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Joseph Murphy '09

Date of birth: December 20, 1887

Date of death: February 28, 1942

Age: 54

Lucky Bag

From the 1909 Lucky Bag:


Joseph was lost on February 28, 1942 when the Qantas flying boat he was aboard was shot down by a Japanese bomber over the Java Sea while en route from Java to Broome, Australia. He was a naval observer to the Netherlands East Indies, and was aboard with the Consul-General for the Netherlands in Malaya and several of his staff and their families.

The Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1942 lists him as attaining the rank of Captain on August 17, 1928, of retiring on June 30, 1937, and of having 1 year, 7 months, 7 days of active service since retirement.

His wife was listed as next of kin. He was also survived by at least one son, Joseph, Jr. He is listed on the killed in action panel in Memorial Hall.


Joseph was commanding officer of USS Hopkins (Destroyer No. 6) from December 1914 to September 1916 and of USS Melvin (DD 335) from October 1926 to July 1927.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain Joseph Augustine Murphy, United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Assistant to the Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery during World War I.

Service: Navy
Division: Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

Legion of Merit

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Captain Joseph Augustine Murphy, United States Navy, was awarded the Legion of Merit (Posthumously) for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Naval Observer at Sandakan, British North Borneo, and the Netherlands East Indies, on 1 March 1942.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 356 (November 1946)
Service: Navy
Rank: Captain

Memorial Hall Error?

Joseph was on the retired list — should this be reflected in Memorial Hall?

Class of 1909

Joseph is one of 9 members of the Class of 1909 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.