SSgt Dennis Daniel, Co L, 165th Inf.
My uncle (6 Aug 1918-2 May 1945) died on Okinawa.The letter sent my grandmother by his commanding officer is special enough that I wanted to share it.Wish I could have known him, but he died before I was born. Here's the text of the letter she received dated July 7, 1945:
Dear Mrs. Daniel:
I know how futile this letter may sound to you as you read it, but may I, on behalf of the officers and men of Company L, offer my deepest sympathy and my admiration for your son who gave his life for his God and country, for his folks and for his comrades in arms.
To you his leadership, the personal love for him by the men he commanded and the respect that all the officers of this unit had for Dennis' ability may seem unimportant but they were so apparent that I feel you should know.May I also tell you of his good nature, his complete unselfishness and his outstanding conduct as a man.
On the day that Dennis was killed in action his platoon had made great gains against very stiff opposition.Some of his men had been wounded by enemy machine gun fire and were about a hundred yards in advance of the unit on open terrain.With no thought for his own safety, Dennis dashed across the open ground, reached them and succeeded in caring for their wounds.The enemy gun again opened fire and mortally wounded Dennis who was the most exposed.Although one man's wound was not sufficient to incapacitate him and he did all he could, for Dennis, nothing could be done to save his life.He passed away very soon after he was hit.
The one consolation I can offer is that Dennis did not suffer.His remains rest in ... Division Army Cemetery.If there is any other information you should desire please feel free to write to me.
It is with deepest sorrow that I write this letter, I'm sure that nothing I can say will alleviate the sorrow you must feel, but it is my greatest wish that you know Dennis died bravely in the performance of his duty and that it will help you to be as proud of him and his service to his country as I have been to have had him as a leader in my command.His loss will be felt by all the members of this organization.Dennis' thoughts in this campaign, as is the case with all brave men, were not concerned with his personal safety nor with the sacrifice he was making for his country, rather they rested with you at home and with the men he lead.May I commend him to you as I knew him - a Man, and a splendid soldier.
(Signed) Joseph P. Stampher, Capt., 165th Inf Comdg