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Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph "Dan" Daly

was a United States Marine and one of only nineteen men to have received the Medal of Honor twice. Of the Marines who are double recipients, only Daly and Major General Smedley Butler received their Medals of Honor in two, separate conflicts.

Daly is said to have yelled, “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?” to the men in his company prior to charging the Germans during the Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I. Major General Butler described Daly as, “The fightin'est Marine I ever knew!” Daly reportedly was offered an officer's commission twice to which he responded that he would rather be, ”…an outstanding sergeant than just another officer.”

The Medals of Honor are on display at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia.

Biography

Daly was born on November 11, 1873, in Glen Cove, New York. By size he was a small man, but established himself as an amateur boxer.

Marine Corps service

Hoping to participate in the Spanish–American War, he enlisted in the Marine Corps on January 10, 1899, and received his initial training at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. But, the war ended before he finished training. In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion in China, 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, when he was fighting with US forces supporting the government in Haiti against rebels. 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 . 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. He was awarded the Navy Cross for “repeated deeds of heroism and great service” during the Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I. Daly retired on February 6, 1929.

Death and burial

Daly died on April 27, 1937. He is buried at Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Section 5, Grave No. 70. “Do you want to live forever?” quote Daly is popularly attributed in Marine Corps lore as yelling, “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?” during the Battle of Belleau Wood. Daly later told a Marine Corps historian that his words were “For Christ's sake men—come on! Do you want to live forever?” The Chicago Tribune correspondent Floyd Gibbons, who was at Belleau Wood, reported hearing the words in his 1918 memoir And They Thought We Wouldn't Fight, which he attributed to an unnamed gunnery sergeant . Gibbons was attached to elements of Major Benjamin S. Berry's battalion during the battle, but Daly was the first sergeant of the 73rd Machine Gun Company, a part of 3rd Battalion 6th Marines under the command of Major Berton W. Sibley. Sibley's battalion attacked south of Berry's and were on the outskirts of Lucy-le-Bocage when Daly made the cry. Additionally, 6th Marines commander Colonel Albertus W. Catlin implied in his memoir that the yell came from an unnamed sergeant in Berry's battalion. An earlier use of a similar phrase is attributed to Frederick the Great: “Lads, do you want to live forever?”, addressing retreating Prussian troops at the 1757 Battle of Kolín

Decorations and honors

Honors

A Fletcher-class destroyer was named in honor of Daly and was commissioned on 10 March 1943. 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 Chesty Puller.

Medals

Daly's decorations and medals includes two Medals 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 and Citation Star; Médaille militaire; Croix de Guerre with Palm; and the Fourragère .

 Medal of Honor   
 First award — 1901    
 Awarded for actions during the China Relief
 General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 55 
 Action Date: 14-Aug-00

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

 Second award — 1915    
 Awarded for actions during the U.S. Invasion and Occupation of Haiti
 Action Date: 24-Oct-15

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Joseph Daly, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with the 15th Company of Marines, 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.

 Distinguished Service Cross   
 Awarded for actions during the World War I
 General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 101 
 Action Date: June 5, 7, & 10, 1918

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, United States Marine Corps, for repeated deeds of heroism and great service while serving with the Seventy-Third Company, Sixth Regiment, 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.

 Navy Cross   
 Awarded for actions during the World War I
 Action Date: June 5, 7, & 10, 1918

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to First Sergeant Daniel Joseph Daly, United States Marine Corps, for repeated deeds of heroism and great service while serving with the 73d Company, 6th Regiment, 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.

 Silver Star citation   
 Awarded for actions during the World War I
 General Orders: Citation Orders, 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces
 Action Date: June 6 - July 10, 1918

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, First Sergeant Daniel Joseph Daly, 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, 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces at Chateau-Thierry, France, 6 June - 10 July 1918.


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