James R. "Murph" Murphy, RM1c
USS Salt Lake City CA25

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USS SLC...Enlisted Navy...James R. "Murph" Murphy, RM1c

US FLAG Sadly, Jim died from injuries he received in a car wreck on July 16th, 2006
Aug. 14th, 2006
The family of James R. Murphy expresses their thanks and appreciation for the expressions of sympathy and concern thru their cards, phone calls, letters, memorials, flowers, etc. at the time when we lost Jim.

May the Lord Bless each of you,
Ruth Murphy and Family
Letter received Oct. 26th, 2000

Dear Sandy

I'm sorry I missed the opportunity to meet and know your father. I know you must be very proud of him. Thank you for becoming the ship's historian. You are appreciated.

Here is my information for my time on the USS Salt Lake City CA25 during WWII.

The picture above was taken by my oldest sister, Annie Murphy Williams, in April, 1943 in Kerrville, TX. in front of our family residence. I was 21 years old.

I was aboard the SLC approximately four years from 1942 until 1946. I gained rates from S2c to RM1c. I had the privilege of being the leading RM on the SLC's last voyage to Bikini for the Atom Bomb test.

My full name is James Ramsey Murphy. I was number five of eight children in my family. Our father made it clear that after high school graduation we had to make up our own minds about our future. Before I entered the service I was a single guy in my freshman year in college and working part time.

I was 19 years old when I enlisted in the service. I wanted to serve my country and make the Navy my career. I went through book camp at San Diego, CA. It was a learning experience. I met men from various states and all walks of life. Overall, it was a basic foundation for my life in the Navy. After boot camp I was sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for further assignment.

I served on the USS PENSOCOLA before going to Radio School.

The most helpful part of my training was attending Radio School at the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor. I was transferred from Radio School to the USS SALT LAKE CITY CA25 in November of 1942 at Pearl Harbor. I was assigned to the "C" Division. The commanding officer was ball-red-02 Deceased Lt. Edmund B. Pugsley.

A typical day was standing "Round-The Clock" watches in Radio Central. The living conditions aboard ship were HOT in the South Pacific and COLD in the North Pacific. The food was good and plenty of it. The compartment was crowded by ample. My sleeping area was third deck below the main deck. It was crowded with four bunks high and the compartment housed about twenty-five men. My bunk was third high.

My monthly pay, as I recall was about $34.00 a month. My ratings while aboard the SLC were, S2c, RM3, RM2, RM1

Shipmates I was close to were

Earl Boynton, RM2c ball-red-02 Deceased
Robert Burroughs, CRM ball-red-02 Deceased
James Henderson, Jr., S2c Deceased
Robert Kohlmann, RM1c ball-red-02
Joseph Laratro, SM2c Deceased
Charles Maschinot, RT2c ball-red-02 Deceased
Richard Thunstedt, RM1c ball-red-02
Michael Van Kessel, RM2c ball-red-02 Deceased
Donald Wilcox, RM3c
Norval Kelley, RM3c ball-red-02
Andrew L. Liggett, Y3c Deceased

I was involved in bombarding the Japanese held islands from Pearl Harbor to Okinawa. I was also on the SLC during the Battle of the Komandorskis where the SLC received extensive damage.

I didn't have much liberty. We just went to a Quanset Hut for a few beers on Adak Island. Liberty was a big thing when we returned to Pearl Harbor, visiting Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, and staying the Royal Hawaiian Hotel where we enjoyed the luxury of sleeping in a real bed. Our room rate per night was $0.25!

My most proud moments while in the service was when I received a Superior Commendation while I was Communication Supervisor at the 12th Naval district Communication Station in San Francisco in 1960.

My experiences during WWII gave me confidence to go forward and approach all tasks, leaving no portion undone. It also made me have more respect for my fellow man.

I want people to understand that our freedom comes with a price. It is not free and someone has to earn it. It should never be taken for granted. I would change nothing about my war experience and I would do it again if called upon.

My service ended in Monterey, CA. at the Post Graduate School Communication Office, June 17, 1961. I returned to Texas and went to work at the VA Hospital in Kerrville, TX. I worked in civil service there for seventeen years until I retired in 1978 at the age of 55.

I am proud that I could serve my country. I have no regrets and being eighty-one years old, I am now enjoying the benefits and security from my service. It was proud and happy moment when I heard the news that my only grandson had been accepted to attend the US Naval Academy. He gave me credit in having some influence on his life.

James R. Murphy
RM1c USN Retired

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Update....Sept. 9th, 2000
Dear Sandy

About "Bikini"..... The crew of the SLC was assigned to a transport, so after the two Atomic blasts, Deceased James Henderson Jr., ET1 (who set up the "Walkie-Talkies") and I were sent back aboard during the day. I was the operator, relaying messages back to the transport. Mostly for the scientist. There were animals place on top side. We did this for three days if my memory is correct. We had protected clothing issued and would return each evening for decontamination. I never showed or had any bad results so far. I still correspond with Henderson who now lives in Florida.

Thank you for your interest in the ship and also for being patriotic and a good American. We thought enough of "freedom" to do what we did.

James R. Murphy, RM1 USN Retired

"Our Navy" Magazine Article on the USS PENSACOLA
March 26th, 1943
This American and Japanese version of the Battle of the Komandorski Islands is reprinted from the "History of United States Naval Operations in World War II."

James is pictured (#35) with the Radio Gang, 1941-1945 sent in by Veteran ball-red-02 Deceased Jim J. Fratianni and mentioned as being remembered by Veteran ball-red-02 Hugh Southern

Message from Sandy Eskew
James R. Murphy sent me a complete list of names of men who were with the RADIO GANG during WWII.
Jim Murphy modeling a SLC Jacket at the 2006 Reunion in Catoosa, OK.
Operation Crossroads Veterans
Operation Crossroads
SLC Deck Log Nov. 1942

Jim & Ruth attended the following SLC Reunions:   1983  1985  1987  1989  1991  1993  1997  2003  2004  2006

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slc4-murphy2 James R. Murphy
May, 2001

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