Medal of Honor Recipient Charles P. Murray, Jr. Passes Away at 90
By Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Published: Friday, Aug. 12, 2011 - 2:08 pm
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., August 12, 2011 -- Earned Nation's Highest Award for Valor during World War II
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., August 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announces that Colonel Charles P. Murray, Jr., Medal of Honor recipient, passed away Friday, August 12, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina at age 90.
Charles received his Medal of Honor in Salzburg, Austria, presented by Lt. Gen. Geoffrey Keyes, Commanding Gen. U.S. II Corps. On July 5, 1945.
He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy by 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, Murray fired from an exposed position, disorganizing the enemy ranks and forcing their withdrawal. He then moved with his patrol to secure possession of a bridge and construction of a roadblock, capturing enemy troops while sustaining injuries.
Charles Murray is survived by his wife Anne and many other family members. Funeral services are pending. There are 84 recipients alive today.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Colonel Murray was the 196th Light Infantry Brigade’s Executive Officer in 1965 and 1966 and the holder of the Congressional Medal of Honor. The 196th LIB saw action in Vietnam from 1966/67.
He is a Graduate the University of North Carolina and George Washington University, where he was awarded M. A. Degree in International Affairs. The Colonel is also a graduate of the Army Infantry School, Fort Benning Ga.,
The Canadian Army Staff Collage and the National War Collage.
His significant peacetime assignments include Chief of the Planning Branch, Plans Division G-4, for the Eight Army in Korea; Executive Officer and Deputy Commander for the 1st. Battle Group, 3rd Infantry, at Fort Myer, Virginia and Personnel Staff Officer for both the Policy Branch and Procurement Division, Officer of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Washing ton, D.C.
The Brigade's only Medal of Honor recipient, Colonel Murray received this country's highest decoration for outstanding heroism near Kaysersberg, France.
During the eight-month period from October 1944 to May 1945, the then 1st Lieutenant Murray also received the Silver Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with first Oak Leaf Cluster and French Croix de
Guerre with Silver Gilt Star for Valor.
First Lieutenant Murray's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
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.