The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom

Second Lieutenant

United States Marine Corps

Raymond G. Murphy


Second Lieutenant Raymond G. Murphy
United States Marine Corps

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, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 3 February 1953. 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 casualities as the 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 inspiring leadership. exceptional fortitude and great personal valor reflect the highest credit upon Second Lieutenant Murphy and enhance the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
President of the United States

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.

After his discharge, Mr. Murphy operated a bowling alley for a time before going to work for the New Mexico Veterans Administration.  He retired as director of that agency in 1997 but continued to volunteer at a veterans hospital until 2005.  Mr. Murphy passed away on 6 April 2007 at a veterans nursing home in Pueblo at the age of 77.

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.


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