Lyle M. Murphy

  • Captain
  • WW II & Honorary



Captain Lyle Moyer Murphy is inducted as an “Honorary Member” into the University of Rhode Island Army ROTC Hall of Fame.

Lyle Moyer Murphy was a native of Manhattan, Kansas. He was born in 1916 to Vern and Ethel Murphy. He received his education in the local schools of his native city. Lyle graduated from Kansas State University in 1937 with a BS in Agriculture. While there, he was a star athlete and scholar. He participated in the Army ROTC program and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry upon graduation. He entered graduate school at Michigan State in September 1937 and was awarded a Master of Science Degree in 1939. He was appointed an instructor in the College of Agriculture at Rhode Island State College in 1940 where he taught until he entered the United States Army.

Lieutenant Murphy was assigned to the 503d Parachute Regiment. The 503d deployed to Cairns, Australia, arriving in December 1942. During its more than three years in the Southwest Pacific Theater, the 503d served in five major combat operations. The 503d parachuted on to Fortress Corregidor on 16 February 1945 to liberate the island from the Japanese forces. This was the most vicious combat action the combat team engaged in during its existence. It was estimated that the Japanese had over 6,550 troops on the island when the 503d landed. Of those enemy forces, only 50 survived. The 503d, however, lost 172 men killed and many wounded.
Immediately after the battle of Corregidor, the 503d was called to reinforce the 40th Infantry Div. on the island of Negros in the Central Philippines. The 503d engaged in fierce battles against frantic Japanese resistance in the mountainous areas of Negros for more than five months.

During this period, Captain Murphy was wounded while engaged in combat and awarded the Purple Heart Medal. On 17 April 1945, Captain Murphy’s unit was engaged in attacking a Japanese position; Captain Murphy was killed in action. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal for “Gallantry in Action” involving close combat with Japanese forces and the Purple Heart Medal 1st Oak Leave Cluster.

Captain Lyle Moyer Murphy, U.S. Army was buried with full military honors at the World War II Fort William McKinley American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines on 17 April 1945. He answered the call to duty during World War II and gave his life in service to the State of Rhode Island and our country. He was another member of the “Greatest Generation.”