were presented to his widow on February 19, 1946 during a ceremony in the office of Governor Frank Lausche of Ohio.
Following the war, he was returned to the United States from the 5th Division for reinterment in his native Dayton. Dayton's only World War II recipient of the Medal of Honor, Cpl Stein was buried with full military honors on December 17, 1948, in Calvary Cemetery following funeral services in Our Lady of the Rosary Church.
Medal of Honor citation
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
CORPORAL TONY STEIN
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company A, First Battalion, Twenty-Eighth Marines, Fifth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, in the Volcano Island, February 19, 1945. The first man of his unit to be on station after hitting the beach in the initial assault, Corporal Stein, armed with a personally improvised aircraft-type weapon, provided rapid covering fire as the remainder of his platoon attempted to move into position and, when his comrades were stalled by a concentrated machine-gun and mortar barrage, gallantly stood upright and exposed himself to the enemy's view, thereby drawing the hostile fire to his own person and enabling him to observe the location of the furiously blazing hostile guns. Determined to neutralize the strategically placed weapons, he boldly charged the enemy pillboxes one by one and succeeded in killing twenty of the enemy during the furious single-handed assault. Cool and courageous under the merciless hail of exploding shells and bullets which fell on all sides, he continued to deliver the fire of his skillfully improvised weapon at a tremendous rate of speed which rapidly exhausted his ammunition. Undaunted, he removed his helmet and shoes to expedite his movements on ran back to the beach for additional ammunition, making a total of eight trips under intense fire and carrying or assisting a wounded man back each time. Despite the unrelenting savagery and confusion of battle, he rendered prompt assistance to his platoon whenever the unit was in position, directing the fire of a half-track against a stubborn pillbox until he had effected the ultimate destruction of the Japanese fortification. Later in the day, although his weapon was twice shot from his hands, he personally covered the withdrawal of his platoon to the company position. Stouthearted and indomitable, Corporal Stein, by his aggressive initiative, sound judgment and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of terrific odds, contributed materially to the fulfillment of his mission, and his outstanding valor throughout the bitter hours of conflict sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
/S/ HARRY S. TRUMAN
- List of Medal of Honor recipients
- List of Medal of Honor recipients for World War II
- List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Battle of Iwo Jima
- Corporal Tony Stein, USMCR, Who's Who in Marine Corps History, History Division, United States Marine Corps.
- Cpl Tony Stein, Medal of Honor, 1945, 1/28/5, Iwo Jima, Medal of Honor citation.
- Alexander, Col. Joseph H., USMC (Ret). Closing In: Marines in the Seizure of Iwo Jima, Marines in World War II Commemorative Series, History and Museums Division, United States Marine Corps, 1994.
- Bartley, Lt.Col. Whitman S. Iwo Jima: Amphibious Epic, Marines in World War II Historical Monograph, Historical Section, Division of Public Information, United States Marine Corps, 1954.