From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Murray Rich '43

Date of birth: February 25, 1920

Date of death: March 26, 1945

Age: 25

Naval Academy Register

Murray Moncure Rich was admitted to the Naval Academy from Pennsylvania on June 24, 1939 at age 19 years 4 months.

Lucky Bag

Murrey [sic] Moncure Rich is listed with 195 others below this inscription:

NOT ALL OF US who joined the Class of '43 stayed with us to that one broad stripe. Many fell at the end of plebe year, the casualty list mounted at the end of youngster year and a very few left us when the course was almost run. Reasons were varied and diverse: academic tangles, physical disabilities, civilian leanings.... Many went into civilian occupations, some were drafted, others became flyers and a few volunteered for foreign military service. Some left us early, many stayed for a long while, but none will be forgotten.


Murray was lost on March 26, 1945, when his A-26B Invader (#41-39463) crashed five miles east of Lake Charles Army Airfield, Louisiana. He was a member of the 138th Combat Crew Training Squadron; the two other officers aboard were also killed.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery; he was survived by his wife, Marie, and a son, James Arnold (born ~1939). (Family information from Richmond Times Dispatch on March 30, 1945.)


In August 1938 he was selected to take an examination for an appointment to West Point; he was an Army private (since July 1, 1938) stationed at Ft. Monroe. The paper (Daily Press Sun) also reported his father was a captain in the air corps, stationed at Lowery Field, Denver, Colorado, "Rich's home." In 1940 he was living in Denver unemployed with his father Arnold, an Army Major; mother Ruth, brother Arnold age 1, and sisters Frances 15 and Ruth 14. In 1941 draft card, he was a carpenter for Hallack and Howard Lumber in Denver. (DoB from draft card.)

A brief obituary in the Montgomery Advertiser on March 29, 1945, said Murray ("Sonny") had been in the Montgomery area for nine years while his father was stationed at Maxwell Field. It also stated that Murray "was a student at Sidney Lanier High School," and that his father (then a Colonel) and mother had resided in Washington, D.C. since the former's retirement.

Memorial Hall Error

Murray is not listed with his classmates. This omission was discovered by reviewing the September 1946 issue of Shipmate.

Class of 1943

Murray is one of 83 members of the Class of 1943 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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