BY WAY OF PITTSBURGH
Born in Pittsburgh, Kansas on August 25, 1920, Daniel was the only son Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Riordan who once resided on Mansfield in Detroit. He graduated from Holy Redeemer High School and went on to attend the University of Detroit. Daniel worked at Cadillac Motors and sold real estate prior to WWII. The mid-1940’s were busy years – he was inducted into the US Army in August 1942 and passed Officer’s Training School in Fort Benning, GA in 1943. He proceeded onto the Rainbow Division at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma; here he would marry his sweetheart Mary Ellen Hanlon in an autumn ceremony on base.
As a 2nd Lieutenant, Daniel Riordan was an officer with the 60th Infantry, 1st Platoon, Company B, 9th Division, 1st Army. In a letter Mary Ellen noted, “Except for a short time in spent in England in a hospital after being wounded for the second time, he remained with the 60th Infantry in the fighting in France, Belgium and finally Germany where he was fatally wounded.”
His WWII journey ended on December 12, 1944 while leading his platoon on the first day of the Battle of the Bulge near Hoven, Germany. Company B Commander Grady Holman, Jr. indicated, “Riordan continued the leadership of his unit even though he was wounded.” Daniel’s military citation concurred his courage and selflessness. He was honored with a posthumous Silver Star and a high requiem mass at Our Lady Gate of Heaven Church near Redford, MI. His remains were re-interred at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.
In 1959, Riordan was honored again with the dedication of a west side playground at Puritan and Chatham Street. The well kept park is nestled within a neighborhood and offers a paved walking path, basketball court, small backstop and both newer and older playground equipment for the neighborhood kids.
Copyright, 2015. Andrea Gallucci.