Daniel Joseph Daly
Engagements: • Banana Wars (1898 - 1934)• Boxer Rebellion (1899 - 1901)• World War I (1914 - 1918)• Occupation of Haiti (1915 - 1934)
Daniel Joseph "Dan"Daly
Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph "Dan" Daly was a Sergeant Major in the U.S. Marine Corps and one of only nineteen men (including seven Marines) to have twice received the Medal of Honor. Of the Marines who are double recipients, only Daly and Major General Smedley Butler received their Medals of Honor for two separate actions.
Daly is commonly attributed as having 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. However, Daly claimed that he said, "For Christ's sake men - come on! Do you want to live forever?"
Daniel Joseph Daly was born on 11 November 1873, in Glen Cove, Long Island, NY. By size, he was a small man (5'6" in height, 132 lbs), but had established himself as an amateur boxer.
Marine Corps Service
Hoping to participate in the Spanish-American War, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on 10 January 1899, and received his initial training at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; however, the war ended before he finished training.
Medal of Honor: 1st of 2 Awards - 1901
In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, he received his first Medal of Honor for single-handedly defending his position against repeated attacks and inflicting casualties of around 200 on the attacking Boxers.
Name: Daniel J. Daly.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps.
Born: 11 November 1873, Glen Cove, Long Island, NY. Accredited to: New York.
G.O. No.: 55, July 19, 1901.
In the presence of the enemy during the battle of Peking, China, 14 August 1900, Daly distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.
Medal of Honor: 2nd of 2 Awards - 1915
His second Medal of Honor came fifteen years later. On the night of 24 October 1915, he was part of a group of 35 Marines who were ambushed by a force of approximately 400 Cacos (Haitian insurgents). 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.
Name: Daniel J. Daly.
Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps.
Born: Glen Cove, Long Island, NY, 11 November 1873. Accredited to: New York.
Serving with the 15th Company of Marines on 22 October 1915, GySgt. Daly was one of the company to leave Fort Liberte, Haiti, for a 6-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 3 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 3 squads, advanced in 3 different directions, surprising and scattering the Cacos in all directions. GySgt. Daly fought with exceptional gallantry against heavy odds throughout this action.
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.
Distinguished Service Cross
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)
Silver Star Citation
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
Battle of Belleau Wood - June 1918
In Marine Corps lore, Daly is popularly attributed as yelling, "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" during the Battle of Belleau Wood, although no one has been found as having heard him say it.
Daly later told a Marine Corps historian that he actually yelled, "For Christ's sake men - come on! Do you want to live forever?" Chicago Tribune correspondent Floyd Gibbons, who was at Belleau Wood, in his 1918 memoir And They Thought We Wouldn't Fight, reported that he heard the famous cry and attributed it to an unnamed gunnery sergeant (Daly was a first sergeant at the time). Gibbons was attached to elements of Major Benjamin S. Berry's battalion (3rd Battalion 5th Marines) 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.
Daly retired from the Marine Corps on 6 February 1929.
Marine Major General Smedley Butler described Daly, his fellow Medal of Honor double award recipient, as, "The fightenist Marine I ever knew!" Daly was reportedly twice offered an officer's commission to which he responded that he would rather be, "...an outstanding sergeant than just another officer."
Medals and Awards
Medal of Honor with Gold Star
He also received three Letters of Commendation. The last three awards listed were awarded by the French government; only the Croix de guerre is authorized for wear by US personnel. However, a special exception is made for the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments,. Those units ARE permitted to wear the Fourragère with their dress uniforms.
The destroyer USS Daly (DD-519) was named for him.
On 10 November 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.
In Popular Culture
In Starship Troopers, a 1959 science fiction novel of social commentary written by Robert A. Heinlein in support of civic duty and martial service, the first chapter includes the paraphrase, "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?"
A similar line turns up in the Gaunt's Ghosts series of novels: "Men of Tanith! Do you want to live forever?"
He is quoted in The Long Walk by Richard Bachman as "Come on you assholes, you want to live forever?" Bachman is a pseudonym for Stephen King, who attributes the quote to "An unknown top sergeant."
Death and Burial
Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph "Dan" Daly died on 27 April 1937. He is buried at Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY, in Section 5, Grave 70.
|Honoree ID: 62||Created by: MHOH|