Meet the Heroes: US Marine Corps Corporal Tony Stein

US Marine Corps Corporal Tony Stein customized a .30 caliber M1919 Browning machine gun from a wrecked Navy fighter plane into a highly effective personal machine gun nicknamed “Stinger”. He landed on Iwo Jima February 19, 1945 with his unit and in the assault, he destroyed multiple pillboxes. The Stinger’s high rate of fire led quickly to Stein running out of ammo. Kicking his shoes off and throwing his M1 helmet down, he ran back eight times to get fresh ammunition for the Stinger. Each time he ran to the rear he also aided wounded Marines to safety. Stein and the Stinger pushed forward, mercilessly assaulting the dug in Japanese throughout the battle.


On March 1, 1945, he was killed by a sniper while leading a 19-man patrol to reconnoiter a machine gun emplacement which had Company A pinned down.

Tony Stein was awarded a Medal of Honor posthumously for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

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 U.S. Naval Service.

Read more about this war hero here:

And also a lot more information on the Stinger machine gun here:

The Stinger Light Machinegun

And finally, here is Stoessi’s Heroes version of Tony Stein and his Stinger:

This miniature will soon be available via our shop and via our resellers.

In the meantime, join the Stoessi’s Heroes group on Facebook and possibly also our Facebook page, so that you don’t miss any announcements for new releases.




2 Replies to “Meet the Heroes: US Marine Corps Corporal Tony Stein”

  1. Ed Bonthron says: Reply

    I just watched a episode of the Weapon Hunter dealing with this very Marine and weapon last night. I will have to keep abreast of this as I will have to have one.

  2. Brian Stoner says: Reply

    I am not personally interested in ‘action figures’ but I greatly respect, and appreciate, the fact that you are helping to keep alive the untarnishable example of men like Cpl. Stein, and the selfless devotion to duty he and his fellow Marines and soldiers displayed. Cheers!

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