Fort Bragg pilot awarded Distinguished Flying Cross
February 7, 2012
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Feb. 7, 2012) -- Capt. Brendan P. Murphy, of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Brigade, distinguished himself as the air mission command and pilot in command of a CH-47D helicopter, Sept. 5, 2010, during Operation Enduring Freedom X, in Afghanistan.
In the face of enemy fire and under hazardous weather conditions, Murphy, another pilot and crewmembers reinforced and extracted troops from a deadly combat zone, saving the lives of 132 Soldiers.
A staff sergeant on the ground has testified that Murphy and his team's disregard for safety makes them true American heroes.
For that heroism, Murphy, who is now a major assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross Feb. 6, in a ceremony at the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum.
Murphy's actions were uncommon and extraordinary, said Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, commander of XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg.
They are an indication of what makes Murphy "different," Helmick said.
"He did what he thought was right . . . 'I will never leave a fallen comrade in the hands of the enemy,' said Helmick, reiterating the Soldiers creed. "You saved hundreds of lives and America is very, very proud of you for what you have done," Helmick said.
But, Murphy was quick to credit his team members for the heroic act.
"I am humbled to have received this award. I was not flying alone that day," he said. "We did it as a team."
Col. Mark L. Stock, 1st BCT's commander, said Murphy sets an example for other leaders.
"It's important for all Soldiers to see the example he set in his leadership and personally in that pursuit of courage," Stock said after the ceremony. "As a commander, I feel confident with leaders like him, and there are many out there. He provides a great example."
The Distinguished Flying Cross was created by Congress 80 years ago and is America's oldest military aviation award.
The first recipient of the DFC medal was Charles A. Lindbergh, then a captain in the Army Reserve. It was awarded to him in 1927 to recognize his transatlantic crossing in the Spirit of St. Louis.
Murphy is a native of Port Murray, N.J., and a 2002 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is married to Capt. Katherine Murphy of the Judge Advocate Corps at Fort Bragg. Murphy said he intends to continue his service to the nation.
"I will keep doing my job. I enjoy being in the military and I enjoy working with the Soldiers every day," he said.