Daniel P. Matthews
|Daniel Paul Matthews|
Private Mathews as a Marine recruit in 1951
December 31, 1931|
Van Nuys, California
|Died||March 28, 1953
Killed in action in Korea
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1951-1953|
|Unit||2nd Battalion 7th Marines|
|Awards||Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
Daniel Paul Matthews (December 31, 1931 – March 28, 1953) was a United States Marine Corps sergeant who was killed in action in 1953 and posthumously awarded the Nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his single-handed attack under fire upon an enemy machine gun position which had prevented the evacuation of a wounded comrade.
Daniel Paul Matthews and his twin brother were born in Van Nuys, California, on December 31, 1931. He was a member of the high school track and football teams before he left school in 1948 to work as a concrete-mixer operator for C.W. Organ, a Los Angeles contractor.
U.S. Marine Corps
He enlisted in the Marine Corps on February 21, 1951 during the Korean War (1950-1953), and after completing recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego that April, was promoted to private first class and assigned to Camp Pendleton. While serving there with the 6th Infantry Training Battalion and the 1st Battalion 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, he was promoted to corporal in March 1952 and to sergeant in July 1952.
Mathews sailed for South Korea in January 1953, joining Company F, 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, the following month. One month later, on March 28, 1953, Matthews, a rifle platoon squad leader, was killed in action when he single-handedly attacked under fire with his rifle a Chinese three-man machine gun team position on top of a hill outpost named "Vegas" in North Korea.
After his death, Sgt. Mathew's body was escorted to the United States in May 1953, by his brother, who had enlisted in the United States Navy. Sgt. Matthews was buried in Glen Haven Cemetery, San Fernando, California.
The Medal of Honor was presented to his parents on March 29, 1954 by Secretary of the Navy Robert B. Anderson. The Pentagon ceremony also included presentation of posthumous Medals of Honor to the families of Marine Sgt. James E. Johnson and Marine Cpl. Lee H. Phillips also killed in Korea.
Sgt Matthews' decorations and awards include:
|Medal of Honor||Purple Heart Medal|
|National Defense Service Medal||Korean Service Medal w/ one 3⁄16" bronze star||United Nations Korea Medal|
Medal of Honor citation
SERGEANT DANIEL P. MATTHEWS
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Squad Leader of Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on March 28, 1953. Participating in a counterattack against a firmly entrenched and well-concealed hostile force which had repelled six previous assaults on a vital enemy-held outpost far forward of the main line of resistance, Sergeant Matthews fearlessly advanced in the attack until his squad was pinned down by a murderous sweep of fire from an enemy machine gun located on the peak of the outpost. Observing that the deadly fire prevented a corpsman from removing a wounded man lying in an open area fully exposed to the brunt of the devastating gunfire, he worked his way to the base of the hostile machine-gun emplacement, leaped onto the rock fortification surrounding the gun and, taking the enemy by complete surprise, single-handedly charged the hostile emplacement with his rifle. Although severely wounded when the enemy brought a withering hail of fire to bear upon him, he gallantly continued his valiant one-man assault and, firing his rifle with deadly effectiveness, succeeded in killing two of the enemy, routing a third and completely silencing the enemy weapon, thereby enabling his comrades to evacuate the stricken Marine to a safe position. Succumbing to his wounds before aid could reach him, Sergeant Matthews, by his indomitable fighting spirit, courageous initiative and resolute determination in the face of almost certain death, served to inspire all who observed him and was directly instrumental in saving the life of his wounded comrade. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
- "Sergeant Daniel Paul Matthews, USMC". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- "Sgt Daniel P. Matthews, Medal of Honor, 1953, 2/7/1, Korea, Medal of Honor citation". Archived from the original on June 10, 2006. Retrieved June 12, 2006.
- "Medals of Honor (7th Marines)". Twentynine Palms, United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on June 4, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-19.