Editorial Salute - 8/18/11

America has lost another of its genuine World War II military heroes.  On Tuesday, COL Charles Murray, Jr. passed-away peacefully at his home in Columbia, South Carolina.  COL Murray was an extraordinary soldier, a proud member of the Third Infantry Division, and one of the most decorated warriors to ever represent our nation.  Through his courage and bravery in combat, COL Murray earned three Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, the French Legion of Honor, and America's Medal of Honor.

The latter honor, our nation's highest, resulted when, in December of 1944, in Eastern France, then-First-Lieutenant Murray led his reinforced platoon onto the flank of a 200-man German force.  Rather than risking his small team against such overwhelming numbers, he decided to advance on his own.  Armed with a Browning automatic and a supply of ammo, he moved in, killing 20 German fighters, wounding several others, confusing the enemy force to the point where they begin to withdraw.  During which he shot-up a mortar-carrying German truck, preventing its removal.  Advancing further, now with his platoon, to take control of a key bridge, he captured 10 German soldiers in foxholes.  Feigning surrender, an 11th German threw a grenade, badly wounded the Lieutenant.  Though bleeding profusely, he refused removal for treatment until his men were properly set to defend that bridge.  His personal heroics clearly saved American lives.

COL Murray would go on to serve in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.  We join with all area military members and citizen-patriots to salute, with highest respect, the deeds and memory of COL Charles Murray, Jr., a great soldier, and a truly great American, as he ascends to join the elite-ranks of Heaven's eternal honor guard.