Frank D. Murphy

Frank D. Murphy, a native of Atlanta, Georgia. Born on September 9, 1921, Frank grew up in Atlanta, GA. In the fall of 1939, Frank entered Emory University in Atlanta where his principal interest was music.

In December 1941, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he applied for an appointment as an aviation cadet in the US Army Air Corps. He was accepted and entered the Army on January 19, 1942. After basic instruction at Maxfield Field, Alabama he was sent to the Air Corps navigator’s training school at Turner Field, Albany, Georgia.

old, black and white picture of a young man in an air force uniform standing outdoors in winter
Lt. Frank D. Murphy. Wendover,
Utah Army Air Base. 1943

On July 4, 1942, Frank graduated from the navigation school at Turner Field with an appointment as a second lieutenant, US Army Air Forces. Following a short training course at the Army Air Forces Combat Crew School, Sebring, Florida, Frank was transferred to the 2nd Air Force Training Command and sent to Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho where he was assigned as B-17 navigator on Crew 31 of the newly formed 100th Bomb Group. Frank and his crew were with the 100th Bomb Group when it was sent to England in June, 1943 to become part of the United States Army Eighth Air Force. From his base at Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk, England, Frank flew twenty-one daylight combat missions with the Eighth Air Force. On his twenty first mission, he was shot down at Munster, Germany and was a prisoner of war until the end of the war nineteen months later. He holds the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, The Purple Heart, The U.S. Prisoner of War Medal, the Presidential Unit Cititation and the European Campaign Ribbon.

After his release from the army, Frank returned to Emory University and received a BA degree in 1948. He married his wife Ann and started a family. He and Ann were the parents of 4 children, Frank, Jr., Patricia, Liz and Kevin He was the resident representative for the Lockheed-Georgia Company in Saudi Arabia for a number of years and retired in 1987 as Vice President, Lockheed-Georgia International Services. In retirement, Frank was active within Veteran affairs, and served as a Trustee of the Mighty 8th Museum in Savannah, GA. Frank enjoyed playing clarinet, saxophone and flute in local Atlanta bands. Frank wrote his book Luck of the Draw; Reflections on the Air War in Europe, between the years of 1995-2000. Frank directed that all author royalties from the sales of his book be directed to the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, GA in memory of all that served in the Mighty 8th. Frank passed away on June 16, 2007. For all of us who came to know Frank at FNP Military Press we are so thankful that he decided to fly one more mission for the Mighty 8th.

Elderly man standing in a group outdoors in front of an Air Force aircraft on a sunny day
Frank D. Murphy completes his 21st mission by landing safely at Briscoe Field, Lawrenceville, GA. The last time Frank had been in a B-17 was 10-10-43 when he was shot down over Munster, Germany