Marine Corps Legends: Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph Daly

Carl | October 12, 2012 

Part of a continuing series showcasing members of the United States Marine Corps whose names have become legendary in the annals of the USMC.

Sergeant Major Dan Daly was one of only nineteen men in history to have received the Congressional Medal Of Honor twice, and one of only two double-CMOH recipients to have received the award for actions on two separate occasions.

Daly may have made Marine Corps history simply for yelling “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 One.

Legend also has it that after twice turning down an officers commission, he stated:
“I would rather be an outstanding sergeant than just another officer.”

He received his first Medal Of Honor in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion for single-handedly defending his position against repeated attacks and inflicting 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 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.

Oh, and the question he asked of his men during the Battle of Belleau Wood?

He received the Navy Cross for his actions in that battle.

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