Stein, Tony, Cpl

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1944-1945, 9962, 1st Bn, 28th Marine Regiment (1/28)
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Iwo Jima Certificate



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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Roger Rape (Mouse)-Deceased to remember Marine Cpl Tony Stein.

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.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Dayton, OH

Casualty Date
Mar 01, 1945
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Not Specified
Location of Interment
Our Lady of Rosary Catholic Church Cemetery - Dayton, Ohio
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenMedal of Honor Recipients
  1945, World War II Fallen
  2016, Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States
  2016, Medal of Honor Recipients [Verified]

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Basic Parachutist

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1942, Boot Camp (Parris Island, SC)
 Unit Assignments
USMC (United States Marine Corps)1st Parachute Regiment28th Marine Regiment
  1943-1943, 8023, (Army) Basic Airborne School
  1943-1944, 9962, 1st Parachute Regiment
  1944-1945, 9962, 28th Marine Regiment
  1944-1945, 9962, 1st Bn, 28th Marine Regiment (1/28)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
  1943-1943 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Vella Lavella
  1943-1944 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Bougainville
  1945-1945 Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Iwo Jima
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Steve and Rose Stein were immigrants from Austria-Hungary who came to America in 1909 and settled in Dayton, Ohio. Steve Stein was born in 1888, while Rose, his wife, was two years younger. Poorly educated, they had collectively less than seven years of formal education in the "old country." The 1920 census showed that Rose spoke only German. Steve worked in Dayton as a molder at a Dayton foundry, while Rose remained at home with their children. Of the couple's three children Tony, the middle child, was born on September 30, 1921. He had two sisters, Theresa and a Mary Louise. 
Tony grew up on the streets of North Dayton. He was a tough, streetwise kid who excelled in athletics, especially boxing. Quite likely his physical size hurried along his maturation. He was only five feet four inches tall and weighed 110 pounds soaking wet. Very quickly his nickname became "Tough Tony”. 
His  uncle said, "He didn't mess around." Charlene Rubush, a niece of Tony Stein, recalled how his uncle egged him on to fight anyone the kid took a dislike to." She added, "Young Tony was the kind of guy that liked to have a lot of action going around him and he was smart and handsome."
Elinor Sluzas, who had a restaurant in North Dayton, remembered Tony as he grew up in the neighborhood. "Tony was a raw-boned, rugged kid who put his heart and soul into everything he did...He was a child of destiny who became a leader of men. Like all the kids at Old North Dayton...He loved softball, boxing and golf...He became a Golden Gloves Champion and set pins in the neighborhood."
Tony went to Kiser High School but dropped out in 10th grade. He joined the CCC to help out his widowed mother.
Every CCC enrollee's silent prayer was an assignment in California, that is, to be able to soak his feet in the Pacific Ocean. Of course, this rarely happened since need dictated assignments, usually in their home state or an adjacent state. Stein's posting did not hit the Golden Gate  Jackpot. Instead, he garnered second prize, six months in Oregon, 200 miles from the Pacific. 
He served at BR-88 from October of 1939 to March of 1940 near Redmond, Oregon, in the center of the state. It was a reclamation camp where Tony worked in stream improvement work, helped maintain a fish hatchery, and constructed primitive camping sites. His was a hands-on job. Officially, he belonged to the camp's "pick and shovel" brigade. Oregon certainly was a far cry from the streets of North Dayton where Tony grew up. He said that It took him some time before becoming acclimated to the Northwest.
His CCC stint was routine: the CCC relied on brawn not brains. His work was rated satisfactory, and his educational adviser judged him as having good character. Tony enrolled in a couple cooking classes in the evening and also participated in sports. He continued boxing, a very popular activity in the CCC. His allotment went to his mother, Rose Parks, who had remarried. Tony received an honorable discharge from the CCC in March of 1940.
When he returned to Dayton, Tony went to work with Delco Products, a division of General Motors. There he worked as a tool and die maker until his enlistment in the US Marines in September of 1942.
After completing basic training at Parris Island, Tony applied  to the Paramarines, an elite Marine parachute outfit. At least half of the applicants failed to gain entry into this rugged group, but "Tough Tony" made it. After rigorous training, he received his coveted Paramarine patch. Tony shipped out to the South Pacific, where he saw action at Bougainville and Vella Lavella in 1943 and 1944 respectively with the Third Marine Division.
The strategy was to cut off any Japanese advance southwest to the Solomon Islands and to neutralize the huge Japanese strongholds at Raboul and Truk Island. These two giant installations had contributed greatly to the near defeat of the American forces at Guadalcanal as the Japanese Navy supplied their troops there almost without impunity for most of the six month struggle. Additionally, there had been a real threat of a Japanese invasion of Australia in 1942. However, General Douglas MacArthur negated that danger by taking the fight to the Japanese in New Guinea, thereby putting Raboul and Truk on constant alert.                                                            
Bougainville was important to the Allied cause because of its port facilities and its existing air bases that the Japanese had built in 1942. Vella Lavella, considerably smaller than Bougainville, had an excellent 4,000 foot runway sufficient to support bombers capable of hitting those two strongholds. 
Significantly, the Allies chose to bypass Raboul and Truk. The expected Allied invasions never occurred. However, the bases came under near constant naval and air force attacks. The huge Japanese army stationed there had no place to go. They literally withered on the vine as the Allied war of attrition grew stronger. When the war ended, it took almost two years to repatriate the Japanese troops garrisoned there.
After Vella Lavella Tony went home to Dayton where he married his sweetheart, Joan. They enjoyed a three day honeymoon before Tony returned to the South Pacific. 
In the meantime, the Paramarines had been dissolved for philosophic and logistical reasons, and Tony became part the 5th Marine Division. Many of Tony's buddies from jump school also soldiered with the 5th Marines. In fact, five former members of this elite group became recipients of the Medal of Honor at Iwo Jima.
Corporal Stein always seemed to do things in a big and unconventional way, no matter whether it might be to come up with a new weapon or to get a large tattoo. On the Axis History Forum a blogger posted, "Stein had a full arm tattoo of some kind of cat, maybe a panther. Back in those days people just didn't go out and get big tattoos on their arms like that but Tony didn't think twice." 
Tony Stein stormed the volcanic sands of the Iwo Jima invasion on February 19, 1945, loaded for bear. His weapon of choice was a modified 30 caliber machine gun that helped him become a killer of Japanese pillboxes. Called the "stinger", this gun was not standard Marine issue. But after tests prior to the Iwo Jima invasion, the Marine Corps approved the weapon and Stein became one of six marines who carried it into battle. 
The weapon represents Marine ingenuity born out of combat needs. Actual field experiences showed the need for a lighter and more user friendly machine gun. The traditional Browning M1919 machine gun, excellent as a defensive weapon, was considered cumbersome and heavy as an assault weapon. 
Since necessity is the mother of invention, Stein, a tool and die maker by trade and also a combat savvy Marine, envisioned a potent field weapon available only in salvage depots. With the advice of a Marine armorer he commandeered  a mounted, rear-turret 30 caliber machine gun from a wrecked Douglas Dauntless dive bomber, as a basis for a new weapon. One source claimed Tony broke the weapon down and carried it with him in his pack, thus giving him additional time to think through this project. Tony knew this gun was lighter than the traditional Browning machine gun and was capable of firing an incredible 1,300 rounds a minute, twice the capability of the traditional M1919. Cannibalizing the sights and the bipod from a Browning automatic rifle, he employed his machinist's know-how and wedded these three pieces onto the machine gun. Then came a stroke of genius! He added a M1 rifle stock to the gun, thereby allowing the gunner to engage the weapon while lying in a prone position. From an infantryman's view, the addition of the stock was the kicker! Since the weapon only weighed thirty pounds, a Marine "grunt" could fire the piece from his hip while on the move, thus creating an incredible assault capability. For someone on the receiving end of this weapon, this weapon was nothing less than "shock and awe." Another source called Tony Stein "a bullet- spewing Frankenstein."
A Marine armorer in Hawaii assembled this weapon prior to Iwo Jima, but could only turn out six for the invasion. 
 Mission: History provided a graphic account of Stein's first hours on the beach: 
When the 28th hit Green Beach at Iwo Jima, the landing spot closest to Mount Suribachi, the 1st Battalion was to drive straight across the island with the 2nd Battalion following part of the way and then turning toward the volcano. It wasn't long before A company's commander, Aaron Wilkins, was the only company commander left in his battalion. When A company moved out Tony Stein was in the lead, and he headed straight for a Jap pillbox. With his stinger he suppressed the Jap fire and a demolition team blew up the emplacement. That worked so well, they did it all morning. In the first hour of the advance Stein personally killed 20 Japs, then he ran out of ammo. We had seen how hard it was to run or even walk on this sandy volcanic ash of Iwo, so Stein took off his shoes, Then he took off his helmet. He grabbed a wounded Marine and hustled him off to the beach, grabbed as many ammo boxes as he could carry and ran back to his outfit. He made that trip eight times that day, each time getting a wounded man to safety. His stinger was shot out of his hands twice but at the end of the day he was still shooting Japs with it...On Wednesday evening D+2, Tony got hit in the shoulder and was told to hustle himself to the beach for evacuation. He was back in the line by Saturday.
On D Day + 10, the 28th was on the other end of the island, the fat part. The 1st and 2nd Battalions were faced with an eighty foot cliff leading into a ravine full of Jap riflemen in tunnels and caves. The only way to the other side was to go around on the shoulders which were certain to be covered by every sort of fire the Japs had. Additionally, the place was crawling with snipers. Captain Wilkins of A Company called for volunteers and Tony Stein responded. Wilkins led a 20 man patrol into the shoulder to clear out the snipers. Only seven marines returned, neither Wilkins nor Stein was among them.
Tony Stein was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his conspicuous gallantry on D-Day. The action on D Day + 10 made it posthumous.
Terence Kyle, a blogger on The Drawn Cutlass related that his uncle, Kent Stenger, was part of that ill-fated patrol and was with him when Stein died. This is an excerpt of his uncle's journal: 
The next morning we moved up over a bank in line with the skirmishes without opposition, and started to advance over one of the few long, level areas we had experienced on the island. When we got to the middle of the area we were hit from all directions. Pete Hansen went down on my left, Tony Stein on my right. Earl Dent dragged Ben to a shell hole for cover, a corpsman had Pete and I had Tony Stein. He was alive but not for long. He had a hole in his back larger than my fist. Both compresses of Stein's and my cartridge belts couldn't fill the hole. He died in my arms. 
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, in the Volcano Islands, 19 February 1945. The first man of his unit to be on station after hitting the beach in the initial assault, Cpl. Stein, armed with a personally improvised aircraft-type weapon, provided rapid covering fire as the remainder of his platoon attempted to move into position. When his comrades were stalled by a concentrated machinegun and mortar barrage, he 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 1 by 1 and succeeded in killing 20 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 and ran back to the beach for additional ammunition, making a total of 8 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, Cpl. 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 sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the US Naval Service.
Stein's posthumous Medal of Honor presentation occurred February 19, 1946, in the office of the Ohio Governor, Frank Lausche. Mrs. Joan Stein received the medal for her husband.
The American Legion Tony Stein Post 619 in Dayton, Ohio, was established shortly after the war.
A two block street in Dayton was named Tony Stein Way.
A bridge formally called the Keowee Bridge over the Mad River located in North Dayton was renamed Tony Stein Bridge. It is ironic that the bridge is close to the place where Tony saved a boy from drowning.
Ronald Bookly, President of the Kiser High School Alumnae Association, said at the dedication, "This memorial bridge should not be thought of as a war memorial but rather a memorial to the sacrifice of a North Dayton Citizen."
A Knox Class frigate USS STEIN FF 1965 was put into service by the United States Navy in 1972. It served the fleet admirably from 1972-1992.
Tony Stein was inducted into The Dayton Walk of Fame on July 11, 2012. Retired Marine Master Sergeant Jim Snyder read Stein's Medal of Honor citation at the induction.
The residents of North Dayton, Ohio, celebrated Heritage Day August 8, 2014, at Eintracht Park. The festival honored Tony Stein, Dayton's only Medal of Honor recipient. 
The Parris Island Historical and Museum Society's Living History Detachment features a profile of Tony Stein as well as his singular weapon, the Stinger. New marine recruits received orientation classes at this site.
The US Marine Corps instituted a Stein Workout based on Stein’s heroic dashes on the first day's battle at Iwo Jima. This became part of the physical training schedule for Marine recruits in the 1950's.The actual workout can be seen on YouTube.
Nine Marines...eight to be carried individually by the ninth man who must do eight replications representing the number of times Stein raced from the front line to the rear line each time carrying a wounded Marine, then picking up two ammunition cans before returning to the front with enough ammo to enable him to pour firepower into the pillboxes.
A thirty five pound kettle bell (represents the Stinger fully loaded and in action). 
Sixteen thirty-pound ammunition cans.
Line up the ammo cans on one side of PT site.
Grab two ammunition cans and run to the other side.
Do 10 kettle swings.
Then pick up a Marine using the Fireman's Carry and run to the other side.
Repeat this process EIGHT times before resting.
Little wonder his comrades called him Tough Tony.
Originally, Stein was interred at 5th Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima. His remains, however, were repatriated and reinterred the Calvary Cemetery in Kettering, Montgomery County, Ohio. A full military service and Mass was held at Our Lady of Rosary Catholic Church in Dayton.

Bio courtesy of Mike Schultz

Corporal Stein's Medal of Honor and citation were presented to his widow on 19 February 1946 during a ceremony in the office of Governor Frank Lausche of Ohio.
Corporal Tony Stein, who was killed in action on 1 March 1945, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in repeated single-handed assaults against the enemy and outstanding valor in aiding wounded Marines during the initial assault on Iwo Jima, 19 February 1945. Less than two weeks after the action in which he earned the Nation's highest award for valor, he died in combat 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. Following the war, his remains were returned to the United States from the 5th Division Cemetery 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 Saturday, 17 December 1948, in Calvary Cemetery following funeral services in Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Info sources: Source: and Source:
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