James Rodrick McDaniels was born on April 27, 1981 to Dianne McDaniels and James McLaughlin.
He graduated from Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1999, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Dec. 8, 1999.
After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Feb. 16, 2000, McDaniels was a student at Surface Warfare School Command, also at Great Lakes, completing training on May 31, 2000. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on June 15, 2000.
McDaniels was killed in the line of duty when a terrorist bomb was detonated along the port side of the ship while it was refueling in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000.
Information Systems Technician Seaman McDaniels was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation.
Sources: USS Cole (DDG 67) Med Cruise 2000 (Aug. 8–Nov. 3, 2000) Cruise Book in the collection of the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Navy Department Library. Awards and citations are sourced from the service member’s official military personnel file and listed in the Navy Department Awards Web Service site and may not be complete.