MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Marine Corps Reserve Staff Sgt. Richard J. Murphy, combat correspondent, killed during World War II, was accounted for on July 25 and returned home to his family Nov. 29, 2018.
Staff Sgt. Melissa Marnell, Marine Corps Base Quantico CommStrat, also a combat correspondent, had the honor of assisting Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in fulfilling our Nation's promise to account for and bring our service members home.
Marnell escorted Staff Sgt. Murphy from Honolulu to Baltimore-Washington International. During a layover in Atlanta, Georgia, plane-side honors were delivered during the dignified transfer. Murphy will be laid to rest next to his mother at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Silver Spring, Maryland.
On June 15, 1944, Murphy was a member of 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed at Red Beach, Saipan, when American forces participated in the battle for the island of Saipan, part of a larger operation to secure the Mariana Islands. Reports provide little information of what happened to Murphy after landing on Saipan, and he was declared missing in action as of June 15, 1944. On May 22, 1945, his status was amended to killed in action.
Although interred as an Unknown in Manila American Cemetery, the American Battle Monuments Commission meticulously cared for Murphy’s grave over the past 70 years.
Murphy’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu, along with the others missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Historical information provided Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency
Plane-side service photos provided by Delta Air Lines Honor Guard