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1st Lt. Thomas E. Murphy

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Related Page: 2nd Lt. Alvin L. Barker  |  2nd Lt. Marshall F. Lee  |  1st Lt. Thomas E. Murphy (2)
 

Thomas E. Murphy Crew
100th BG Photo Archives
 

1st Lt Thomas E. Murphy P KIA 8-Oct-43 Bremen
2nd Lt Marshall F. Lee CP KIA 8-Oct-43 Bremen
2nd Lt Charles C. Sarabun NAV POW 8-Oct-43 Bremen
2nd Lt Floyd C. Petterson BOM POW 8-Oct-43 Bremen
T/Sgt John J. Ehlen TTE POW 8-Oct-43 Bremen
S/Sgt Albert C. Davis WG CPT 4-Oct-43 Hanau
S/Sgt Emmett H. Evans ROG CPT 4-Oct-43 Hanau
S/Sgt Cleveland C. Jarvis BTG X-fer -- --
S/Sgt Michael Rotz WG POW 28-May-44 Madgeburg
S/Sgt Gerald O. Robinson TG POW 8-Oct-43 Bremen

351st Sqdn.. CREW #22 A/C #42-5864"PICCADILLY LILY" PROBABLY THE 100TH MOST FAMOUS A/C..

Note: Alvin Barker was flying Command Pilot with this crew on 8-Oct-43 (Bremen) and was KIA.

ROG Emmett H. Evans had completed his tour on the 4 OCT 43 mission to Hanau.  On the 8 OCT 43 Bremen mission, Derrell C. Piel (KIA) was filling in as ROG. Elder Dickerson (KIA), the regular waist gunner of Crew #25, the Glenn Dye crew, was flying  in place of Albert Davis and was killed on the mission. This was Elder Dickerson's 25th mission.  Derrell was the original ROG on Lt. Richard C. King's crew, but was in the hospital recovering from a FLAK wound when the King crew was shot down on 3 SEPT 43 over Paris.  Upon release from the hospital, he went into a spare ROG pool.  This was his first mission flying since recovering from the FLAK wound he received on Aug. 24, 1943, over Bordeaux.  He was on his 16th mission. Both PIel and Dickerson were killed by FLAK.

 ON 15 OCT 43 AT THE POST CEMETERY, WESERMUENDE, GERMANY, THE REMAINS OF MURPHY, BARKER, LEE, PIEL AND DICKERSON WERE INTERRED IN GRAVES #103 THROUGH 3107. THE PICCADILLY LILY WAS IMMORTALIZED BY SY BARLETT AND BEIRNE LAY'S "TWELVE O' CLOCK HIGH." WITHOUT A DOUBT SHE IS THE MOST REMEMBERED BOMBER OF WWII.

THE FOLLOWING IS THE 351ST'S S-2 REPORT, ACTUALLY MORE OF A TRIBUTE ON THE LOSS OF THEIR BELOVED "OL'MURPH"

(copied verbatim with no spelling corrections)

THE SECOND CREW LOST OVER BREMEN WAS THAT OF CAPTAIN THOMAS E. MURPHY. KILLED IN ACTION WERE CAPTAIN MURPHY, CAPTAIN A.L. BARKER, THE SQUADRON OPERATIONS OFFICER, LT M.F. LEE, T/SGT DARRELL C. PEIL AND S/SGT ELDER DICKERSON, T/SGT J.J. PHELAN AND SGT REED S. HUFFORD. S/SGT ARRON A. DAVID WAS NOT ACCOUNTED FOR AND IS LISTED A MISSING AS OF THIS REPORT.

IN THE TURBLENT, INCESSANT IN THE AIR, HEROES ARE MADE IN ONE SHRILL MOMENT, MADE LEDGENDARY BY SOME FACT OF SELF-SACRIFICE, BY A LATENT ABILITY TO RISE TO SOME EXTRAORDINARY EMERGENCY AT 20,000 FEET. THEN AGAIN, SOME ARE THERE WHO DO THIER WORK IN CALM PERFECTION, TO WHOM THE FLEETING CHANCE MOMENT OF SUDDEN GLORY NEVER COMES.

CAPTAIN THOMAS E. MURPHY, THEN LT, FLEW HIS FIRST MISSION ON JUNE 6TH, 1943. HIS AUSTER, COOL AIR OF DIGNITY MADE AN IMMEDIATE IMPRESSION. HE WAS QUIET, A GOOD FELLOW WITH A READY SMILE. MEN MET HIM AND LIKED HIM AND THE MEN WHO FLEW WITH HIM SWORE BY HIM.

ON OCTOBER 8TH, 1943, WHEN A BURST OF FLACK ENDED HIS CAREER AT THE TWENTY-FOUR MISSION MARK, IT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE THAT "OL MURPH" WAS THROUGH, THAT NEVER AGAIN WOULD HE GIVE HIS SHIP THAT METICULOUS ALL-EMBRACING PRE-FLIGHT IN HIS PASSION FOR PERFECTION. NEVER AGAIN WOULD HIS QUIET VOICE INSTILL CONFIDENCE IN NERVE-WRACKED MEN.

AND YET THE STORY OF HIS ABILITY GOES ON. EVEN NOW, WALKING DOWN THE LINE, ANY CREW CHIEF YOU STOP WILL INVARIABLY NAME THE QUIET PILOT FROM WALTHAM, MASS, AS THE FINEST PILOT EVER TO TAKEOFF WITH A 351ST SHIP. COL TURNER CONSIDERED HIM THE MOST DEPENDABLE "TOP MAN" HE EVER HAD. THE AIRMAN WORKING FOR CAPTAIN MURPHY FORM M/SGT HERRMAN DOWN LAVISH EVERY SUPERLATIVE IN THE BOOK UPON HIM.

FOR THE AUGUST 17TH RAID ON REGENSBURG HE RECIEVED THE DFC, BUT NO ONE RAID OR DECORATION COULD POSSIBLY SUM UP OR ATTEST TO HIS SKILL AND DEVOTION TO HIS CREW. FIVE CHUTES WERE SEEN TO FLOAT AWAY FROM THE STICKENED PICCADILLY LILY, BUT NO SUBSEQUENT WORD HAS EVER BEEN RECIEVED FROM CAPTAIN MURPHY. HE WAS ALWAYS QUIET. NEVER LIKED TO MAKE A FUSS, NEVER LOST HIS TEMPER AND NO ONE EVER HEARD HIM CURSE. HE WAS PILOT THROUGH AND THROUGH, THE VERY BEST. THE 351ST SHALL MISS HIM.

 

MISSIONS OF ALBERT C DAVIS - 1943
1. JUNE 25 BREMEN, GER
2. JUNE 26 LE MANS, FR
3. JUNE 28 ST NAZAIRE, FR
4. JUNE 29 LE MANS, FR
5. JULY 4 LA PALLICE, FR
6. JULY 10 LE BOURGET, FR
7. JULY 24 TRONDHEIM, NOR
8. JULY 25 WARENMUNDE, GER
9. JULY 26 HANOVER, GER
10. JULY 28 OSCHERSLEBEN, GER
11. JULY 29 WARENMUNDE, GER
12. JULY 30 KASSEL, GER
13. AUG 12 BONN, GER
14. AUG 17 REGENSBURG, GER
15. AUG 24 BORDEAUX, FR
16. SEPT 3 PARIS, FR
17. SEPT 6 CONCHES, GER
18. SEPT 7 WATTON, FR
19. SEPT 9 BEDUVAIS TILLE, FR
20. SEPT 15 RENAULT, FR
21. SEPT 16 LA PALLICE, FR
22. SEPT 26 PARIS, FR
23. SEPT 27 EMDEN, GER
24. OCT 2 EMDEN, GER
25. OCT 4 HANAU, GER

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