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John Murphy

  • John Murphy (center) Commanding Officer of Company G for much of the latter half of the war, poses with two enlisted men, Robert Egler (left) and Jack Morton (right). Taken on Bougainville, 1944. Source: From Ed Gekosky, via Jack Morton.

John Murphy was an enlisted soldier who went through the Officer Candidate School established when the Americal Division found itself with a shortage of officers on New Caledonia. He served with the 182nd Infantry, and was awarded a Bronze Star for actions on Hill 260. He became the Commanding Officer of Company G in 1944, and was respected by his men. Fred Davis of Company G wrote in 1945 that Murphy was “funny in ways, but tops in combat.” In addition to his combat leadership, Murphy had to deal with the men’s behavior when in the rear area, and had run-ins at times, including one incident that resulted in Tony Dziuszko being busted down in rank. During the Philippine campaign, Murphy led the daring night assault up Hill 21 on Cebu. During the campaign, he was promoted to Major and assigned as the Commanding Officer of Headquarters of the 1st Battalion of the 182nd Infantry Regiment.

In Photo #1, Murphy (center) has his cigarette lit by Robert Egler, while Jack Morton observes with a laugh.