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First Name: Stuart

Last Name: Murray

Birthplace: Delia, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Shadrick

Date of Birth: 02 March 1898

Date of Death: 19 September 1980

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1919-1956
Stuart Shadrick Murray
'Sunshine and Gentle Giant'

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1919

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Stuart Shadrick Murray

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Stuart Shadrick Murray was born on 2 March 1898 in Delia, TX. He graduated from the U.S. 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 "plank owner" aboard USS Porpoise, having placed her in commission on 15 August 1935.

As ComSubDiv 15, in October 1941, he was assigned to Manila, 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 (nicknamed "Red") in USS Holland, who answered to Admiral Thomas C. Hart. They comprised the entirety of the brand-new Salmon-class.

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, and Murray warned their skippers to be cautious. The initial plan of relying on information from General Lewis Brereton's B-17s, 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 with the rest of ComSubAsia's top staff (Fife, Wilkes, Doyle, and everyone who had not fled with USS Canopus) and equipment (one typewriter and a radio receiver). As the defeat became evident, Wilkes ordered all submarine crewmen out; on 1 January 1942, Murray boarded Chet Smith's USS Swordfish with Wilkes and others, to join Hart in Soerabaja.

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

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

Near the end of 1943, Murray was named Commandant of Midshipmen at Annapolis, instead of being assigned to a new submarine squadron. (Yet another example of a wasted submarine officer.)

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

Murray, a large man who was a friend and classmate of Missouri's previous commanding officer, Captain William M. Callaghan, was well liked by Missouri's crew.

Murray was ComSubLant from 1950-52 and then served as Naval Inspector General until his retirement.

Upon his retirement in 1956, he was advanced in rank to four-star Admiral. *

* The Act of Congress of 4 March 1925, allowed Navy officers to be promoted one grade upon retirement if they had been specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat. These promotions were colloquially known as "tombstone promotions" because they conferred the prestige of the higher rank but not the additional retirement pay, so their only practical benefit was to allow recipients to engrave a loftier title on their business cards and tombstones. An Act of Congress on 23 February 1942, enabled tombstone promotions to three- and four-star grades.

Death and Burial

Admiral Stuart Shadrick Murray died on 19 September 1980. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

His wife, Madeleine Grant Young Murray preceded him in death on 19 January 1975.

Honoree ID: 610   Created by: MHOH




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