American Valor
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History of the Medal
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Raymond G. MurphyRaymond G. Murphy

Born: January 14, 1930
Pueblo, Colorado

War: Korea

Rank: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.)

Location of action: Korea

Date of action: February 3, 1953

Medal received from: President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Official Citation:
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, in action against enemy aggressor forces. 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 Lt. 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 casualties as they 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 Lt. 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 and inspiring leadership, exceptional fortitude, and great personal valor reflect the highest credit upon Second Lt. Murphy and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Raymond Murphy graduated from Pueblo Catholic High School in 1947. He attended Fort Lewis Junior College, Durango, Colorado A&M, and is a 1951 graduate of Adams State college, Alamosa, Colorado where he majored in physical education. While in college, he played varsity football, basketball and baseball.

Murphy 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, he served with the 5th Regiment of the 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.

Murphy returned to Pueblo after his discharge from the hospital, and was released from active duty April 7, 1953. He was promoted to captain on December 31, 1954 and was discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve on December 28, 1959.

Of Note:
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Murphy has been awarded the Silver Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, and the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars.

Murphy’s 5th Marine regiment is the Marine Corps’ most decorated regiment.

©2003 GWETA