The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to John M. Murphy, Second Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as a Platoon Leader with Company G, 2d Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division. Second Lieutenant Murphy distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces near Yŏngsan, Korea, on 5 and 6 September 1950.
When Company G was attacked by an estimated enemy battalion, the 1st platoon, which was separated from the company by about 3,000 yards, was ordered to regroup and return to aid in the defense. As Lieutenant Murphy was leading the platoon toward the company positions, they encountered an estimated fifty enemy soldiers. Engaging the leading enemy scouts in a bayonet fight, he killed two; then picking up a machine gun, he delivered accurate fire on the enemy troops, killing six, wounding several and forcing the remainder to disperse. Lieutenant Murphy learned that his company had been driven from their positions on two hills and were occupying new positions on an adjacent hill. After joining his company and battling the enemy for approximately two hours, he was ordered to lead an assault on one of the enemy-held hills. Although there were only three men with him, he moved toward the objective and, using bayonets, grenades, and small-arms fire, killed nine of the enemy as the remainder, stunned by the boldness of the attack, fled in disorder.
Headquarters, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea:
General Orders No. 284 (May 7, 1951)