For about 45 minutes, the men fought on, as ammunition ran low. Three SEALs were wounded by gunfire or rocket- propelled grenades. One screamed, “I’m hit!” Murphy yelled back, “We’re all hit! Keep moving!”
LT Murphy climbed to higher ground and into the open to make an electronic call for help. Despite his severe wounds, he completed the call and continued fighting, exhorting his men to escape while he held off their attackers.
A Quick Reaction Force immediately mobilized in a daring daytime mission to reinforce the SEAL squad. Eight Navy SEALs and eight Army Night Stalker commandos perished when their MH-47 helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed.
The four-man SEAL squad courageously fought on alone. Michael Murphy, Matthew Axelson and Danny Dietz were killed in the fierce firefight as they provided protective fire that allowed a fourth squad member (Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell) to escape. Wounded in both legs, Luttrell walked several miles and was hidden and protected by an Afghani shepherd until U.S. commandos rescued him July 3, 2005.
Murphy’s remains were found during a combat search and rescue operation on July 4, 2005. He is being considered for the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions. His teammates who fought alongside him — Axelson, Dietz, and Luttrell – were awarded the Navy Cross, the service’s 2nd highest award, for valor. The eight SEALs who died in their heroic attempt to rescue them, were all awarded the Bronze Star.
Rear Admiral Joseph Maguire, Commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, told Murphy’s father, “Don’t think these men went down easily…Taliban bodies were strewn all over, 30-40 were killed, with a total of 80 casualties from the four- man team.”
Michael Murphy is remembered with the greatest respect and gratitude by his fellow SEALs, the Navy, and our nation. The Navy has recently commissioned the USS Michael Murphy in his honor. CrossFit honors Lt. Murphy with the Hero WOD appropriately called “Murph.” Consisting of a 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and another 1 mile run, it is a grueling workout to complete.
Navy SEAL Michael Murphy’s father, Dan Murphy (far left), mother Maureen Murphy (second from left) and brother John Murphy (far right) with actor Taylor Kitsch, who portrays Michael in the new film ‘Lone Survivor’ during a special family screening of the film at the Ronkonkoma Regal Movie theatre in Ronkonkoma, Long Island.
Learn more about the honorable Lt. Michael Murphy: