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Murphy Loren W.


Flying Fortress


Loren W. Murphy
Staff Sergeant
Serial Number:
532nd Bomber Squadron, 381st Bomb Group
Date of Death:
Maple Grove Cemetery, Brookville, Indiana
Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal W/3 Oak Leaf Clusters

Loren W. Murphy was born on June 19, 1921, in Brookville, Indiana. He was the son of Virgil C. and Grace Marie (Martin) Murphy. He served in the 532nd Bomb Squadron, 381st Bomb Group, as a Staff Sergeant and Waist Gunner on the B-17 #42-97594 "Dry Gulcher" during World War II.

Their plane had left Ridgewell Airfield near the village of Shalford and was carrying incendiary bombs which it was to drop on the V2 rocket factory and launch site at Peenemunde in NE Germany. An electrical fault is thought to have caused a fire shortly after take-off and the plane crashed and exploded in a field next to St Andrew's Church, Shalford. Nine of the American crew parachuted to safety but Staff Sgt Harold Norris, the tail gunner, was trapped and died. SSgt Murphy survived the war.

On June 19, 1948, he was united in marriage to the former Helen L. Stewart, and she preceded him in death on December 26, 2012. He was retired, having owned and operated his heavy equipment and excavating business for many years. Mr. Murphy was a member of the Brookville United Methodist Church, a past member of the Harmony Masonic Lodge #11 F. & A.M., The Scottish Rite, and the Bernard Hurst Post #77 of the American Legion in Brookville. He also served on the Brookville Town Council for several years. Murphy died on August 26, 2013, at the age of 92, and is now buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery, Brookville, Franklin County, Indiana, USA.

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