JAMES A. MURPHY, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James Murphy '31

Date of birth: April 3, 1907

Date of death: July 21, 1938

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1931 Lucky Bag:

Obituary

1931 Murphy 1.jpg

From Find A Grave:

Known to his friends and family as "Pete," a derivative of his childhood nickname "Peterjack," Lt. (J.G.) Murphy was born in Chilton, Texas and raised in nearby Marlin. He was educated in the public schools of Falls County, Texas, at Texas A. & M. University, and at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, Class of 1931.

A pioneering U.S. Naval aviator, Lt. Murphy was part of the first naval squadron to successfully cross the Pacific from California to Hawaii without refueling: Patrol Squadron 6-F, which departed from San Diego for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Jan. 27, 1937, arriving at its destination with only a teacup's worth of fuel remaining in each plane. In July of 1937 he was part of the first search effort by the Navy seeking to find missing aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

On Dec 17, 1932 Lt. Murphy was married at Christ Episcopal Church in Pensacola, FL to Marion Laflin, originally of San Diego, CA. Together, they resided at Pensacola, FL, Philadelphia, PA, Honolulu, HI, and Coronado, CA.

Lt. Murphy was killed in the line of duty on July 21, 1938 when his single motor observation seaplane crashed into San Francisco Bay. He was 31 years old. Lt. Murphy was flying in a four plane formation which had taken off shortly before from the USS Idaho. Witnesses reported that his plane suddenly dropped out of the formation and spun out of control, plunging 2,000 feet into the Bay off Point San Bruno. Also killed was chief aircraft machinist mate Orville Melvin Stewart, 36, of Los Angeles, the only other person aboard the seaplane. Lt. Murphy is buried beside his in-laws, Clara Sauer Haas (memorial #58282303), mother of Marion, and Lt. Cdr. John Jacob Haas (memorial #3403869), Marion's step-father.

He was a member of Observation Squadron (VO) 3 aboard USS Idaho (BB 24).

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1931

Ensign, USS Idaho


Others at this command:

October 1931

Ensign, USS Tennessee


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

LTjg Charles Skelly '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B)
ENS Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B)

January 1932

Ensign, USS Tennessee


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

LTjg Charles Skelly '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B)
ENS Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B)

July 1933

Ensign, for assignment, Aircraft Squadrons, USS Saratoga


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga:

LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
2LT Ernest Pollock '28 (Scouting Squadron 14-M)
LTjg William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg William Oliver '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
ENS James Clarkson '30 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Byron Newell '30 (USS Saratoga)
ENS George Ottinger '32 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Frank Latta '32 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Robert Fair '33 (USS Saratoga)

October 1933

Ensign, Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga:

LCDR William Sample '19 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
2LT Ernest Pollock '28 (Scouting Squadron 14-M)
LTjg William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
LTjg James Clarkson '30 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Byron Newell '30 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Cleon Felton '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
ENS George Stone '31 (Aircraft Squadrons)
ENS George Ottinger '32 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Frank Latta '32 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Robert Fair '33 (USS Saratoga)

April 1934

Ensign, Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga:

LCDR William Sample '19 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
2LT Ernest Pollock '28 (Scouting Squadron 14-M)
LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
LTjg Charles Ostrom '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
ENS George Stone '31 (Aircraft Squadrons)
ENS George Ottinger '32 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Frank Latta '32 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Robert Fair '33 (USS Saratoga)

July 1934

Ensign, Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga:

LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Loren Morris '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Carl Lindgren '28 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Robert Patten '30 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Charles Ostrom '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
ENS George Stone '31 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31 (Aircraft Squadrons)
ENS James Kelsey, Jr. '31 (Aircraft Squadrons)
ENS Bertram Prueher '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Robert Fair '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga)

October 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga:

CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT John Jones '21 (USS Saratoga)
LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Loren Morris '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Carl Lindgren '28 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Bruce Van Voorhis '29 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Robert Patten '30 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Charles Ostrom '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Charles Palmer, Sr. '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
ENS George Stone '31 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Bertram Prueher '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Robert Fair '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga)

January 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga:

CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT John Jones '21 (USS Saratoga)
LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Loren Morris '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Carl Lindgren '28 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Bruce Van Voorhis '29 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Charles Ostrom '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Charles Palmer, Sr. '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Edward Blessman '31 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg George Stone '31 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Bertram Prueher '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Robert Fair '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga)

April 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga:

CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT John Jones '21 (USS Saratoga)
LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Loren Morris '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Bruce Van Voorhis '29 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Charles Ostrom '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Charles Palmer, Sr. '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Edward Blessman '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
ENS Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Bertram Prueher '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga)

October 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga:

CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Ralph Smith '26 (USS Saratoga)
LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Loren Morris '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Oliver White '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Edward Blessman '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Alfred Tucker, III '31 (USS Saratoga)
LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga)

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga:

CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LCDR John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LT Richard Moss '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Loren Morris '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Oliver White '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Edward Blessman '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga)
LTjg Edwin Hurst '32 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga)

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga:

CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LCDR John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LT Richard Moss '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
LTjg Loren Morris '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Edward Blessman '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga)
LTjg Edwin Hurst '32 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B)
ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga)
ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga)

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor


Others at this command:

January 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor


Others at this command:

April 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor


Others at this command:

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Squadron (VP) 6, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii


Others at this command:

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Squadron (VP) 6, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii


Others at this command:

July 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), Observation Squadron (VO) 3, USS Idaho


Others at or embarked at USS Idaho:


Class of 1931

James is one of 52 members of the Class of 1931 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.