RIP Charles P. Murray Jr. MOH Recipient, 3rd ID

 
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RIP Charles P. Murray Jr.  MOH Recipient, 3rd ID

Always sad when such an individual passes on to the rolls of the departed:

 Retired Army Col. Charles P. Murray Jr., who received the Medal of Honor for single-handedly overcoming a force of 200 German soldiers during a World War II battle in France, died Aug. 12 at his home in Columbia, S.C. He was 89 and had congestive heart failure.

Col. Murray was a 23-year-old lieutenant with just a few months of battle experience on Dec. 16, 1944, the day he displayed the "supreme courage and heroic initiative" that earned him the nation's highest award for military valor.

His story is nothing short of astonishing, and I have included his MOH Citation below so you can read it.  But, as always, I tried to find some good videos to accompany this post.  If you can take a minute, head over to South Carolina's The State newspaper website and watch an absolutely incredible video of him returning to the town in Austria where he was when the War in Europe ended:

For Col. Charles P. Murray, a Medal of Honor recipient from Columbia, the return to this ancient city on the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe brought back powerful memories and extreme emotions.

Through three days of ceremonies, speeches and luncheons, here and in nearby Berchtesgaden, Germany, Murray marked the occasion with pride, tears and nostalgia. Today's news video For the German people, however, the ceremonies were reminders of a bitter past they vow not to repeat.

 In a house in Salzburg on May 7, 1945, Murray received the order to cease fire. It came after months of continuous fighting with the 3rd Infantry Division, some of the most difficult combat of the war. The war in Europe was over.

Just to give you a better picture of this man, and his bravery, two other passages from a WaPo article bear mentioning:

Besides the Medal of Honor, his decorations included three awards of the Silver Star and two awards of the Bronze Star Medal...

After World War II, Col. Murray reenlisted and became a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. He was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. After his retirement from the military in 1973, he worked for the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

If you've been looking for the proverbial "Billy Badass" then this was him.

Here is a video of Col. Murray before the SC State Senate:

His Citation, from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society:

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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Comments

Rest in God's everlasting peace.

My husband us a SGT in the Army Honor Guard and was on the casket team doing this funeral. I know he was humbled hearing Col Murray's story, and I am proud of them both, for serving with honor.

RIP

<3

R.I.P may u have peace with GOD

Thank You Sir, after all that, then Korea, and THEN Vietnam? My freedoms are STRICTLY at your behest, and that of your brothers in arms, and I can never thank you enough, all I can say is that I'll never let your memory die. St. Peter is going to need a wheelbarrow to carry his balls though the pearly gates.

Like all great Soldiers may you rest in Peace knowing that our footsteps are possible still today. Because, of what you did then. Not only will we ever owe our gratitude to you. We also owe our daily walk for peace in this world tooll Thank you Sir!!!

Thank you sir for the courage and incredible actions you performed. Because of great men like you we enjoy the freedoms we so often take for granted. The greatest gift is he who would give his life to save another. Rest in peace knowing you made this possible. Thank You.

ordinary men doing extraordinary things, for their comrades and country

Another American Hero Gone. R.I.P Col Murray

Thank you, Col Murray, for your service to our country.

In the words of General Mc Arthur " Old Soldiers Never Die , They just fade away " RIP Col Murray

RIP, you were one of the finest men I have ever had the chance to meet and speak with. Someone that went out of his way to ensure every Soldier from today and days gone by knew their worth. Always a man of great integrity and passion for the Service. Thank you for all you have done. You will long be remembered. Thank you.

it's a great site and very informative.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.