Daly, Daniel, SgtMaj

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Sergeant Major
Last Primary MOS
8999-Sergeant Major/First Sergeant
Service Years
1899 - 1929

Sergeant Major

 
 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
1873
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl J (TRod) Rodriguez to remember Marine SgtMaj Daniel Daly.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Brooklyn
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Apr 27, 1937
 
Location of Interment
Cypress Hills National Cemetery - Brooklyn, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section 5, Grave 70

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Daniel "Dan" Daly (1873-1937), Legendary US Marine

One of only two US Marines in history to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor twice, Sergeant Major Daniel J. Daly, USMC, is best remembered today for uttering one of the most famous battle cries of all time, exhorting his outgunned and outflanked men to charge a German machine gun nest during the Battle of Belleau Wood by demanding to know if they wanted to live forever.

Daly's record was already astonishing enough to secure his immortality in Marine lore even before his famous 1918 charge. Born on November 11, 1873 at Glen Cove, Long Island, survived a rough and tumble childhood on the streets of New York City, before enlisting in the Marine Corps on January 10, 1899. His professed reason for joining was to fight in the Spanish-American War, and although he missed out on that skirmish by several months, Daly was destined to take part in many future conflicts all across the globe.

Peking

Initially deployed with the Asiatic Fleet, Daly soon found himself shipped to China in May of 1900 as part of a small contingent of marines charged with protecting the besieged Peking legations during the Boxer Rebellion. By mid-August, the legation's defenders had been driven back to desperate last-stand defensive positions centering around the old city wall. Along with a certain Captain N.H. Hall, Daly undertook to defend a solid position on top of the wall between the Ch'ien Men and Hata Men gates, armed only with a rifle and a bayonet. On August 14, Hall left the position to get reinforcements, leaving Daly alone on the wall. That night, Daly was subject to constant sniper fire, and single-handedly held off several charges by the enemy until Hall returned with reinforcements the next morning. For this action, Daly was awarded his first Medal of Honor.

Haiti

After seeing action at Vera Cruz during the Mexican-American conflict of 1914, Daly's next fought with great distinction during the first US occupation of Haiti in 1915. On October 24, Daly was part of a patrol of 35 Marines that was ambushed by about 400 of the bandit Cacos while making its way through a deep ravine. With great effort, the marines fought their way to higher ground and a more defensible position, but while crossing a river under heavy fire, the patrol was forced to abandon several horses, including the one carrying its only machine gun. During the night the patrol was subjected to continuous fire, and the patrol commander called for the machine gun. Daly promptly volunteered to return to the river and retrieve the weapon. Making his way back past enemy positions, Daly located the dead horse, cut the gun away, strapped it to his back, and returned to the patrol's position. The next morning the patrol broke free in a daring assault on the Caco positions, and Daly earned a second Medal of Honor for his invaluable contribution.

France

In November of 1917, Daly, by then 44 years old, was shipped off to France to fight in World War I as a first gunnery sergeant in the 73rd Machine Gun Company. His many actions in France would earn him several medals. On one occasion he single-handedly charged and captured a German machine gun position using only a .45 pistol and some hand grenades. Another time, he single-handedly captured 13 German soldiers in the course of a single day's fighting. It was
in June of 1918 that Daly's company was pinned down by German machine guns near the town of Lucy le Bocage on the outskirts of Belleau Wood. Outnumbered and outgunned and facing the prospect of gradual attrition and eventual annihilation if they held their position, Daly ordered a frontal assault on the enemy guns. Leaping to the fore, Daly shouted to his men, "Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?" Daily would later clean up the language a bit for the history books, telling the marine historian that what he really yelled that day was, "For Christ's sake, men, come on! Do you want to live forever?" Either way, the men were so inspired that they not only overran the German position but captured the entire town of Lucy le Bocage, and ever after Daly's daring challenge has been upheld as the epitome of Marine spirit and bravado.

Living Forever

Despite the measure of fame his exploits earned him, Daly was never a glory hound and shunned publicity he viewed as undeserved. In his own words, the "hatful of medals" he had received were "a lot of foolishness." Similarly, he refused officer's commission on several occasions on the grounds that he would rather be "an outstanding sergeant than just another officer." Nevertheless, Daly was proud to have been a Marine. Having never married, and declared in 1919 that, "I can't see how a single man could spend his time to better
advantage than in the Marines."

Following World War I, Daly was put on the reserve list, and took a job as a bank guard on Wall Street, a position he held until his death on April 28, 1937. All told he had served on seven different Navy ships, and in addition to combat in China, Mexico, Haiti and France, had served in Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and eight United States postings. Major General John A. Lejeune, at one time the Commandant of the Marine Corps, once declared Daly "the outstanding Marine of all time," while Daly's friend and comrade-in-arms General Smedley Butler (who was incidentally the only other marine to receive the Medal of Honor twice) deemed Daly "The fightinest Marine I ever knew," and declared that "it was an object lesson to have served with him." These are mighty high words of praise, but Daly, whose combat record remains unequaled in the annals of Marine Corps history, certainly seems to have earned them.

Today, a US Navy destroyer, the largest class of ship that can be named after a non-president, bears Daly's name in honor of his heroics .
   
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Medal of Honor

Awarded for actions during the China Relief
 

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor (First Award) to Private Daniel Joseph Daly (MCSN: 73086), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with the Captain Newt Hall's Marine Detachment, 1st Regiment (Marines), in action in the presence of the enemy during the battle of Peking, China, 14 August 1900, Daly distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 55 (July 19, 1901)

Action Date: 14-Aug-00

Unit: Captain Newt Hall's Marine Detachment, 1st Regiment

 

Medal of Honor

Awarded for actions during the U.S. Invasion and Occupation of Haiti
 

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor (Second Award) to Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Joseph Daly (MCSN: 73086), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with the 15th Company of Marines (Mounted), 2d Marine Regiment, on 22 October 1915. Gunnery Sergeant Daly was one of the company to leave Fort Liberte, Haiti, for a six-day reconnaissance. After dark on the evening of 24 October, while crossing the river in a deep ravine, the detachment was suddenly fired upon from three sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in bushes about 100 yards from the fort. The Marine detachment fought its way forward to a good position, which it maintained during the night, although subjected to a continuous fire from the Cacos. At daybreak the Marines, in three squads, advanced in three different directions, surprising and scattering the Cacos in all directions. Gunnery Sergeant Daly fought with exceptional gallantry against heavy odds throughout this action.

Action Date: 24-Oct-15

Rank: Gunnery Sergeant
Unit: 15th Company (Mounted), 2nd Regiment
 

Distinguished Service Cross

Awarded for actions during the World War I
 

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Sergeant Daniel Joseph Daly (MCSN: 73086), United States Marine Corps, for repeated deeds of heroism and great service while serving with the Seventy-Third Company, Sixth Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, A.E.F., on 5 June and 7, 1918 at Lucy-le-Bocage, and on 10 June 1918 in the attack on Bouresches, France. On June 5th, at the risk of his life, First Sergeant Daly extinguished a fire in an ammunition dump at Lucy-le-Bocage. On 7 June 1918, while his position was under violent bombardment, he visited all the gun crews of his company, then posted over a wide portion of the front, to cheer his men. On 10 June 1918, he attacked an enemy machine-gun emplacement unassisted and captured it by use of hand grenades and his automatic pistol. On the same day, during the German attack on Bouresches, he brought in wounded under fire.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 101 (1918)

Action Date: June 5, 7, & 10, 1918

Rank: First Sergeant

Unit: 73d Company, 6th Regiment

Navy Cross

Awarded for actions during the World War I
 

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to First Sergeant Daniel Joseph Daly (MCSN: 73086), United States Marine Corps, for repeated deeds of heroism and great service while serving with the 73d Company, 6th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, A.E.F., on June 5 and 7, 1918 at Lucy-le-Bocage, and on 10 June 1918 in the attack on Bouresches, France. On June 5th, at the risk of his life, First Sergeant Daly extinguished a fire in an ammunition dump at Lucy-le-Bocage. On 7 June 1918, while his position was under violent bombardment, he visited all the gun crews of his company, then posted over a wide portion of the front, to cheer his men. On 10 June 1918, he attacked an enemy machine-gun emplacement unassisted and captured it by use of hand grenades and his automatic pistol. On the same day, during the German attack on Bouresches, he brought in wounded under fire.

Action Date: June 5, 7, & 10, 1918
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: 73d Company, 6th Regiment


 

Silver Star Citation

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Awarded for actions during the World War I
 

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D., 1918), First Sergeant Daniel Joseph Daly (MCSN: 73086), United States Marine Corps, is cited by the Commanding General, SECOND Division, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. First Sergeant Daly distinguished himself while serving with Machine Gun Company, Sixth Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces at Chateau-Thierry, France, 6 June - 10 July 1918.

General Orders: Citation Orders, 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces

Action Date: June 6 - July 10, 1918

Rank: First Sergeant

Unit: Machine Gun Company, Sixth Regiment
 






 
   

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