When Navy SEAL LT Michael P. Murphy was killed fighting in Afghanistan in 2005 he became the first person awarded the Medal of honour during the War in Afghanistan, which means he perished under exceptional circumstances.Murphy led Operation Red Wings, a group of four SEALs sent into the Afghan mountains June 28, 2005 to neutralize senior Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. While making their way to Shah’s location, Murphy and his team were stumbled upon by a group of local goat herders.
Murphy offered a vote among the SEALs on what to do next. One man voted to kill the herders and another abstained, prompting Murphy to say he’d vote with the final man who said the herders should be set free.
It was likely those herders, and that act of compassion, which tipped off up to 200 local Taliban forces to the SEALs location, surrounding them.
Murphy called in a MH-47 Chinook helicopter loaded with reinforcements to assist, and the Taliban brought it down with an RPG, killing all 16 personnel onboard; eight Navy SEALs, and eight soldiers from the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR).
It was the largest loss of SEALs in battle, at that point, since the Vietnam War.
LT Murphy was shot repeatedly when he left cover to call in the Chinook, but returned to his position and continued fighting before succumbing to his wounds.
Today the Navy bestowed an additional honour upon Murphy’s legacy by christening its newest ship, an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, the USS Michael Murphy at a commissioning ceremony held at Pier 88 in New York Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
Now: Take a tour of the USS Michael Murphy >
Watch below to hear the ship’s commander and crew describe the USS Michael Murphy:
Produced by Daniel Goodman
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