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Ralph M. Murray

Submitted by: Frank Wilson {grandson}

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Ralph M. Murray served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known July 5,1917 - November 26, 1919.


My grandfather Ralph M. Murray of South Boston,Ma. and his 3 brothers did not hesitate to sign up to serve their country in the summer of 1917. What I do know of my Papa and the brave men that fought alongside him came directly from him some 18 years after his death in 1972. As the family was making arrangements to sell his house in 1990, a discovery was made in the basement. On a table covered up was an old reel to reel recording machine. My uncle Leo had it processed and what we found forever impacted our lives. It was my grandfather's voice reciting his service record from the day he signed up til the day he came home! Papa kept a detailed journal complete with dates, training, campaigns, etc.. He wrote a story to his detailed journey full of emotions, smells, and vivid descriptions!

Ralph M. Murray, serial# 71,101 served in the 104th Infantry Regiment of the 26th 'Yankee Division" under Clarence Edwards. He and his men fought valiantly at "dead man's curve" in the Toul sector in early April of 1918. He then fought in the Aisne-Marne Offensive.

It was the battle at Belleau Woods "where on July 20th, 1918 at 3pm the temperature was 92 degrees and the dry, dirty stalks were up to your chest." His squad was in the rear wave. He goes on to say that when they were charging a machine gun position, the rifle and canteen were shot off his body. He was shot in both legs and went down. What happened next was an act of sheer heroism from one of his fellow soldiers. My Papa states with emotion "that a buddy by the name of Bates (who was also shot) tried to help me to my feet and dragged me to a hole."

This 15 min. recording sends chills down your spine! Another amazing fact was that after my grandfather had his surgeries, he signed on with another unit, the 55th PWE Army Corps, where he became a Sargent transporting prisoners, helping with burials that the detail missed, fixing roads and bridges while working with the engineers. Still serving his country!

At the end of his story, Papa recites his medals: 5 Bronze Stars, the Croix de Guerre Fourrage (awarded by the French General Passaga), and his Purple Heart, along with 3 French honors??

To me this story does not just represent my grandfather, but all the brave young men that answered the call from their country, Thank you all!!

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