Raymond Murphy, 77, Medal of Honor Recipient During the Korean War, Dies

From The Associated Press, April 10, 2007

ALBUQUERQUE, April 9 (AP) — Raymond Murphy, who was awarded a Medal of Honor for his service during the Korean War, died Friday, March 30, in Pueblo, Colorado. He was 77.

The cause was a form of dementia related to Alzheimer’s disease, friends and family members said.

Mr. Murphy, who was known as Jerry, retired in 1997 from a 23-year career as director of veterans services in the Albuquerque regional office of the Veterans Affairs Department.

In January, New Mexico’s senators introduced Congressional legislation to name the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albuquerque in honor of Mr. Murphy.

In 1953, as a Marine second lieutenant, he led his platoon to take a hill even though he was painfully wounded, and he then made several trips up and down the hill to rescue others. He remained behind with a rifle to cover the departure of his men from the hill and organized a search party for missing marines.

“Wounded a second time while conducting the entire force to the line of departure through a continuing barrage of enemy small-arms, artillery and mortar fire, he again refused medical assistance until assured that every one of his men, including all casualties, had preceded him to the main lines,” according to his medal citation.

Mr. Murphy, who was originally from Pueblo, Colo., attended Fort Lewis College and received a bachelor’s degree at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo. He then received a master’s degree from Springfield College in Massachusetts.

Captain Raymond G. Murphy was the 39th Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Korea. He was decorated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a White House ceremony on 27 October 1953. He earned the Nation's highest decoration for heroic action and leadership in the “Reno-Vegas” fighting of February 1953.

Raymond Gerald Murphy was born in Pueblo, Colorado, on 14 January 1930, and graduated from Pueblo Catholic High School in 1947. He attended Fort Lewis Junior College, Durango, Colorado, Colorado A&M, and graduated from Adams State College, Alamosa, Colorado, in 1951, where he majored in physical education. While in college, he played varsity football, basketball and baseball, and worked as a swimming instructor in Durango in the summer of 1950. He enrolled in the Marine Corps Reserve in May 1951 and entered Officers Candidate School at Parris Island, South Carolina, the following month.

Commissioned a second lieutenant in September 1951, he then was ordered to Officers Basic School at Quantico, Virginia. Completing the course the following February, he was transferred to Camp Pendleton, California, for advanced training before embarking for Korea in July 1952. In Korea, 2dLt Murphy served with the 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division until he was wounded. After treatment aboard the Danish hospital ship Jutlandia, the American hospital ship Repose, and later in Japan, he was returned to the U. S. Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California, in March 1953. He was promoted to first lieutenant that same month.

He returned to Pueblo after his discharge from the hospital and was released from active duty 7 April 1953. He was promoted to captain on 31 December 1954. He was discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve on 28 December 1959.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Capt Murphy was awarded the Silver Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

Medal Of Honor Citation

Second Lieutenant Raymond G. Murphy

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.).

Place and date: Korea, 3 February 1953.

Entered service at: Pueblo, Colorado.

Born: 14 January 1930, Pueblo, Colorado.


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a platoon commander of Company A, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Although painfully wounded by fragments from an enemy mortar shell while leading his evacuation platoon in support of assault units attacking a cleverly concealed and well-entrenched hostile force occupying commanding ground, Second Lieutenant Murphy steadfastly refused medical aid and continued to lead his men up a hill through a withering barrage of hostile mortar and small-arms fire, skillfully maneuvering his force from one position to the next and shouting words of encouragement. Undeterred by the increasing intense enemy fire, he immediately located casualties as they fell and made several trips up and down the fire-swept hill to direct evacuation teams to the wounded, personally carrying many of the stricken marines to safety. When reinforcements were needed by the assaulting elements, Second Lieutenant Murphy employed part of his unit as support and, during the ensuing battle, personally killed two of the enemy with his pistol. With all the wounded evacuated and the assaulting units beginning to disengage, he remained behind with a carbine to cover the movement of friendly forces off the hill and, though suffering intense pain from his previous wounds, seized an automatic rifle to provide more firepower when the enemy reappeared in the trenches. After reaching the base of the hill, he organized a search party and again ascended the slope for a final check on missing marines, locating and carrying the bodies of a machine gun crew back down the hill. Wounded a second time while conducting the entire force to the line of departure through a continuing barrage of enemy small-arms, artillery, and mortar fire, he again refused medical assistance until assured that every one of his men, including all casualties, had preceded him to the main lines. His resolute and inspiring leadership, exceptional fortitude, and great personal valor reflect the highest credit upon Second Lieutenant Murphy and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

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