My Grandfather

My Grandfather

I stumbled upon your site today when I was looking for more pages on the Sixth Marine Division. Well, I am glad to say I found your site. I am surprised that of all the old salts I have talked to from the Striking Sixth haven’t posted within this section. So here I go with my attempt if you accept submissions from family members of the Sixth Marine Division.

My grandfather Hyman Dan Daniels became a Marine on January 29, 1942, after one year with the Army. He wanted more and wanted to do more to help the war effort, so he became a Marine. I am sure he didn’t know where he was going but, I feel he was honored to go and serve his country. Right after Camp Lejune he was shipped out for the Pacific to some tiny island jungle filled with bugs and snakes and the enemy. He was assigned to the 22nd Marines 2nd Battalion Fox Company and obtained the rank as a platoon Sgt. I have seen many photos of his service buddies taken on islands such as Samoa, Guadalcanal, the Marshall Islands. I am sure he made a great many friends that became his family because he was raised in an orphanage with his twin brother at the age of 9 after both there parents died. His brother George, decided to stay with the Army and fought in the European theater, while Dan was sent off to Okinawa, the last and greatest battle fought throughout the entire war. It was on that island infiltrated by mosquitoes, snakes and Japanese, constant bombardments, sniper attacks and kamikaze attacks at night through the camps my grandfather put his life on the line for one of his men.

PFC. William J. Madden. Enclosed is the front page newspaper article from the Malden News dated July 6, 1945. It reads as follows:

PFC. WILLIAM J. MADDEN WOUNDED ON OKINAWA Brother-in-law of Lieut. Charlie O’Rourke of Navy and Football Fame Writes Home of Mishap in So Pacific and Credits Sergt Hyman “Dan” Daniels, Cousin of ALD Rosenblatt, With Saving His Life After Receiving Machine Gun Wounds. Daniels Himself Wounded. A real story of heroism and suffering on the part of Malden boys in the So Pacific is told in a letter from Pfc. Wm. J. Madden, 21 Desmond rd, to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Madden. Pfc. Madden writes he was rescued form certain death after being thrice wounded by Japanese machine gun bullets, by his buddy, Sergt “Dan” Daniels, 34 Clayton St., cousin of ALD Rosenblatt, with whom he mad his home before service.

Daniels Hit Performing Rescue. The Madden family had had no official word from their soldier son and were stunned when the letter came from a hospital cot on the Mariannas saying that he was gaining steadily form the machine gun bullet wounds in both legs and in the left elbow, on June 23. Pfc Madden wrote that he owed his life to his Marine buddy, Sergt “Dan” Daniels of Clayton St., who dragged him from the line of fire to a place of safety, administered first aid although he (Daniels) sustained a shattered elbow in the rescue. Both Marines have been serving in the South Pacific for many months and have been in six major engagements according to the letter. Sergt Daniels said nothing of his resue work in his recent letter, but did mention that he had been wounded slightly. Pfc Madden is a native of this city left Malden High to join the Marines after graduating from the West Side Parochial school and has three brothers in the service: Lieut John R and Radioman Donald R. Madden both in the Navy located in the Pacific and Sergt Edwin J. Madden in France or enroute to theSouth Pacific.

My grandfather spent 5 months aboard hospital ships from his wounds and dengue fever till he was discharged. He received the Purple Heart for his injuries that day as well as PFC William Madden. I never had the chance to meet my grandfather nor did my mother. After being sent home he lived for a few more years, settled down, got married had 1 daughter and another on the way when he suffered a fatal heart attack due to never recuperating from Dengue Fever one week before my mother was born. In his belongings that were saved throughout his time in the war he saved this newspaper article that his cousin had saved and passed onto him, He spoke kindly of PFC Madden according to my grandmother. Their bond that day was a lasting friendship that continued till the day my grandfather died when, PFC William Madden and his brother honored my grandfather by attending his funeral. I have never met Mr. Madden nor have found him through several years of endless searching. I would just like to have asked some questions about my grandfather or if that was him standing in that photo. This brown, tattered and torn, as well as taped, newspaper clipping passed on from my grandmother to my mother to me is and will always be treasured.

One thought on “My Grandfather”

  1. Sir…the vast majority of the kamikaze attacks during the battle of Okinawa were against allied ships. I believe you meant to say night banzai attacks, which were suicide attacks by the Imperial Japanese against allied infantry…my dad, John T. De Moss from Cleveland, Ohio, was with the 6th Marine Division, 22nd Marines, on Okinawa. Later, after Okinawa, they were briefly sent back to Guam, then to Tsingtao, China, to accept the surrender of, and to disarm, the Imperial Japanese, and send them back to Japan. John T. passed away at 79-1/2 years young…on Sept. 12, 2001…one day past 9/11…He had just attended a 6th Marine Division reunion in St. Louis. Semper Fi and thank you, Dad…R.I.P>. JSLDeMoss, 1970-72 USMC; member of the All-USMC Wrestling Team.

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