MURPHY, LARRON DAVID
Name: Larron David Murphy
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: Troop F, 8th Cavalry, 123rd Aviation Battalion, 16th Aviation Group,
23rd Infantry Division (Americal), Chu Lai, South Vietnam
Date of Birth: 05 October 1944 (Atlanta GA)
Home City of Record: Dalton GA
Date of Loss: 23 April 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 153607N 1075801E (ZC180270)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published
sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 1998.
Other Personnel in Incident: Dennis K. Eads (missing)
SYNOPSIS: On April 23, 1970, Capt. Larron D. Murphy, aircraft commander; and
WO Dennis K. Eads, pilot; were flying an AH1G (serial #67-15612) in the
wingman position in a flight of four aircraft conducting an emergency night
mission to extract a long-range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP). The aircraft
crashed in the vicinity while en route to recover the patrol.
The two UH1H helicopters on the flight aborted the mission because of
adverse weather conditions. However, the two AH1G aircraft continued in
order to provide fire support for the patrol to allow them to break contact
with the enemy. The aircraft flew north until they were sighted by the
patrol. The lead ship made several radio contacts with Capt. Murphy. The
last transmission instructed him to turn to a heading of 90 degrees.
About 30 seconds later, Capt. Murphy called, "20, this is 28. I'm crashing."
This is the last contact or communication with Capt. Murphy. Members of the
patrol reported that they had observed a very bright flash to the southwest,
which was presumed to have been one of the aircraft. The remaining
helicopter returned to Chu Lai, unable to search for the downed aircraft
because of the inclement weather.
The following morning, members of the patrol were flown to inspect the crash
site where they conducted a detailed serach of the area, but there was no
trace of either the downed aircraft or the crew. The presumed site of the
crash was about 10 miles southwest of the city of An Hoa in Quang Nam
Province, South Vietnam.
When Dennis Eads' mother died in 1976, she died believing that her son
survived the crash. The rest of his family is not so sure, but there is
always the question, "Was there enough time for him to get out?"
There are several reasons why "MIA's" from the war in Vietnam cannot be
thought of, as in other wars, "ashes on the mountainside"; tragically
irrecoverable losses of humanity. The most compelling is the nearly 10,000
reports that have been received by the U.S. Government since the end of the
war relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia.
Some critics say the families of the missing want to believe their man is
alive because of "false hopes" that won't die. Others say it is because we
"didn't win" the war. According to many government officials who have no
"false hopes", the evidence is overwhelming that there are, indeed,
Americans still held against their will in Southeast Asia. The real question
is, "When and how will we bring these men home?