14 August 2011

RIP: Charles P Murray, Jr

Charles Patrick Murray, Jr
26 Sep 1921 – 12 Aug 2011

ZUI this article from The State (Columbia SC):
Col. Charles P. Murray Jr., who received the Medal of Honor, three Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars and the French Legion of Honor for valor in World War II, passed away at his Columbia home Friday. He was 89.


He is survived by his wife, Anne, son Brian of Fort Payne, Ala., and daughter Cynthia Anne of Roswell, Ga. Another son, Charles P. Murray III, of Columbia passed away in 2004.
Along with Audie Murphy, with whom he served, Murray was one of the most decorated soldiers in the most decorated division in the U.S. Army.
A Baltimore native raised in Wilmington, N.C., Murray was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when he enlisted in the Army Sept. 7, 1942.
Murray joined the famed 3rd Infantry Division in 1944 after it went ashore in southern France in what is termed the Forgotten D-Day — two months after the more famous D-Day in Normandy. The 3rd Infantry Division — part of an invasion force of American, British, Dutch, Canadian, French and even Italian troops — landed at St. Tropez in France and advanced up the Rhone Valley.


His battalion was pinned down on a ridge under heavy fire by 200 well-entrenched Germans. Murray, using a variety of weapons, killed 20 enemy soldiers and captured 10 more, single-handedly driving the Germans from the position.
At the end of his assault, a German grenade riddled him with shrapnel, wounding him in eight places. He spent only four days in an aid station before “borrowing” a uniform and returning to his unit.

There are now 84 living Medal of Honor recipients.

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First Lieutenant, US Army; Company C, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division

Born: 26 September 1921, Baltimore, Maryland
Died: 12 August 2011, Columbia, South Carolina

Citation: For commanding Company C, 30th Infantry, displaying supreme courage and heroic initiative near Kaysersberg, France, on 16 December 1944, while leading a reinforced platoon into enemy territory. Descending into a valley beneath hilltop positions held by our troops, he observed a force of 200 Germans pouring deadly mortar, bazooka, machinegun, and small arms fire into an American battalion occupying the crest of the ridge. The enemy's position in a sunken road, though hidden from the ridge, was open to a flank attack by 1st Lt. Murray's patrol but he hesitated to commit so small a force to battle with the superior and strongly disposed enemy. Crawling out ahead of his troops to a vantage point, he called by radio for artillery fire. His shells bracketed the German force, but when he was about to correct the range his radio went dead. He returned to his patrol, secured grenades and a rifle to launch them and went back to his self-appointed outpost. His first shots disclosed his position; the enemy directed heavy fire against him as he methodically fired his missiles into the narrow defile. Again he returned to his patrol. With an automatic rifle and ammunition, he once more moved to his exposed position. Burst after burst he fired into the enemy, killing 20, wounding many others, and completely disorganizing its ranks, which began to withdraw. He prevented the removal of 3 German mortars by knocking out a truck. By that time a mortar had been brought to his support. 1st Lt. Murray directed fire of this weapon, causing further casualties and confusion in the German ranks. Calling on his patrol to follow, he then moved out toward his original objective, possession of a bridge and construction of a roadblock. He captured 10 Germans in foxholes. An eleventh, while pretending to surrender, threw a grenade which knocked him to the ground, inflicting 8 wounds. Though suffering and bleeding profusely, he refused to return to the rear until he had chosen the spot for the block and had seen his men correctly deployed. By his single-handed attack on an overwhelming force and by his intrepid and heroic fighting, 1st Lt. Murray stopped a counterattack, established an advance position against formidable odds, and provided an inspiring example for the men of his command.

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