Stuart S. Murray

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This article is about the American naval officer. For the Canadian politician, see Stuart Murray.
Stuart Shadrick Murray
Stuart S. Murray.jpg
Born (1898-03-22)March 22, 1898
Delia, Texas
Died 19 September 1980(1980-09-19) (aged 82)
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1919–1956
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Vice Admiral
Commands held USS Missouri
ComSubLant
Battles/wars World War II
Cold War
Awards Legion of Merit

Stuart Shadrick[1] Murray (22 March 1898–19 September 1980)[2] was a Vice Admiral of the United States Navy who served during World War II. Born in Delia, Texas[2] he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1919. In the 1920s, Murray was involved in constructing the submarine base at Pearl Harbor.

Nicknamed "Sunshine" and "the Gentle Giant", Murray was a plankowner aboard Porpoise, placing her in commission on 15 August 1935.

As ComSubDiv 15, in October 1941, he was assigned to Manila,[3] home of the Asiatic Fleet. Along with Joseph Connolly's SubDiv 16, Murray's division made up Submarine Squadron 2 (SubRon2), under ComSubAsia Captain Walter Doyle[3] (nicknamed "Red")[3] in Holland, who answered to Admiral Thomas C. Hart. They comprised the entirety of the brand-new Salmon class.[4]

When the Japanese attacked the Philippines, Wilkes (who ended up being "special adviser" to Doyle, who had no experience in Asia), his chief of staff, Jimmy Fife,[3] and Murray warned their skippers to be cautious.[5] The initial plan, to rely on information from General Lewis Brereton's B-17s,[6] went to pieces the first day, when General MacArthur failed to preserve them from Japanese attack. Murray was not aided by the abysmal performance of the Mark 14 torpedo, either.

On Christmas Day 1941, Murray moved into quarters in the tunnels of Corregidor[7] with all of ComSubAsia's top staff (him, Fife, Wilkes, and Doyle, everyone who had not fled with Canopus and equipment (one typewriter and a radio receiver).[8] As the defeat became evident, Wilkes ordered all submarine crewmen out; on 1 January 1942, Murray boarded Chet Smith's Swordfish[9][10] with Wilkes and others, to join Hart in Soerabaja.[11]

After fleeing the Philippines, Hart pulled Murray's boats back to Fremantle[12] (in keeping with Navy Department instructions),[13] where Murray came under the command of his old boss from SubDiv 13[14] Charles Lockwood's Task Force 51,[15] becoming chief of staff of SubRon 2, under Jimmy Fife (also one of Lockwood's old Division 13 skippers).[14]

With the death of Robert H. English, Lockwood was named ComSubPac in his stead,[16] taking Murray as his Chief of Staff (replacing John Griggs),[16] over the objections of "Chips" Carpender, ComSubSoWestPac.[17]

Near the end of 1943, Murray was named Commandant of Midshipmen at Annapolis, rather than to a new submarine squadron,[18] yet another example of a wasted submarine officer.[19]

Murray took command of Missouri in May 1945, and was responsible for the preparations[20] for the signing of the surrender on 2 September 1945.

Murray was ComSubLant from 1950 until 1952[21] and retired a three-star in 1956 after serving as Naval Inspector General.[22]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Blair, Clay, Jr. Silent Victory (New York: Bantam, 1976), p.1044.
  2. ^ a b "The National Museum of the Pacific War: Volunteer Programs". nimitz-museum.org. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Blair, p.82.
  4. ^ Blair, p.82 & fn.
  5. ^ Blair, p.131.
  6. ^ Blair, p.135.
  7. ^ Blair, p.153.
  8. ^ There was not space for much more, even if they had had any. Blair, p.153.
  9. ^ Smith was a plankowner, and had scored one of only three confirmed sinkings of the Asiatic Fleet's submarines in this period. Blair, p.15.
  10. ^ Swordfish
  11. ^ Blair, p.155.
  12. ^ Blair, p.273-4.
  13. ^ Blair, p.130.
  14. ^ a b Blair, p.282.
  15. ^ Blair, p.274.
  16. ^ a b Blair, p.368.
  17. ^ Blair, p.367.
  18. ^ Blair, p.548.
  19. ^ His place was taken by Merrill Comstock, who had commissioned Cachalot. Blair, p.549.
  20. ^ Blair, p.872.
  21. ^ Blair, p.892.
  22. ^ Blair, p.881.

References[edit]

  • Blair, Clay, Jr. Silent Victory. New York: Bantam, 1976 (reprints Lippincott 1975 edition). ISBN 0-553-01050-6.