1921 – 1945
Tony Stein was one of Dayton’s young citizens in the 1930’s attending Kiser High School in Old North Dayton. Described as
fearless, Tony was a golden Gloves Boxing Champion and credited with saving the life of a drowning boy in the Mad River. He worked in the Civilian Conservation Corp. during the Depression and later became a tool and die maker at Delco. In 1942, Tony Stein joined the United States Marine Corp., and his story became one of bravery and valor. On February 19, 1945, Tony’s unit invaded the island of Iwo Jima. With his tool and die skill, Tony made a famous weapon called the ‘Stinger’, a .30 cal. machine gun he fabricated from the wing gun of a U.S. Navy plane. Within an hour of arriving on the island, and under constant heavy fire, he ran back to the beach eight times for additional ammunition for his unit, each time carrying a wounded Marine back with him to receive medical attention. On the ninth
trip, Tony was wounded and sent to a hospital for treatment, but days later he insisted on returning to duty. He was killed in combat just a few weeks later on March 1, 1945. For his action on February 19, 1945, Tony Stein was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest honor his country could offer. In addition, a naval destroyer escort was named the USS Tony Stein in his honor; and
the ‘Stinger’ missile used by our military today is named after Tony’s improvised weapon.