Robert Murray was born on June 12, 1922, in Muncie, Indiana. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on July 14, 1942, and entered the Civilian Pilot Training Program at Purdue University in September 1942. After attending Pre-Flight School from December 1942 to March 1943, he attended Flight Training at NAS Livermore, California, and at Corpus Christi, Texas; receiving his commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and his designation as a Naval Aviator on September 1, 1943. ENS Murray next trained in SBD Dauntless dive-bombers at NAS Daytona Beach, Florida, from September 1943 to February 1944, followed by service as an F6F Hellcat pilot with VF-29 from February 1944 until he left active duty on September 12, 1945. During this time he was credited with the destruction of 10.333 enemy aircraft in aerial combat in the Pacific Theater while flying off the aircraft carrier USS Cabot (CVL-28). LTJG Murray was recalled to active duty on May 9, 1946, and attended Photo Reconnaissance Training at NAAS Whiting Field, Florida, from May to July 1946 before serving as an F6F, F4U Corsair, and F8F Bearcat pilot with VF-82 and VF-17A at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, from August 1946 to July 1947. His next assignment was as an F8F pilot with VF-8A from July 1947 to July 1948, followed by an assignment to complete his bachelor's degree at Missouri University from September 1948 to July 1950. LT Murray attended Airborne Electronics and Anti-Submarine Warfare Training from August to September 1950, and then served as an F9F Panther pilot with VF-721 from September 1950 to April 1952, during which time he flew combat in Korea off the aircraft carrier USS Boxer (CV-21) from March to October 1951. His next assignment was with VC-61 from April to December 1952, followed by General Line School at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, from January to August 1953. He served with the Combat Information Center Officer's School at NAS Glenview, Illinois, from August 1953 to August 1955, and then served as an Anti-Aircraft Control Officer and Assistant Gunnery Officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Leyte (CVS-32) from October 1955 to October 1957. LCDR Murray next served as an F11F Tiger pilot and Executive Officer of VF-43 at NAS Oceana, Virginia, from November 1957 to November 1958, followed by service as an F8U Crusader pilot, Executive Officer, and Admin Officer with VF-174 at NAS Cecil Field, Florida, from November 1958 until his retirement from the Navy on July 1, 1964. Robert Murray died on May 7, 2008.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For distinguishing himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as the pilot of a single seater carrier based fighter plane. On 16 October 1944, in the vicinity of Formosa he was a wingman in an eight plane flight on Combat Air Patrol. Upon sighting a formation of about seventy enemy aircraft he courageously pressed home his attacks in the face of concentrated fire from the enemy bombers and destroyed three bombers and one fighter. His great skill and superb marksmanship contributed greatly to the success of this engagement and were in keeping at all times with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.