28 July 2008

RIP: Michael J Daly

Michael J Daly
15 Sep 1924 - 25 Jul 2008

ZUI this article from the Hartford (CT) Courant:
Michael J. Daly, a lifetime Fairfield resident and Medal of Honor recipient in World War II, died at home on Friday. He was 83. The cause of death, according to a family member, was pancreatic cancer.

President Truman placed the blue ribbon of the Congressional Medal of Honor around the neck of 20-year old Capt. Daly at the White House on Aug. 23, 1945. The award gave the modest Daly an aura of celebrity which thereafter caused him embarrassment.

"I'm no hero," he often said. "The heroes are those who gave their lives."

During World War II, which he entered as an 18-year-old private after leaving West Point, Daly was also awarded three Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star with "V" for acts of bravery. The Medal of Honor came following his actions at the siege of Nuremberg on April 18, 1945, with the Third Division of the Seventh Army.

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Captain (then Lieutenant), US Army; Company A, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division

Born: 15 September 1924, New York, New York
Died: 25 July 2008, Fairfield, Connecticut

Citation: 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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