Daniel Cullinane was born on February 25, 1895, in Cork, Ireland. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on August 21, 1919, and served aboard the submarine USS R-9 (SS-86) from August 1919 to May 1925, followed by service aboard the submarine USS S-1 (SS-105) from June 1925 to December 1930. His next assignment was aboard the submarine USS R-11 (SS-88) from December 1930 to January 1934, and then to Submarine Base Coco Solo, Panama, and aboard the submarines USS S-14 (SS-119) and USS S-17 (SS-122) from January to November 1934. MM1c Cullinane then served aboard the submarine USS R-4 (SS-81) from December 1934 to June 1935, followed by service at NTS Newport, Rhode Island, from June 1935 until he left active duty and went into the U.S. Naval Reserve on September 21, 1935. MoMM1c Cullinane was reactivated in the U.S. Navy on April 10, 1942, and was immediately assigned to the crew of the submarine USS Grunion (SS-216) upon her commissioning. He was killed in action during a confrontation with the armed Japanese freighter Kano Maru on July 30, 1942. On August 22, 2007, a search team organized by the three sons of CDR Mannert Abele (the Captain of the Grunion when she was sunk) used a remotely operated vehicle to find a sunken vessel 3,000 feet down in the Bering Sea north of Kiska Island at the tip of the Aleutian Islands. On October 1, 2008, the U.S. Navy announced that the sunken vessel is the World War II submarine USS Grunion (SS-216).
His Navy Commendation Medal Citation reads:
For meritorious conduct as a member of the crew of the U.S.S. GRUNION which destroyed three enemy destroyers while engaged in a war patrol in enemy controlled waters. Despite severe and persistent anti-submarine measures resulting from these three successful attacks, the GRUNION was brought safely through the counter attacks and continued an aggressive war patrol. As a member of the crew of the GRUNION, your performance of duty was an important and material contribution to the prosecution of this war.