Abraham Meier Daniels

Obituary
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October 10, 1917 - December 17, 2013 ABRAHAM MEIER DANIELS was born October 10, 1917, the third son (out of 7 children) of Russian Jewish immigrants who settled in Caribou, Maine. He fought in WWII and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Presidential Unit Citation Ribbons, World War II Victory Medal, two Air Medals and the Medal of Valor from the American Legion. He died peacefully at the age of 96 on December 17, 2013. Danny, as he was called by his Marine buddies, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on October 6, 1939. Following a rigorous physical and radio communications exam, he was the only one out of his squadron of 15 to receive an appointment to the Naval Air Training School in Pensacola, FL. He later served in El Toro, El Centro, San Diego, Quantico, Guantanamo, Miramar and Guadalcanal. He received his wings in June, 1942. In the Marine Scout Bombing Squadron in San Diego, he was trained for all types of aerial warfare, particularly dive bombing. On his first mission as an SBD pilot on February 7, 1943 near Rendova in the Solomon Islands, despite tremendous anti-aircraft fire, he scored a direct hit with a heavy caliber bomb and single-handedly sunk a Japanese destroyer. He continued on many other bombing missions, operating from Munda and the Russell Islands. On one of his bombing missions he was narrowly missed by a shell that shattered his plane's windshield; another time the plane's motor cut off, and he crash-landed in the Pacific near a tiny atoll, 50 miles from his base. After 30 hours floating in a rubber raft in the ocean, he and his gunner reached land, and they were reunited with their unit. After returning from combat, Danny was selected as a combat instructor and stationed at El Toro Marine Base in California. He was made an officer in charge of the Aerial Gunnery School in El Centro. His job was to train bombardiers and gunners, ground to ground, ground to air, and air to air. He also taught maintenance, operation, and upkeep of radio controlled target planes. The group consisted of about 1500 men and 35 military aircraft at his command. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1945, married his beloved Ada Cantor, returned to Caribou, Maine to work with his father in the family grocery market. In 1963 he moved his family to Los Angeles where he continued to work in the wholesale grocery business until he retired. He joined the American Legion and made many long lasting friends. He enjoyed life to its fullest, from gardening to family activities. He loved to tell stories, in particular about growing up in Northern Maine, and his illustrious military career during WWII. He was honored by the American Legion (Hollywood), and in 2008 L.A. Times writer Steve Lopez wrote a story entitled "Boy next door ages with grace" (http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jan/06/local/me-lopez6), which chronicled Danny's amazing life. A kind, honest, humble man, a hero to us all. He will be missed by all. He is survived by his daughters Diana Thompson, Debrah Kitchings, Betty Carmona (Charles), Ethel Daniels, grandchildren Samantha Hirst (Dave), Joe Libin (Jennie), Jimmy Ditto (Simon), Andrew Carmona, Julian Carmona (Natasha), and his great grandchild Jack Libin. Donations may be made to Disabled Veterans, The American Legion, and the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 27, 2013
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