RAYMOND J. MURRAY, LTJG, USN
Raymond Murray '40
Date of birth: August 17, 1916
Date of death: August 9, 1942
From the 1940 Lucky Bag:
His mother was listed as next of kin.
Ray, a native of New York, was the manager of the track team and man-about-town at the Academy. On graduation, he reported on board VINCENNES, a 10,000-ton ASTORIA-class heavy cruiser, and was assigned as an assistant M-Division officer during overhaul at Boston Navy Yard. On the ship's return to sea in October, 1940, Ray was assigned to the 4th Division as its junior officer responsible for the 5"/25 gun battery; his battle station was that of spotting officer to correct the fall of shot of the main battery, three triple-gun 8"/50 turrets. In mid-1941, he became junior officer of the F-Division, fire control of the main battery. The ship was involved in "neutrality patrols" and convoy duty in the Atlantic throughout the year. By late summer, 1941, Ray was one of only four qualified Officers-of-the-Deck, which continued for the remaining year of the ship's life.
In early 1942, Ray was assigned battle station as Plotting Room Officer, in charge of the main battery fire control, stationed well below the ship's waterline. In March, 1942, VINCENNES joined the Pacific Fleet, where she participated in the launching of the Doolittle raid on Tokyo and in the Battle of Midway.
On August 7, 1942, the ship was a member of the gunfire support force at the initial landings on Guadalcanal. In the ensuing surface Battle of Savo Island during the early hours of August 9, VINCENNES was in the northern force, leading cruisers QUINCY and ASTORIA and destroyers WILSON and HELM. The attacking Japanese force of five heavy and two light cruisers separated into two columns as they came north, straddling the U.S. force. VINCENNES' main battery commenced firing during condition watch, ceased when the ship's captain came to the bridge, then resumed. It fired two salves under director control, but within the early minutes both of VINCENNES' main battery directors were shot out of commission. The ship was also struck by three or four of the enemy cruisers' torpedoes, one of which either directly flooded the Plotting Room or indirectly flooded it as the result of a hit in the forward fireroom, immediately aft of the Plotting Room. A few members of the Plotting Room crew escaped through a vertical trunk, but the majority did not survive.
Lieutenant (junior grade) Murry’s body remained with the ship when it sank. His surviving shipmates remember him with admiration and affection. Ray Hundevadt