Unjustly ignoring a valiant World War II hero

By Joseph N. Manago

“March 5, 1945: Hello Folks: I am still on the Island of Iwo Jima and, before I write anything else, I want to thank God I am still living. We just came back from the front lines today, and we are in assembly area now. We got some chow and managed to clean up a little. It sure is a break to get away from all that firing, but I think we are going back tomorrow. I expect to get back home there some day” (USMC Anthony V. Manago).

Soon after the surprise air attack of Imperial Japan on December 7, 1941 upon Pearl Harbor, my uncle, Anthony V. Manago enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Private First Class. He attended military boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. in 1943, and did one year of advanced infantry training in San Francisco and Hawaii. Anthony participated in action against the Japanese at Guam, Marianas Islands on Aug. 15, 1944, and in patrols against enemy stragglers on Guam, Marianas Islands from August 19 to November 3, 1944.

From February 19-28, 1945, Anthony exhibited extraordinary heroism during the conquest of Iwo Jima. On March 8, 1945, subsequent to the attack of the 3rd Division on the strongest point of Japanese defenses on central Iwo Jima, Anthony was killed in action. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the “Presidential Unit Citation with ribbon bar and star” to the assault troops of the 5th Amphibious Corps, the “Victory Medal World War II” and the “Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.”

On April 20, 1948, New York City Mayor William O’Dwyer remembered Anthony as a veteran “who so honorably gave his life that others might enjoy peace and freedom.” On September 28, 1956, the Anthony V. Manago Memorial Post No. 1816 was issued a permanent charter by the American Legion, and has been a focal point for veterans and their families in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. On June 6, 2006, Brooklyn Community Board No. 3, in a 40-to-1 vote, recognized Anthony’s valor and sacrifice during World War II, renaming Taaffe Playground, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, USMC Anthony V. Manago Park.

Two liberal Democratic traitors in the New York City Council, Letitia James (now Public Advocate) and Speaker Christine Quinn (now in the Cuomo administration) refused to advance a bill for the initiative of renaming the city park in honor of USMC Anthony V. Manago, an Italian-American national hero who loved his country enough to die for our liberty. Semper fidelis.

Joseph N. Manago