Major General Edmund L. Daley, resident of the Fort Orange Club in Albany, New York, for over twenty years died 19 December 1968 at the Albany Veterans’ Administration Hospital. He was 85.
General Daley, a native of Worcester, Massachusetts, was graduated from West Point in 1906. He married Beatrix Koehler, daughter of Colonel H. J. Koehler, the first Athletic Director and holder of the title Master of the Sword at the United States Military Academy. The General served at Fort Mason, California, commanded an engineer company in the Philippine Islands, and in 1911 began four years of instructorship at West Point in the department of engineering. President Eisenhower was one of his students during that period.
He was stationed at Laredo, Texas, when the United States entered World War I and went overseas as Commanding Officer of the 55th Engineers. He commanded the 6th Engineers which took part in the Aisne-Marne, Saint Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne offensives and the march into Germany after the Armistice.
He was Professor of Practical Military Engineering at West Point in 1920. General Douglas MacArthur was Superintendent of the Academy at that time. In 1922 he was Executive Officer of the Hoover Near East Relief Mission and served on military missions in Armenia and Turkey including assignment as Military Governor of Tartar Tribes in Nakhichevan and Shorour and in 1923 was Deputy Red Cross Commissioner to Greece at the time of the Smyrna Disaster.
General Daley successively served for three years as District Engineer at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for four years in Washington, D. C., in the office of the Chief of Engineers. His wife died at Walter Reed Hospital in September 1928. He served for five years in St. Louis, Missouri, as Assistant to the Division Engineer and later as Division Engineer, Upper Mississippi Valley Division. In 1936 he graduated from the Army War College, Washington, D. C., and was then ordered to New York City for duty as Division Engineer of the North Atlantic Division, in which capacity he served until October 1938, when he was promoted to Brigadier General and assumed command of the First Coast Artillery District with headquarters at Boston, Massachusetts.
On 1 July 1939, he took over the Puerto Rican Command with headquarters in San Juan. He was promoted to Major General on 1 October 1940. He went to Alexandria, Louisiana, in April 1941 and took over command of the V Army Corps, consisting of the 32d, 34th, 37th and 38th Divisions and an artillery brigade. The Fall of 1941 saw the great Louisiana maneuvers, possibly the largest of all times. In these maneuvers, not only was the V Army Corps brought to fighting perfection, but all through them, General Daley was ready to experiment and improvise. He originated the idea of the “tank-killer” force. He was successful in maneuvering the Corps forces and won every operation. He proved himself a resourceful and brilliant commander.
Following retirement in 1942 General Daley was Deputy Director of Civil Defense of New York State, and until 1956 was Deputy Director of the New York Division of Veterans’ Affairs, from which he retired at the age of 72. He has resided at the Fort Orange Club since shortly after his arrival in Albany, New York, in 1942.
General Daley was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal with the following citation: ‘‘He served with distinction as Division Engineer of the 3d Division and as C6mmanding Officer of the 6th Engineers. Due to his energy and resourcefulness, he accomplished arduous tasks with marked success. With remarkable skill he directed the laying out of the defense scheme of the positions taken in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, rendering services of inestimable value to the American Expeditionary Forces.”
General Daley was also awarded the Silver Star (United States), the officer de la Merite Agricole (French), and the Gold Crown of the Savior (Greek).
General Daley is survived by his sister Mrs. James Molfoy of Auburn, Massachusetts; his son Colonel Donal M. Daley—Corps of Engineers USAR Ret. of Cleveland Heights, Ohio; his daughter-in-law Mrs. Elizabeth S. Daley of Arlington, Virginia, widow of his son. Colonel E.K. Daley, USMA Class of 1928; his daughter-in-law Mrs. Katherine W. Daley of San Antonio, Texas, widow of his son Lieutenant General J.P. Daley, USMA Class of 1931. He had six grandchildren: Lieutenant Colonel E.K. Daley Jr., Oslo, Norway; Mrs. Beatrice D. Ishler, Bellcross, North Carolina; Mrs. Anne D. Cramer, Columbus, Ohio; Major John M. Daley, USMA Class of 1958, Vietnam; Mrs. Nancy D. Gordon and Mr. Donal John Daley of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He had fourteen great grandchildren. General Frank S. Besson, USMA Class of 1932, and Colonel Robert Besson, USMA Class of 1937, both of Washington, D. C., are his nephews.
In addition to members of the family, the following were designated honorary pall bearers: Mayor of Albany—Erastus Coming III, Mr. Wm. Davison, and Generals R.E.D. Hoyle, David Traub, and Donald B. Adams.
General Daley was buried on 3 January 1969 following a full military funeral at three P. M. at the Memorial Chapel at West Point Cemetery.
- LTC Edmund K. Daley, USA, Retired
- Mrs. & Mr. Edmund K. Daley
- Mrs. Anne Daley Wattman