Name: Terence Meredith Murphy
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy
Unit: Fighter Squadron 96, USS Ranger (CVA-61)
Date of Birth: 03 July 1939 (Rochester NY)
Home City of Record: New York NY
Date of Loss: 09 April 1965
Country of Loss: China/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 091801N 1082604E (BL182290)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4B
Refno: 0072

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 2020.

Other Personnel In Incident: Ronald J. Fegan (missing)


SYNOPSIS: Ltjg. Terence M. Murphy was a pilot assigned to Fighter Squadron
96 onboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger in the Gulf of Tonkin. On April
9, 1965, he launched with his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Ensign Ronald J.
Fegan in their F4B Phantom fighter jet. They were to fly a Combat Air Patrol
mission over the Gulf of Tonkin.

Ltjg. Murphy and other mission aircraft engaged enemy aircraft at
approximately 8:40 a.m. some 25 miles from the nearest land. After breaking
off the engagement, Ltjg. Murphy's aircraft did not check in with the flight
leader and was neither seen or heard from again. An aerial and surface
search of the area turned up no evidence of a plane crash, seat ejection or
emergency radio beacon. Search and rescue efforts covered an area of 2000
square miles utilizing aircraft from three carriers, destroyers and a
submarine. The search was terminated on April 11 with negative results.

It was later discovered the the MIG aircraft that were engaged were not
Vietnamese, but Chinese. The incident took place near the Chinese island of
Hainan. Peking Radio stated later that day that eight U.S. military planes
had intruded over the areas of Aihsien, Paisha and Changkan of China's
Hainan Island. They further stated that Chinese planes immediately took off
to engage them and that a U.S. aircraft had been shot down by other U.S.
planes. Careful investigation revealed no basis of fact to support this

Both crewmen were listed in a status of Missing In Action. This status was
changed three weeks later to Determined Dead/Body Not Recovered.

With absence of evidence, it cannot be known with certainty that Fegan and
Murphy went down with their aircraft on April 9, 1965. If, by some chance,
they bailed out successfully and were captured by military or civilian
Chinese, we will probably never know it. History has shown that Americans
disappearing in Chinese territory never come out. Several hundred Americans
were known to have been captured and held by the Chinese from the Korean
war, never to be seen again. Critics point to a lack of resolve to raise
this sticky issue with the Chinese on the part of the U.S., while the U.S.
asserts that it is doing all it can to determine the fates of those men as
well as that of Ronald Fegan and Terence Murphy.



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On April 9, 1965, an F-4B Phantom II (tail number 151403, call sign "Show Time") with two crew members took off from the USS Ranger (CVA 61) as part of a combat air patrol mission. The aircraft's flight engaged enemy aircraft during the mission, and after breaking off from the engagement, the "Show Time" failed to rejoin its formation and could not be contacted by radio. No emergency transmissions were received. Sometime after breaking contact, the Phantom crashed into the Gulf of Tonkin. An extensive search was conducted, but there were no sightings of the missing aircraft or its crew.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Terence Meredith Murphy, who joined the U.S. Navy from New York, was a member of Fighter Squadron 96 embarked aboard the Ranger. He was the pilot of the Phantom when it went down on April 9, 1965, and he was lost with the aircraft. His remains have not been recovered. Today, Lieutenant Junior Grade Murphy is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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