Ralph Eugene Murphy Military History

November 16, 1917- December 24, 1999

 

3596th Quartermaster Truck Company
March 15, 1944
Camp Young, California

Comment on photo from John Luther:

The pay for a corporal at that time was $66.00 a month. I was noting the various ranks in the photo. Note that many of the older looking men are wearing three stripes and one or two rockers below with a “T”. I am guessing they are long time mechanics, drivers and other skilled jobs. The three men front center are commissioned officers Lt. Ralph E. Murphy, Capt. Jack R. Singleton, Lt. Roger H. Poirier, There are two grades of lieutenants, it cannot be distinguished in the photo as they are both a single bar on the shoulder. Gold would be for 2nd Lt. and silver for 1st Lt (the higher rank). Note the Captain in the center is wearing low shoes while all, but Master Sgt Leo C. Cummings, sitting to the left of the officers have high tops. I have been unable to verify the shoulder patch on about three enlisted men - a circle path with three equal size stripes of different colors

Introduction

Ralph Eugene Murphy was a favorite uncle of my dear friend, Dennis Eugene Murphy. Ralph served in World War II with the 3596th Quartermaster Truck Company. Dennis had a photo of the 3596th that Ralph had identified all of those in the picture. We both felt that this was an important historical document that should be available for descendents, family friends and historians. To be widely available, he agreed to let me add it to the Veterans section of my family website. I would convert the id image to text to enable it to be searchable. My friend Lois Mallory agreed to type the names.

Note: A large version of the photo with names that you can scroll left and right is here: Large Photo of 3596th There is also information about others in the photo.

Information on Camp Young and the 3596th Quartermaster Truck Company; After the German defeat in North Africa in May 1943, desert training was no longer a necessity as combat moved onto the European continent. As a result, all of the camps were closed by April, 1944. Once closed, Army Quartermaster units were sent in to dismantle the tents and other camp fixtures, and to clean up the left behind trash and debris. All of the equipment and vehicles were then loaded onto trains and taken away. Italian POW assisted in the teardown of the camp. Note, by the middle of 1943, the troops who originally came for desert training maneuvers, were now deployed worldwide. Therefore, to reflect that change in mission, the name of the center was changed to the California-Arizona Maneuver Area (C-AMA or CAMA). The CAMA was to serve as a theater of operations to train combat troops, service units and staffs under conditions similar to those which might be encountered overseas. The CAMA was enlarged to include both a communications zone and combat zone, approximately 350 miles wide and 250 miles long.

The Normandy Invasion occurred just under three months from the date of this photo. Highly likely that shortly after this photo the company was on its way to Camp Tidworth in Wiltshire, England to be part of the 60 Truck Companies selected to support the invasion.

The discharge record of Kenneth Harrison Lance, a possible member of the 3596th, states that his battles and campaigns were Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. There is an official document that list the campaigns of the 3596th Truck Company. It includes four of the five in Lance's record. Highly likely that Kenneth Harrison Lance is the Kenneth Lance in the Company photo. S/Sgt Lance was awarded EAMET Campaign Medal w/5 Bronze Service Stars; Ameerican Defebse Service Medal; Good Conduct Medal. His foreign/sea service was 1 year, 5 months and 3 days.

 

Ralph Eugene Murphy

Ralph Eugene Murphy was born on November 16, 1917, in Gainsville, Texas, to Dennis James and Mayrena G. King Murphy. His siblings included Dennis J., Dorothy E. (Horton) and Loveta K (Sewell) Murphy. His paternal grandfather was born in Ireland. His father had been born in Tennessee and his mother in Indian Territory, Oklahoma. His father worked for the railroad.

In 1940, Ralph was living in Los Angeles, CA and had attended UCLA for one year. He was working as a clerk in a produce company. On July 19, 1941, Ralph married Doris Marie De Wolf in Los Angeles, CA. She was the daughter of Edwin Alibrey and Jesssie F. Woodward De Wolf and was born in Los Angeles. At the time of their wedding both were working in sales, Ralph in groceries and Doris in a drugstore.

His military career began with his enlistment on June 15, 1943, and his active duty ended February 6, 1945.

Here is his draft card.

 

Dennis recalled that Ralph had been involved with the Battle of the Bulge. We confirmed that the unit indeed was there. This battle was the last major offensive by the German army. It was the "brainchild" of Adolf Hitler to split the allies on the Western Front and capture the important supply port of Antwerp. Hitler believed that, if successful, the Allies would sue for a favorable peace. Hitler's generals were highly skeptical, fearing that their army could not be adequately supplied. It became clear that supply lines on both sides were going to be critical to victory. Historians point to the US Quartermaster Corps heroic effort in successfully meeting this challenge that led to the Allies victory. Ralph was a participant and a witness to this turning point in the War in Europe.

During World War II, the Quartermaster Corps operated on a scale unparalleled in history, with theaters of operation in the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Pacific, and even the China-Burma-India Theater. Thousands of Soldiers were trained to fill specialized roles; and they performed heroically in far off places such as Bataan, Leyte, Salerno, Normandy, and Bastogne. At the height of the war, Quartermasters were providing over 70,000 different supply items and more than 24 million meals each day. When it was over, they had recovered and buried nearly a quarter of a million Soldiers in temporary cemeteries around the world.

World War II was unlike all previous conflicts in the size, geographic dispersion, and modern nature of the war. The Army expanded to over eight million Soldiers by 1945, and all of them required support from the Quartermaster Corps. The Quartermaster General supervised the initial construction for the war effort including training camps and ammunition production facilities. Within the United States the Quartermaster Corps procured clothing and equipment for climates ranging from arctic to tropical. It also managed the distribution of supplies. Until the Transportation Corps became a separate organization in 1942, the Quartermaster General supervised movements of personnel and materiel. Overseas, Army logisticians learned to support large armies in a swiftly moving offensive. The rapid advances in Europe in 1944 stretched the ability of the supply lines to keep up with the offensive. Eventually, shortages of petroleum pro- duced a pause in the attack. Winter weather required distribution of heavy uniforms during offensive operations. In the Pacific, logistical support depended upon delivering the correct quantities of supplies to units on islands scattered throughout the various areas of operations. Modern warfare produced its own set of challenges during World War II, and military logisticians responded. Petrolum and repair parts first appeared as logistical issues in World War I, but this time they were critical to operatioal success.

Here is an entry from the Back To Normandy website." The 3596th Quartermaster Truck Company is one of the units on the UK Station List made by Mr. Grinton. This and other records on Back to Normandy was compiled from Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, Kingdom Station List, and dated 7 September 1944. (-) Minus sign behind a unit name indicates that part of the unit was elsewhere. Counties are mentioned as the so called pre-1974 British counties. The map co-ordinates are automatically made with Google Maps. If you have a more accurate location, photos, stories or links, please send your information to Back to Normandy. The unit is also know as member of the US Army, Army Air Force. In this period, around this date of 16 June 1944, the 3596 Quartermaster Truck Company were in Tidworth, Wiltshire. '



"The original station list was obtained from the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) at College Park, Maryland. The NARA describe it as HQ/ETO Station List, 4/30/44 and reference Box 15, 270/48/32/2. In the European and Mediterranean theater the US Army had 3.5 million troops there. About 1.7 million were combat troops and around 700.000 were service troops along with 592.000 army air force troops and the rest were replacements, patients, overhead and staff. The correct count of support and line troops in this context is difficult."

Below are entries in:

Unit Citation and Campaign Participation Credit Register

By United States. Department of the Army

 

Campaigns listed for the 3596th unit: 26 (Central Europe), 30 (Normandy), 32 (Northern France), 34 (Rhineland).

Occupation Credit: Germany May 2–June 3, 1945.

 

 

 

 

Ralph Murphy died on December 24, 1999. He was 82. He was interred in San Diego, CA, in Fr. Rosecrans National Cemetery, Section Cbe Row 3 Site 10 on January 14, 2000. He was a Lt. Colonel in the US Army.

 

 


Ralph Eugene Murphy Photo Album
Allan's parents: Walter and Elsie Adamson Winter George, 1946.
Ralph Murphy's plaque is 2nd from left, middle row.
Marriage Certificate

Back Row L to R: Norman Katz, Capt. Jack R. Singleton, 2nd Lt. Ralph G. Newton
Front Row L to R:1st LT Roger H. Poirier, 1st Lt. Ralph E. Murphy

Inscription on back: "Taken as a joke to display our short haircuts.

Back of previous photo.
Ralph E. Murphy in Cherbourg, 1944.
Ralph E. Murphy, Belguim in 1945