Daly, Michael Joseph

Date of birth:
September 15th, 1924 (New York/New York, United States)
Date of death:
July 25th, 2008 (Fairfield/Connecticut, United States)
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Private
Unit:
Company I, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division "Big Red One", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
1944
Action:
"for gallantry in action while serving with Company I, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in the vicinity of Beziers, Normandy, France, on 15 June 1944. When the enemy concentrated a heavy artillery barrage upon his company positions, Private Daly, with complete disregard for his safety, courageously moved his observation post to an exposed point affording better view of the immediate terrain and opened fire upon an enemy patrol attempting to infiltrate our lines. His gallant act contributed immeasurably to the security of his organization."
Details:
Headquarters, 1st Infantry Division, General Orders No. 68
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
1st Lieutenant
Unit:
Company A, 15th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division "Big Red One", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
March 29th, 1945
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
Action:
"For gallantry in action while serving with Company A, 15th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. On the afternoon of 25 January 1945, during the attack upon the woods in the vicinity of ***, *****, First Lieutenant Daly, placing himself at the head of his 24-man platoon, led his men 300 yards across heavily shelled and bullet-swept terrain, to aggressively attack and demolish an enemy strongpoint. Despite bullets hitting only inches away from him, First Lieutenant Daly advanced to within 30 yards of a Germany machine gun, killed the gunner and enabled his men to capture the gun. His leadership was inspirational and skillful to such a degree that his platoon cleared its objective in three quarters of an hour, killing 20 Germans and wounding and capturing many others."
Details:
Headquarters, 3d Infantry Division, General Orders No. 113
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
1st Lieutenant
Unit:
Company A, 15th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division "Big Red One", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
March 29th, 1945
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
Action:
"For gallantry in action while serving with Company A, 15th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. On the afternoon of 4 February 1945, near ***, *****, First Lieutenant Daly stood for 30 minutes on a road in plain view of three enemy machine gunners and twenty enemy with machine pistols 200 yards away to draw their concentrated fire and enabled his patrol, over half of them casualties, to withdraw from a coverless position. Although a hail of bullets cracked all about him and ricocheted off the road by his feet, First Lieutenant Daly remained exposed until his patrol withdrew with the wounded. In addition, he fired into an enemy force which had approached to within 50 yards of hi patrol, killing two and alerting his own men to fight off the enemy."
Details:
Headquarters, 3d Infantry Division, General Orders No. 113
Action:
"For valorous conduct not involving participation in aerial flight in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States. On 18 March 1945, near Hornbach, Germany, when the assault platoon of his Company encountered severe artillery and machine gun fire as they approached the dragon's teeth and casements of the Siegfried Line, Captain Daly, Executive Officer, Company A, 15th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, left his headquarters group, advanced through fire to the assault elements and spurred them forward. He led a squad in the assault on a formidable enemy pillbox and, when the Company was ordered to withdraw, left his post last, covering the others with his fire. Organizing a defensive position in defilade, he personally reconnoitered over exposed and fire-swept ground and held his forward position until relief arrived."
Details:
w/ "V" device (Headquarters, 3d Infantry Division, General Orders No. 312)
Action:
"Early in the morning of 18 April 1945, he led his company through the shell-battered, sniper-infested wreckage of Nuremberg, Germany. When blistering machinegun fire caught his unit in an exposed position, he ordered his men to take cover, dashed forward alone, and, as bullets whined about him, shot the 3-man guncrew with his carbine. Continuing the advance at the head of his company, he located an enemy patrol armed with rocket launchers which threatened friendly armor. He again went forward alone, secured a vantage point and opened fire on the Germans. Immediately he became the target for concentrated machine pistol and rocket fire, which blasted the rubble about him. Calmly, he continued to shoot at the patrol until he had killed all 6 enemy infantrymen. Continuing boldly far in front of his company, he entered a park, where as his men advanced, a German machinegun opened up on them without warning. With his carbine, he killed the gunner; and then, from a completely exposed position, he directed machinegun fire on the remainder of the crew until all were dead. In a final duel, he wiped out a third machinegun emplacement with rifle fire at a range of 10 yards. By fearlessly engaging in 4 single-handed fire fights with a desperate, powerfully armed enemy, Lt. Daly, voluntarily taking all major risks himself and protecting his men at every opportunity, killed 15 Germans, silenced 3 enemy machineguns and wiped out an entire enemy patrol. His heroism during the lone bitter struggle with fanatical enemy forces was an inspiration to the valiant Americans who took Nuremberg."

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