AUBURN – President George W. Bush has presented the Bronze Star Medal to Captain Daniel M. O’Connor, Marine Corps, formerly of Auburn, for service as set forth in the following citation:

“For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as Commanding Officer, Co. A, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force from February to September 2004. On April 10, 2004, Co. A was conducting counter mortar patrols south of Al Kharma, Iraq, when they became heavily engaged with rocket propelled grenades, heavy machine-gun fire and mortar fire from three directions.

“Under this withering fusillade, with detonations and small arms rounds impacting around him, he rapidly assessed the situation and calmly directed fire support assets onto several targets while maneuvering his company into firing positions.

“At one point during this ferocious engagement, he worked with an AC-130H Spectre Gunship to designate and attack targets that were close to friendly units.

“Captain O’Connor also masterfully planned, executed and led the daring direct-action raid to capture the Iraqi Theater level high value targets known as the Naji brothers. This precision raid netted the insurgents responsible for funding bomb makers and rocket teams targeting forward operating bases and coalition convoys.

“These two engagements killed 35 insurgents, captured two key Anti-Iraqi Forces paymasters, and resulted in a major reduction of the rocket and mortar attacks on coalition forces in Eastern Al Anbar Province.

“By his zealous initiative, courageous actions and exceptional dedication to duty, Captain O’Connor reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.”

O’Connor is a 1992 graduate of Edward Little High School and a 1996 graduate of the University of New Hampshire. He is married to Kimberly Peters O’Connor and is the son of Dr. Philip and Charlotte O’Connor. He has returned from Iraq and is stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif.


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