Danny Dietz


Danny Dietz
Danny Dietz
Danny Dietz.jpg  Navycross.jpg
Danny Dietz in Afghanistan
Born January 26, 1980(1980-01-26)
Aurora, Colorado
Died June 28, 2005(2005-06-28) (aged 25)
Kunar Province, Afghanistan
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1999-2005
Rank Gunner's Mate 2nd Class
Unit SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two, Naval Special Warfare Unit, Afghanistan
Battles/wars

Iraq War War in Afghanistan

Awards Navy Cross
Purple Heart

Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Danny Phillip Dietz Jr. (January 26, 1980 - June 28, 2005) of Littleton, Colorado was a U.S. Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded the United States' 2nd highest citation for valor, the Navy Cross, on 13 September 2006.

Contents

Biography

Danny Dietz Jr. was born on January 26, 1980 in Aurora, Colorado the son of Danny Phillip Sr and Cindy Dietz and brother to Tiffany Bitz and Eric Dietz. He was a 1999 graduate of Heritage High School (Littleton, Colorado). He earned his black belt in Taekwondo from the Korean Academy of Taekwondo. He enlisted in the Navy in 1999, earned his SEAL trident in 2001 and was subsequently assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two in Virginia Beach, VA. There he met and married his wife Maria L. Dietz in March 2003. In April 2005, Dietz deployed with his Special Reconnaissance element to Afghanistan to support Naval Special Warfare Squadron TEN and the prosecution of the Global War on Terrorism. The larger than lifesize bronze memorial was created by sculptor Robert Henderson of Canon City, Co. The South Wing of the Pacific Beacon Apartments at Naval Station San Diego is named Dietz Hall as well.

Operation Red Wings

The US Military ID of Danny Dietz is shown by as-Sahab

Dietz was part of an elite team of four SEALs on a reconnaissance mission "tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan," according to a Navy news release.

On June 28, 2005, SEAL Team 10 was assigned to kill or capture a high ranking Taliban leader in the Hindu-Kush mountains. The SEAL team was made up of Michael P. Murphy, Marcus Luttrell, Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson. Luttrell and Axelson were the team's snipers while Dietz and Murphy were the spotters.

"They were spotted by anti-coalition sympathizers, who immediately reported their position to Taliban fighters. A fierce gun-battle ensued between the four SEALs and a much larger enemy force with superior tactical position," the Navy release said. The SEALs radioed for help, and a responding Chinook helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade, killing eight more SEALs and eight Army NightStalkers. It was the worst single combat loss for the SEALs in SEAL history. [1]

Posthumous awards

The statue of Danny Dietz in Berry Park in Littleton, Colorado

The location of Dietz' body was unknown for seven days. His remains were recovered during a combat search and rescue operation on July 4, 2005. Dietz was returned to the United States, where he was interred with full military honors. His hometown of Littleton, Colorado honored his memory by erecting a statue of Dietz in uniform holding his rifle, which was unveiled on July 4, 2007. This was not without controversy however. Local parents, suggesting that the statue of Dietz glorified violence, tried to have the statue altered. The statue, they argued, was three blocks from a school. The Littleton city council stated that 150 emails and letters were received in support of keeping the memoral as is, there was only one in favor of changing it. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2007/apr/6/20070406-115248-9955r/print/ After an even larger backlash against the parents group, the monument was erected with Dietz holding his service weapon as intended.[2]

For extraordinary heroism in actions against the enemy while serving in a four-man Special Reconnaissance element with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE, Naval Special Warfare Task unit, Afghanistan from 27 to 28 June 2005. Petty Officer Dietz demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. Operating in the middle of an enemy-controlled area, in extremely rugged terrain, his Special Reconnaissance element was tasked with locating a high-level Anti-Coalition Militia leader, in support of a follow-on direct action mission to disrupt enemy activity. On 28 June 2005, the element was spotted by Anti-Coalition Militia sympathizers, who immediately revealed their position to the militia fighters. As a result, the element directly encountered the enemy. Demonstrating exceptional resolve and fully understanding the gravity of the situation and his responsibility to his teammates, Petty Officer Dietz fought valiantly against the numerically superior and positionally advantaged enemy force. Remaining behind in a hailstorm of enemy fire, Petty Officer Dietz was wounded by enemy fire. Despite his injuries, he bravely fought on, valiantly defending his teammates and himself in a harrowing gunfight, until he was mortally wounded. By his undaunted courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and absolute devotion to his teammates, Petty Officer Dietz will long be remembered for the role he played in the Global War on Terrorism. Petty Officer Dietz' courageous and selfless heroism, exceptional professional skill, and utmost devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for the cause of freedom.

A section of Santa Fe Drive (US Highway 85) between I-25 and C470 has been named the "Navy Seal Danny Phillip Dietz, Jr. Memorial Highway." [3]

Decorations

US Navy SEALs insignia.png Special Warfare Badge
Navy Cross ribbon.svg  Navy Cross
Silver Star ribbon.svg  Silver Star
Purple Heart BAR.svg  Purple Heart
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement ribbon.svg  Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Combat Action Ribbon.svg  Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Good Conduct ribbon.svg  Navy Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg  National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign ribbon.svg Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg  Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.svg  Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
NavRifleEx.jpg  Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
NavPisRibEx.jpg  Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal

[4]

See also

Notes

References

External links


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