Rank and organization:   Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B 1 5th
Infantry, 3d Infantry Division.
Place and date:   Near Holtzwihr France,
26 January 1945.
Entered service at:   Dallas, Tex.
Birth:   Hunt County, near
G.O. No.. 65, 9 August 1945. Citation 2d Lt. Murphy commanded
Company B, which was attacked by 6 tanks and waves of infantry. 2d Lt.
Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to prepared positions in a woods, while
he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions
to the artillery by telephone. Behind him, to his right, 1 of our tank
destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to
the woods. 2d Lt. Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed
large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast
of his position, 2d Lt. Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer, which
was in danger of blowing up at any moment, and employed its .50 caliber
machinegun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to German fire from
3 sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their
infantry attack to waver. The enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began
to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate
2d Lt. Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad
which was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached
as close as 10 yards, only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a
leg wound, but ignored it and continued the single-handed fight until his
ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way to his company, refused
medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack which forced
the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many
of the enemy; he killed or wounded about 50. 2d Lt. Murphy's indomitable
courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from
possible encirclement and destruction, and enabled it to hold the woods
which had been the enemy's objective.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)