Major General Raymond L. Murray



Major General Raymond L. Murray, who earned two Navy Crosses, one during World War II, and a second during the Korean conflict, retired from active duty, 1 August 1968.

As a lieutenant colonel on Saipan during World War II, General Murray was awarded his first Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism under fire 15 June 1944, while commanding the 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, 2d Marine Division. During the Korean Conflict, he was twice again cited for extraordinary heroism, earning the Army Distinguished Service Cross during the period 29 November to 4 December 1950, and a second Navy Cross on 6 and 7 December 1950, as commander of the 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced).

The citation accompanying his second Navy Cross reads in part:

"…Charged with the tremendous responsibility of taking over the perimeter defense of Hagaru-ri, and subsequently pressing the attack to Kotori in conjunction with another Marine regiment, (the then) Lieutenant Colonel Murray, with his ranks depleted by casualties and all his officers and men exhausted from several days of fierce fighting in sub-zero temperatures, launched vigorous attacks to the eastward to seize a vital enemy-held ridge and consolidate his positions...Affording protection for the airstrip where approximately one thousand vehicles containing division supplies, ammunition and equipment were assembled, he remained until all the wounded had been evacuated. before directing his regiment in forming a rear guard for the entire column. Throughout the night, he beat off vicious onslaughts continuously launched by the enemy and, on the following morning, carried out a brilliantly executed counterattack, taking two hundred prisoners and leaving an ineffective and decimated enemy in his wake as he continued on to his destination, arriving that evening with units intact and ready to continue the attack to the south…"

Raymond Leroy Murray was born 30 January 1913, at Los Angeles, California. He attended schools in Alhambra, California, and Harlingen, Texas, graduating from high school from the latter in 1930. On 9 July 1935, following graduation from Texas A&M College, he accepted his commission as a Marine second lieutenant.

After completing Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in March 1936, Lieutenant Murray joined the 2d Marine Brigade in San Diego, California. Embarking with the brigade for China in September 1937, he served for a short time with the 2d Battalion in Shanghai. In January 1938, he joined the Marine Detachment at the American Embassy in Peiping. He was promoted to first lieutenant in August 1938. Upon his return to San Diego in September 1940, he again saw duty with the 2d Brigade. While there, he was promoted to captain in March 1941.

That May Captain Murray sailed for duty in Iceland with the 6th Marines (Reinforced), 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, and later graduated from the British Force Tactical School. After the brigade was disbanded, he returned to San Diego in April 1942, and the following month was promoted to major.

In October 1942, Major Murray embarked with the 6th Marines for the Pacific area. For conspicuous gallantry on Guadalcanal in January 1943, as commander of the 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, he was awarded his first Silver Star Medal. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in June 1943.

Lieutenant Colonel Murray was awarded a second Silver Star Medal for conspicuous gallantry while commanding the same unit on Tarawa in November 1943. Serving in this same capacity on Saipan, his heroism in remaining at his post although seriously wounded and continuing to direct his battalion during the initial assault, earned him his first Navy Cross on 15 June 1944.

Returning to the United States in August 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Murray entered the Command and Staff School at Quantico the following month. After brief duty as an instructor, he was named Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, 1st Special Marine Brigade, moving with the brigade to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in February 1946. In October 1946, he departed for duty in the Pacific area as Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters Marine Garrison Forces, Pacific, and the following April was named Inspector of Marine Garrison Forces. He returned to Quantico in July 1948 for temporary duty on the Marine Corps Board at Marine Corps Schools.

Transferred to Camp Pendleton, California in January 1949, Lieutenant Colonel Murray served consecutively as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4; as Commanding Officer, 3d Marines; and as Executive Officer, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. In July 1950, when the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was formed for duty in Korea, he was ordered overseas with the 5th Marines which was to be the nucleus for the brigade. As Commanding Officer, 5th Marines, he was awarded his third and fourth Silver Star Medal (Army) and the Legion of Merit during action in August and September 1950.

With his unit, he participated in the battles of the Naktong River perimeter, Wolmi-Inchon, Seoul, and Wonsan; and in the Marine advance north toward the Yalu River. He was subsequently awarded the Army Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in the 1st Division's historic breakout from the Chosin Reservoir area to the sea at Hamhung, and two days later took part in the action which earned him his second Navy Cross. Shortly afterward, with his regiment committed to fighting on the Central Korean front, he was advanced to the rank of colonel, in January 1951.

Following his return from Korea, Colonel Murray served from May until August 1951 at Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., then entered the National War College. On completing the course in June 1952, he saw two years duty as Commanding Officer, Basic Schools, Quantico. In July 1954, he was ordered to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton.

Colonel Murray remained at Camp Pendleton four years, serving first as Commanding Officer, 1st Infantry Training Regiment, until February 1955; then as Chief of Staff of the Marine Corps Base, until July 1957. During his final year there, he was assigned to the 1st Marine Division, serving as Division Inspector, Chief of Staff, and Assistant Chief of Staff, respectively. In July 1958, he assumed duties as Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. He was promoted to brigadier general in June 1959.

General Murray departed for Okinawa the following month and assumed duties as Assistant Division Commander, 3d Marine Division, in August 1959. In July 1960, he reported to Camp Pendleton, as Deputy Base Commander, and subsequently, in March 1961, became Commanding General of the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton. He served in the latter capacity until June 1962. On 1 July 1962, he began a two-year assignment as Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island. While serving in this capacity, he was promoted to major general, 1 February 1963.

Transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps in June 1964, General Murray was assigned as Inspector General of the Marine Corps. In August 1966, he assumed duties as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3. Detached from Headquarters in September 1967, he reported to the Far East the following month and began his last tour of active duty as Deputy Commander, III Marine Amphibious Force. He returned to the United States in February 1968 and entered the U.S. Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Maryland, where he remained until he retired from active duty 1 August 1968.

Major General Murray died on 11 November 2004 in Oceanside, California at the age of 91. He was laid to rest in All Saints Cemetery in San Luis Rey, California.

A complete list of the general's medals and decorations includes: the Navy Cross with Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the Army Distinguished Service Cross; the Silver Star Medal with Gold Star and two Oak Leaf Clusters (Army) in lieu of second through fourth awards; the Legion of Merit with Combat "V"; the Purple Heart; the Presidential Unit Citation with three bronze stars indicative of second through fourth awards; the China Service Medal; the American Defense Service Medal with Base Clasp; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four bronze stars; the American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star; the Korean Service Medal with four bronze stars; the United Nations Service Medal; the Korean Ulchi Medal with Gold Star; and three Korean Presidential Unit Citations.

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