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First Name: Daniel

Last Name: Matthews

Birthplace: Van Nuys, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Los Angeles, CA
Middle Name: Paul

Date of Birth: 31 December 1931

Date of Death: 28 March 1953

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1951-1953
Daniel Paul Matthews

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Daniel Paul Matthews
Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Daniel Paul Matthews and his twin brother were born in Van Nuys, CA, on 31 December 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. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on 21 February 1951, 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.

Matthews sailed for Korea in January 1953, joining Company F, 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, First Marine Division, the following month. One month later, on 28 March 1953, Matthews was killed in action while single-handedly attacking an enemy machine gun nest.

For his heroic actions on 28 March 1953, Sergeant Daniel Paul Matthews was posthumously awarded the Nation's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

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 28 March 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.


The Medal of Honor was presented to his parents on 29 March 1954 by Secretary of the Navy Robert B. Anderson. He was the 41st Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in Korea. The Pentagon ceremony also included presentation of posthumous Medals of Honor to the families of Sergeant James E. Johnson and Corporal Lee H. Phillips.

Other Medals

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Matthews was awarded the following:

Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal with 1 Service Star
United Nations Korea Medal

Death and Burial

Sergeant Daniel Paul Matthews was killed in action on 28 March 1953. After his death, his body was escorted to the United States in May 1953, by his brother, who had enlisted in the United States Navy. Sergeant Matthews was buried at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Sylmar, Los Angeles County, CA.

Honoree ID: 1200   Created by: MHOH




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