Navy SEALS are trained to give it their all on every mission. Sometimes, that includes giving their lives to save their team.
Operation Red Wings
The deadliest day for United States troops was fifteen years ago in 2005 during Operation Enduring Freedom.
It was June 28th and four SEAL were behind enemy lines. According to the Navy, the team was on a recon mission to scout the location of Ahmad Shah. Shah was the leader of a guerilla outfit who had partnered with the Taliban.
Locals saw the SEALs in the area, and gave the Taliban their location.
Once the Taliban knew where the men were, they sent over 50 fighters in to attack them. It was a “well-organized, three-sided attack,” injuring all four men.
They sought cover in a ravine. Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Danny Dietz tried to get out a distress call.
However, he was shot in the hand. Even though Murphy was “suffering grave gunshot wounds”, he chose to complete the mission to call for help.
His award says, ” This deliberate, heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire.” While on the call with Bagram Air Base, Murphy was shot by insurgents in the back.
Help On The Way
However, this did not deter Murphy from finishing his call for help. As he completed the call, he shot back at the approaching enemies.
The action summary for that fateful day reads, “Severely wounded, Lt. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.”
Since he finished the call, an MH-47 Chinook helicopter came with 16 men on board, but it was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade.
The men on board and Murphy, Dietz, and Sonar Technician 2nd Class Matthew Axelson all perished. The only SEAL who was left was Marcus Luttrell.
Luttrel was rescued a few days later.
The Navy gives Murphy credit for Luttrell’s rescue stating his “undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit and inspirational devotion to his men in the face of certain death, Lt. Murphy was able to relay the position of his unit, an act that ultimately led to the rescue of Luttrell and the recovery of the remains of the three who were killed in the battle.”
Murphy was also awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously for “selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty.”