ROBERT J. MURPHY, CDR, USN

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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: July 22, 1920
Date of death: January 27, 1959
Age: 38

Lucky Bag

1943 Murphy, R LB.jpg

From the 1943 Lucky Bag:

ROBERT JAMES MURPHY

Cleveland, Ohio

Big Murph's your ideal fightin' Irishman; and by "Big" Murph, we mean he's really big—all over. His talents go beyond athletics. We've laughed through bull sessions with him, and swear that vaudeville lost an ace comedian when Murph climbed into sailor pants. Bob's curly head with those laughing Irish eyes nearly went under in academics at times, but when it "was sink or swim," he really made knots. Kinda suspect Murph of carrying a Blarney Stone to use on his drags. "Quality not quantity" is his attitude toward the lassies. And knock 'em cold he does—Blarney Stone or no.

He was a member of the basketball team.

The Class of 1943 was graduated in June 1942 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.

Obituary

From Find A Grave:

CDR Robert Murphy was XO of squadron VP-64 in Norfolk and due to take over as CO in a few weeks. His plane was on an anti-submarine training mission about 250 miles out to sea when one of the engines failed. CDR Murphy took the controls and attempted to land the seaplane safely back in Norfolk, but the second engine failed and the plane crashed only about a mile offshore. Six of the crew survived but CDR Murphy, his two co-pilots and one other member of the crew were killed. His body was not recovered until two days later when the crushed nose of the plane was raised from the approximately 20 feet of water in which it was submerged.

CDR Robert Murphy was a 1943 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He was a gunnery officer in the Atlantic and then continued his service in the Pacific aboard the USS Biloxi before becoming a seaplane pilot.

My husband graduated from the Academy in 1995 and became a submarine officer. We have been stationed at Pearl Harbor for over 5 years now. Early in his career, my husband was stationed at Norfolk and never knew that he had been regularly navigating his submarine past the spot where his grandfather died so many years earlier. His grandfather's death is a painful memory for his father, uncle, and his grandmother (who never remarried and is now 93 years old) and a story which is never told in the family. We have only learned all of this through asking a few questions and using that to launch us on conducting a lot of genealogical research.

I know you didn't need all of this info, but I wanted you to know some of Robert's story and that the work you do documenting and preserving graves online means a lot to those of us who are always moving around in service of our country and can't be there in person to visit the graves as we would like. This is especially true of graves in Arlington which are very likely far from the families who care for them. Thank you very much.

There is no citation given, nor any indication on when the above was written. (Note that the "VP-64" is incorrect; that squadron does not appear to have been established until 1970. Perhaps it was a typo of VP-46?)

Robert is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Class Navigation

Class of 1943
Robert is one of 77 members of the Class of 1943 in Memorial Hall.
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