Saturday, April 14, 2007

Daniel Joseph Daly
One of the Few, the Proud, the Marines
Two-time Medal of Honor recipient
Place of birth: Glen Cove, New York
Place of death: Glendale, Queens, New York
Sergeant Major
Battles/wars: Boxer Rebellion,Battle of Belleau Wood
Awards: Medal of Honor (2)Navy Cross,Distinguished Service Cross,Croix de GuerreMedaille Militaire

Medal of Honor
Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph "Dan" Daly (November 11, 1873 – April 27, 1937) was a United States Marine and one of only 19 men (and two Marines) to receive the Medal of Honor twice for two separate acts of heroism. (The other such Marine was Major General Smedley Butler).

Dan Daly is well remembered for his famous cry during the Battle of Belleau Wood, when, besieged, outnumbered, outgunned, and pinned down, he led his men in attack, shouting, "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"

Marine Corps service
Daly was born in Glen Cove, New York, on November 11, 1873. Hoping to participate in the Spanish-American War, he joined the Marine Corps in January 1899. However, the war ended before he finished training.

In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, he received his first Medal of Honor for single-handedly defending his position against repeated attacks and inflicted casualties of around 200 on the attacking Boxers.

His second Medal of Honor came fifteen years later. On the night of October 24, 1915, he was part of a group of 35 Marines who were ambushed by a force of approximately 400 Cacos (Haitian bandits). He led one of the three groups of men during the fight to reach a nearby fort, and was awarded the medal for his conspicuous actions.

Daly's battle cry, delivered during the fighting in the Battle of Belleau Wood, in June 1918, came as the Marines were taking a terrific pounding on the outskirts of Lucy le Bocage at the fringe of Belleau Wood. Daly chose to order an attack, and, leaping forward, yelled to his tired men, "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" (Daly was, perhaps unknowingly, quoting Friedrich der Gro├če who asked, on 18 June 1757 at the Battle of Kolin, "Kerls, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?") (Men, do you want to live eternally?). For this and other actions during the battle, Daly was awarded the Navy Cross.

Daly was offered a commission on several occasions, but he always refused, on the grounds that he would rather be "an outstanding sergeant than just another officer".

Dan Daly retired from the Marine Corps on February 6, 1929, and died on April 27, 1937.

Decorations and honors

A complete list of Sergeant Major Daly's decorations and medals includes two Medal of Honor; the Navy Cross; Distinguished Service Cross; three Letters of Commendation; Good Conduct Medal with two bronze stars; China Relief Expedition Medal; Philippine Campaign Medal; Expeditionary Medal with one bronze star; Mexican Service Medal; Haitian Campaign Medal; World War I Victory Medal with Aisne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Defensive-Sector clasps; Medaille Militaire; Croix de Guerre with Palm; and the Fourragere (the last three awards from the French government).

The destroyer USS Daly (DD-519) was named for him.
On November 10, 2005, the United States Postal Service issued its Distinguished Marines stamps in which Daly was honored, along with three other Marine Corps heroes. Besides Daly, these stamps honored John Basilone, John A. Lejeune, and Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller.