John Basilone was born on November 4th, 1916. He grew up in the small town of Raritan, New Jersey. As a child, John was restless and had a sense of adventure from the beginning. After he graduated from 8th grade, John elected not to go to high school. He told people he was looking for adventure. However, after a few years, he had not yet found his adventure. So in 1934, he joined the Army, serving in the Philippines at the U.S. base in the city of Manila. It was during his tenure in the Army where John discovered a mechanical talent for guns, especially machine guns. He also learned to be a leader of men - with the ability to motivate and lead other soldiers. After his 3 year stint in the Army ended in 1937, John returned home to Raritan New Jersey, but after a couple years, he found himself restless and again searching for adventure. He decided to re-enlist in the service, but this time he would join the Marines.