Hennessy, Daniel Joseph, Capt

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Last Rank
Last Primary MOS
7598-Basic Fixed-Wing Pilot
Last MOSGroup
Pilots/Naval Flight Officers
Primary Unit
1942-Present, 7598, Missing In Action
Service Years
1936 - 1942



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State of Birth
North Dakota
North Dakota
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Steven Ryan (LoneWolf) to remember Marine Capt Daniel Joseph Hennessy.

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World War II Fallen
  1942, World War II Fallen

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Service Number: O-005356
Birth and Early Life:
Mary Hennessy gave birth to her third child on May 20, 1914. He was named for his father, Daniel, a grain company manager in the town of Reynolds, North Dakota. Joseph Hennessy (as he was known on the 1930 Census) was raised in Reynolds and married Elizabeth Jeanette Phillips, a pretty graduate of North Dakota University. They settled in Mandan.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Daniel Hennessy accepted a Second Lieutenant‚??s commission in the Marine Corps in July, 1936. He attended the Schools Detachment at the Philadelphia Navy Yard for training, and received his confirmed commission on March 31, 1937. Lieutenant Hennessy was assigned to the Marine Detachment aboard fleet carrier¬†USS Lexington.
Service Prior to 1941:
Hennessy served aboard the ‚??Lex‚?? until June 1938, when he was detached to the Rifle Range at MCB San Diego. He assisted the Chief Range Officer through January 1939, when he became a company officer of the base‚??s headquarters company. Hennessy applied for aviation training, and was approved in May. Shortly after starting his Naval Aviator training, Hennessy was promoted to First Lieutenant. On July 10, 1940, Marine Bombing Squadron One received a new personnel and gunnery officer. Lieutenant Hennessy would remain with Bombing One through the end of 1940, seeing service at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Wartime Service:
Hennessy was promoted to captain sometime in 1941; he joined fighter squadron VMF-221 on May 26, 1942 and was made executive officer, reporting to the squadron commander¬†Major Floyd Parks. In addition to his duties as XO, Captain Hennessy piloted an¬†F2A-3 Brewster Buffalo¬†and led the squadron‚??s Second¬†Division.
Date Of Loss:
Captain Hennessy piloted Buffalo #01522 (squadron markings MF-7) on the morning of June 4, 1942; his division was instructed to take off a few minutes after 0600 and, instead of being vectored to the incoming Japanese aircraft, stood off Midway on the chance that a second strike would approach from another direction. By 0624, Midway‚??s radar operators decided that no threat was incoming, and Hennessy and Captain Kirk Armistead were ordered to take their divisions to help Major Parks‚??s pilots, who were already engaged. Hennessy, accompanied by his wingman Lieutenant Ellwood Lindsay, led the Second Division into action against the Japanese bombers. A swarm of enemy fighters entered the fray, and Hennessy‚??s division was shot to pieces. The captain from North Dakota was one of those who fell from the sky in flames. Daniel Hennessy was awarded a Navy Cross for his part in the battle.
Next Of Kin:
Wife, Mrs. Elizabeth P. Hennessy
Status Of Remains:
Lost at sea.
Tablets of the Missing, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Section H.
Other Comments:
Body Not Recovered
Navy Cross
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Captain Daniel J. Hennessy (MCSN: 0-5356), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as Executive Officer and a Pilot in Marine Fighting Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE (VMF-221), Marine Air Group TWENTY-TWO (MAG-22), Naval Air Station, Midway, during operations of the U.S. Naval and Marine Forces against the invading Japanese Fleet during the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942. Leading his squadron in a dauntless and aggressive attack against a vastly superior number of Japanese bomber and fighter planes, Captain Hennessy aided in disrupting the plans of the enemy and lessening the effectiveness of their attack, thereby contributing materially to the success of our forces. As a result of his courageous and daring tactics and because of the circumstances attendant upon this engagement, there can be little doubt that Captain Hennessy gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country. He displayed the characteristics of a fine leader and excellent airman, in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: 4-Jun-42
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Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Attack on Pearl Harbor
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The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack led to the United States' entry into World War II.

The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. There were simultaneous Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

From the standpoint of the defenders, the attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time. The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but one were later raised, and six of the eight battleships were returned to service and went on to fight in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded. Important base installations such as the power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.

The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8), the United States declared war on Japan. Domestic support for non-interventionism, which had been strong, disappeared. Clandestine support of Britain (e.g., the Neutrality Patrol) was replaced by active alliance. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.

Years later several writers alleged that parties high in the U.S. and British governments knew of the attack in advance and may have let it happen (or even encouraged it) with the aim of bringing America into war. However, this Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory is rejected by mainstream historians.

There were numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action by Japan. However, the lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy".

Due to the fact the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor was judged by the Tokyo Trials to be a Japanese war crime.
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  187 Also There at This Battle:
  • Bagley, Wilbur Longeway, Sgt, (1940-1943)
  • Barrows, Arthur Burton, Maj, (1936-1942)
  • Belt, Everett Ray, PFC, (1940-1941)
  • Chiasson, Antoine J, PFC, (1939-1946)
  • Darling, Willard, Cpl, (1941-1945)
  • Davis, Owen L.
  • Hartman, Darrel Fred, Sgt, (1940-1944)
  • Horton, Burt Howard, Sgt, (1941-1944)
  • Jones, Jesse Rayford, PFC, (1941-1943)
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