Sgt Maj Daniel Joseph Daly

Born on Nov. 11, 1873 at Glen Cove, Long Island NY. He enlisted in the Corps on Jan 10, 1899 at the age of 25. His professed reason for enlisting was to participate in the Spanish American War, however soon after completing boot camp, he was transferred to the Asiatic Fleet.

On the evening of Aug. 14, 1900 then Private Daly and Capt. N.H. Hall occupied a barricade in the city of Peking China during the Boxer Rebellion. Set between the Ch'ien Men and Hata Men gate, it was a solid defensive position.

As night fell, the Capt. returned to get reinforcements, and Daly volunteered to stay at the barricade. His position was assaulted by the Chinese all through the night, but the Marine held through attack after attack.

On December 11, 1901 Daly was awarded the Navy issue Medal of Honor. The citation for his first of two awards of the Navy Medal of Honor reads; "In the presence of the enemy during the battle of Peking, China, 14 August 1900, Daly distinguished himself by meritorious conduct."

Daly's next action saw him at Vera Cruze during the Mexican American War in 1914. This was followed smartly by action in Haiti during the first occupation of that Caribbean country. (See Smedley Butler's bio for more info.) By now a Gunnery Sergeant, Daly was part of a patrol which was pushing the bandit Cacos into an old French fort in an attempt to consolidate and destroy the remaining rebels.

His patrol of 35 Marines was ambushed by an approximate 400 Cacos. While fording a river, the rebels opened fire. All the Marines made it to the bank safely, however, the horse carrying the machine gun was killed and abandoned in mid river, along with many others. During the night, the embattled Marines were again attacked and the patrol leader called for the machine gun. Daly immediately volunteered to return to the river and retrieve the weapon.

Making his way back to the river through enemy patrols, he found the dead horse, cut the gun from it, and strapping it to his back returned to the Marine Position. This action earned him his second Navy issue of the Medal of Honor. A place in Marine Corps history shared by only one other Marine, Smedley D. Butler. Both men earning these second awards during the same action.

Daly's citation reads; "Serving with the Fifteenth Company of Marines 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 directions, surprising and scattering the Cacos in all directions. Gunnery Sergeant Daly fought with exceptional gallantry against heavy odds throughout this action."

By now, at age 44 Daly was looking to the clouds of war in France and soon he shipped "over the pond" as First Sergeant of the 73rd Machine Gun Company. His many actions during this conflict were to net him his, as he said, "hat full of medals." One of which was wiping out German machine gun nests alone with grenades and a .45 Colt pistol and another time capturing 13 enemy soldiers.

At Lucy li Boucage, on the outskirts of Belleau Wood France, Daly made a comment which still thunders with the Marine spirit today. Outnumbered, outgunned and pinned in a poor position, the Marines were soon to be chopped to pieces by the German Machine gunners. Daly ordered an attack, leaping forward and yelling to his men. He is purported to have said, "Come on you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?" Later Daly told a Marine Historian, "What I really yelled was: For Christ's sake, men-COME ON! Do you want to live forever?"

Regardless of what was said, he and his small group of Marines surged out of the position and captured the town of Lucy li Bocage.

Another quote from this penultimate enlisted Marine leader, "

Daly remained single his entire life and retired from the Corps February 6, 1929 as a Sergeant Major. At age 65 on April 28, 1937 Daly died at Glenade L.I, New York.

CITATION (First Award - China, 1900):

In the presence of the enemy during the battle of Peking, China, 14 August 1900, Daly distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.


CITATION (Second Award - Haiti, 1915):

Serving with the 15th Company of Marines on 22 October 1915, G/Sgt. 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 fre from the Cacos. At daybreak the marines, in 3 squads, advanced in 3 different directions, surprising and scattering the Cacos in all directions. G/Sgt. Daly fought with exceptional gallantry against heavy odds throughout this action.


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