Bonagura, Michael John, Sr., Cpl

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
107 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Primary MOS
Last MOSGroup
Primary Unit
1945-1945, 0311, Marine Barracks Bayonne, NJ
Service Years
1941 - 1945
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Golden Dragon Certificate
Shellback Certificate


One Hash Mark


 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

235 kb

Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Edson Bellis to remember Marine Cpl Michael John Bonagura, Sr..

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address

Date of Passing
Mar 31, 1993
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

French Fourragere WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon US Marines Corps Honorable Discharge Shellback

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
My father was a Marine Raider on Guadalcanal. He was in the 1st Marine Division. I know from his records that he started out in the 5th Marines, 2nd Battalion, but somehow he wound up in the Raiders, notice the Raider patch he's wearing in the picture. The details of that story, like so many others, I never fully understood. He enlisted in June of 1940, before Pearl Harbor, as he was always fond of telling me. Somehow that distinction mattered to him.  The Old Breed versus all the guys who enlisted after December 7, 1941, a few months seemed to make all the difference, though in the end they were all called The Old Breed. In fact Michael had dropped out of school after finishing tenth grade at Belleville High in New Jersey. He altered his birth date on his birth certificate and forged his mother's signature on a parental consent form so he could enlist at 16. Over the years he always talked a lot about the Marines and not much about the war. All I knew about his war experiences, traits that carried over onto his life with his family, were that he hated rain, nighttime, and almost anything Japanese. But he loved the Marine Corps, and he was a good fit as a Marine. He told me he would have made a career out of the Marines had he not suffered so acutely from Malaria. Recruit training was easy for him (as a tenth grader he played semi-pro football on Sundays for the Newark Bears!). The food in the Marines was good and there was plenty of it, and he got to travel and see places he'd never otherwise have seen all over the United States, Cuba, New Zealand, Samoa, the South Pacific islands, Australia, California, the Pacific Northwest and probably many other places I don't even know about. He brought more than just memories home from the Pacific. He suffered terribly from PTSD for the rest of his life after the war and that's a long time when you go into battle at 17. He died of service-connected disabilities at 69, his father lived to be 96, so I guess dad hoped he'd live a long life, but it wasn't to be. He lived longer than a lot of other Guadalcanal vets though.

His son, Marc Bonagura

Other Comments:
Saint Peters Churchyard
Belleville, Essex County
New Jersey, USA
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Rifle Sharpshooter (Pre 1959)USMC Basic Qualification Badge

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1941, Boot Camp (Parris Island, SC)
 Unit Assignments
2nd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment (2/5), 5th Marine Regiment3rd Raider BnMarine Barracks
  1941-1942, 0311, 2nd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment (2/5), 5th Marine Regiment
  1942-1943, 0311, 3rd Raider Bn
  1943-1944, 0311, Marine Barracks Bremerton, WA
  1945-1945, 0311, Marine Barracks Bayonne, NJ
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II/American Theater
  1942-1942 Battle of Tulagi (including First Savo) /Tulagi Island landing
  1942-1943 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1943 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Bougainville
 Colleges Attended
Seton Hall University
  1946-1950, Seton Hall University
Copyright Inc 2003-2011