14 May 2008

Destroyer to be named after SEAL

The US Navy will name a destroyer after Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a SEAL who was awarded the Medal of Honor last year for heroism in Afghanistan. ZUI this article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin:
The Navy's newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be named after Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Michael Murphy, the Pearl Harbor officer who sacrificed his life to save his Navy SEAL team three years ago during a firefight in Afghanistan.

Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter made the announcement yesterday at a ceremony in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., held at the park named after Murphy. The park is located at the lake where Murphy worked as a lifeguard before he enlisted in the Navy.

It contains a black granite wall dedicated to the men lost June 28, 2005, in Operation Red Wing, with each member's name inscribed. A black granite stone embedded in the plaza bears the picture of Murphy and his Medal of Honor.

ZUI also this article from the Norfolk (VA) Virginian-Pilot:
Murphy, 29, was killed as he radioed for help for himself and three other SEALs during a battle on an Afghan mountainside. Already wounded, he moved into an open area in order to get a clear signal for the distress call; a fatal round caught him in the back as he was speaking on his satellite phone.

Murphy was the first Navy member to be awarded the medal since the Vietnam War. Along with Murphy and two SEALs on the ground, 16 American troops who answered the distress call were killed when their rescue helicopter was downed by a rocket-propelled grenade.

The dead included six SEALs based in Virginia Beach, one of them a member of Murphy's ground team.

And this article from the New York Daily News:
The sailor's father, Dan Murphy - a Vietnam War hero who was awarded the Purple Heart - was in tears when he heard the tribute on Wednesday. It came on what would have been his son's 32nd birthday.

"It was obviously overwhelming," Murphy said.

As far as he's concerned, the ship will be known as "The Murph" when it's commissioned in 2011. "Years from now, young sailors will know who my son was when they sail on The Murph," he said.

USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), the 62nd - and last - Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, will be built by Bath Iron Works and is scheduled for commissioning sometime in 2011.

The official DoD press release can be found here.

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