Memorial Day Tribute: Carlton Murphy WWII Veteran

As Memorial Day approaches, we would like to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by countless individuals who served their country with valor and courage. This year we would like to honor my father, Carlton Murphy who served as a Private First Class in the US Army during World War II.

Born on August 23, 1925, Carlton Murphy answered the call to duty in 1943, volunteering for service in WWII as soon as he turned 18. Assigned to an artillery unit in France, his journey took a turn when severe frostbite struck both of his feet, leading to months of treatment in a military hospital. Despite the adversity, upon his release from the hospital, Murphy continued his service, driving a supply truck throughout Europe, supporting his fellow soldiers in their fight against tyranny.

Band of Brothers Overseas

My Uncle John Murphy also served overseas at the the same time as my dad. He was with the infantry in Italy.


D-Day Omaha Beach June 6, 1944

One of the most poignant chapters in Dad’s service came in the aftermath of the D-Day invasion, where he was involved in the cleanup efforts at Omaha Beach. The cost of capturing Omaha Beach was staggering, with thousands of lives lost on both sides within the first day alone. Despite meticulous planning and extensive preparation, the Allied forces faced overwhelming obstacles, including fierce resistance from well-entrenched German defenders and heavy casualties from enemy fire. Estimates suggest that on D-Day, Allied casualties on Omaha Beach reached over 2,000, including killed, wounded, and missing.

Returning Home

After the war’s end, Dad returned home, where he built a life filled with love and purpose. He married Gloria Rahn, his wife of 63 years, and together they raised four children. His dedication extended beyond his military service, as he spent 42 years working for Norfolk Southern Railway, contributing to the growth and prosperity of his community.  He passed away in 2019.  Beyond his professional accomplishments, his legacy endures through his role as a proud and active grandfather to six granddaughters. His commitment to family, service, and country serves as an inspiration to all who knew him. As we honor his memory this Memorial Day, let us remember the profound impact of all those who have served and continue to serve, safeguarding the freedoms we hold dear.

Stephen H. Murphy, SPHR, is the president and founder of Carolina HR. He has been active in Human Resource management and consulting for over thirty years and brings his experience in a wide variety of HR situations to his clients.


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