Frederick Coleman Murphy MOH

b. 27/07/1918 Boston, Massachusetts. d. 18/03/1945 Saarlautern, Germany.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 18/03/1945 Saarlautern, Germany.

Frederick C Murphy MOH

Murphy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and lived in Quincy and attended the Thayer Academy in Braintree from where he graduated in 1939. He entered the University of Pennsylvania later that year. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 caused him to attempt to enlist with the U.S. Army. He was denied after failing two physical examinations and classified IV-F. After surgery to correct back problems, he successfully enlisted in November 1943 at Weymouth where he then lived. He became a medic in the U.S. Army 259th Infantry of the 65th Infantry Division. His basic training was at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and his medical and surgical technician training was at the Fitzsimons General Hospital in Aurora, Colorado.

He received the award posthumously (presented to his widow and daughter) from US Army Lieutenant General O.W. Griswold at the Quincy, Massachusetts City Hall on February 27, 1946, for his actions as a private first class with the medical detachment, 259th Infantry, 65th Infantry Division, US Army, on March 18, 1945, at the Siegfried Line, Saarlautern, Germany, in the closing days of World War II. When the US entered World War II in December 1941, he tried to enlist in the US Army but was denied for medical reasons. After undergoing corrective back surgery, he reapplied and was accepted in November 1943 and became a medic after undergoing recruit and Army medical training. On that day, he was killed in battle from a mine explosion while attempting to rescue a wounded fellow soldier. He was also awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart (with one oak leaf cluster).



An aidman, he was wounded in the right shoulder soon after his comrades had jumped off in a dawn attack, 18 March 1945, against the Siegfried Line at Saarlautern, Germany. He refused to withdraw for treatment and continued forward, administering first aid under heavy machine-gun, mortar, and artillery fire. When the company ran into a thickly sown antipersonnel minefield and began to suffer more and more casualties, he continued to disregard his own wound and unhesitatingly braved the danger of exploding mines, moving about through heavy fire and helping the injured until he stepped on a mine which severed one of his feet. In spite of his grievous wounds, he struggled on with his work, refusing to be evacuated and crawling from man to man administering to them while in great pain and bleeding profusely. He was killed by the blast of another mine which he had dragged himself across in an effort to reach still another casualty. With indomitable courage, and unquenchable spirit of self-sacrifice and supreme devotion to duty which made it possible for him to continue performing his tasks while barely able to move, Pfc. Murphy saved many of his fellow soldiers at the cost of his own life.