Fred Howell McMurray, JrCaptain
B TRP, 1ST SQD, 9TH CAV RGT, 1 CAV DIV
Army of the United States
16 November 1943 - 13 November 1974
Charleston, South Carolina
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The database page for Fred Howell McMurray, Jr
Fred Howell McMurray, Jr. is the hero on my POW bracelet. I've had this bracelet for over 30 years. He was the pilot of an OH-13 "Possum" that was shot down in 1968. He is the only pilot of a "Possum" that hasn't been accounted for.
If he is still alive, he has lost his whole life. If he isn't, he gave his life in service to America.
In either case, may his sacrifice and the sacrifice of others never be forgotten.
by a friend,
Notes from The Virtual WallAt 1600 hours on 07 April 1968 1LT McMurray, pilot, and Sgt. James J. Powers, observer/door gunner, launched from Landing Zone STUD in an OH-13S helicopter (tail number 63-09084) in company with an AH-1G COBRA gunship on an armed reconnaissance mission in support of operations near Khe Sanh.
1LT McMurray was flying low-level when he reported seeing several recently repaired weapons positions and freshly used trails. 1LT McMurray marked the location with a smoke grenade to allow the AH-1G to identify and fire rockets on the target. He also reported sighting NVA soldiers, whom he engaged. The COBRA continued to place suppressive fire in the area and transmitted a request for a rifle platoon which was launched and over the area in about 15 minutes. During the fighting, 1LT McMurray's aircraft was hit by enemy fire, began burning in flight, and crashed. Sgt Powers was rescued, but 1LT McMurray was not.
At the time, efforts to locate McMurray were thwarted by the intense heat from the burning aircraft. The next day search teams could find no trace of him. However, one American boot-print was seen, and McMurray's chest protector and helmet were located.
McMurray was placed in "Missing in Action" status until 13 November 1974, when the Secretary of the Army approved a Presumptive Finding of Death, changing his status to "Died while Missing". He has not been repatriated.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 14 Feb 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009