In the left-most sector, the Americans did manage to achieve one of their objectives for the battle that day. Led by six-foot, four-inch Col. Harry B. “Harry the Horse” Liversedge the 28th Marine Regiment drove across the island at its narrowest width (approx. one-half mile), thereby isolating the Japanese dug in on Mount Suribachi.
Gunnery Sgt. “Manila” John Basilone (a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions on Guadalcanal), fighting in the 27th Marines just to the right of Liversedge’s 28th Regiment, was killed leading his machine-gun section. Cpl. Tony Stein, a former toolmaker, had transformed a wing gun from a wrecked fighter plane into what he called his “stinger.” With this unusual weapon, he methodically killed the occupants of multiple pillboxes, allowing demolition personnel following him to destroy the position. For these actions, he was (posthumously) awarded the Medal of Honor.