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Joseph D. Murphy Sr. Oral History

Identifier: OHP 001

Scope and Contents

Joseph D. Murphy served aboard Intrepid as a gunnery officer and deck officer during World War II, from 1943 to 1946. Murphy began his interview by discussing his family and the community where he was raised. He then described hearing the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor, joining the Navy Reserve, and receiving his commission as an ensign from Columbia midshipmen school. Murphy then continued, describing the first time he saw Intrepid and Intrepid’s commissioning ceremony. At this time, and also throughout the interview, he mentioned the general feeling of the United States during the war and how everyone pitched in to support the war effort. After recounting his first few months in the Navy, Murphy began to describe his job in the gunnery department, which involved commanding a 40 mm gun crew on the aft end of the island and installing cams in the guns so they could only fire in specific directions. He also discussed his job as a deck officer, which placed him on the bridge, and therefore allowed him access to the latest information regarding the war’s progress, ranging from Intrepid’s specific missions to the latest news from the European Theater. After describing his duties, Murphy recounted the many events that he had witnessed, including: transiting the Panama Canal, being struck by a torpedo at Truk, facing multiple kamikaze attacks, sailing through a typhoon, and arriving in Japan after the surrender. Murphy then continued by describing life aboard ship, mentioning some of his close shipmates, listing different opportunities the men had for entertainment while at sea, and affirming that the food was “pretty good.” Joseph Murphy ended his interview by sharing why Intrepid is important to him, along with his thoughts on the ship now being a museum.


  • May 24, 2013



21 Sheets

10 Files

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For full transcript, please contact


David Dzendzel
October 29, 2015
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Repository Details

Part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Online Archives Repository

One Intrepid Square
W. 46th Street and 12th Avenue
New York NY 10036-4103 United States