adam517
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adam517
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March 16th, 2015, 10:23 am #11

Johnny brings up a good point. The manoir itself is worth a good amount of time walking around and just looking at from all angles. I would strongly recommend you purchase a copy of "Put us down in hell" by Phil Nordyke, and read the section about the fighting at the Manoir as much of the early fighting was down by the 508th PIR. In doing so, and to avoid direct open assault on the complex (although some did), an old cart track was used for cover that curves into the rear of the court yard. This track is still there and the obvious concealment it provides can be seen.

Adam
Ignorance means life is lost.
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adam517
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March 16th, 2015, 10:33 am #12

By the way, Johnny, and I'm not meaning to take away from what you've said about Bob Murphys book, but I believe our own Brian Siddall has used records to prove that much of what Bob Murphy has said of the fight at La Fiere should be taken with a pinch of salt and most of the factual info in Bobs book comes from other individual testimonies. It is not a bad book to read about La Fiere as a lot of the info is direct from guys who WERE there, but there are questions over whether or not Bob was there and in what capacity. It is a shame if Bob did fabricate much of his service as being a D-Day Pathfinder was enough for some, but anyhow I wil refer you to the page on Brians website for more information.

http://www.airborneinnormandy.com/fakemurphy.htm

Adam
Ignorance means life is lost.
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Jirkal
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March 16th, 2015, 1:12 pm #13

Regarding to what Adam said, I'm just going to copy an extract of an email I recieved some months ago:
"The names of the men taken out of the second edition
of No Better Place to Die I can’t say as I had both books back in 2009
and have since given them away.  (I didn’t own the original one that
was borrowed).  For Murphy if you have the second book you can look at
anything starting on the 7th with his name attached as been changed
as he was already on the beach."
So it seems that
the first edition actually has more accurate information regarding
Murphy's participation, but do not own that edition, so I can't say.
Apparently you need to omit Mr. Murphy's name on every action after June 7 since he was wounded by then according to Mr. Siddall's information.
Last edited by Jirkal on March 16th, 2015, 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Scorpio58
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March 16th, 2015, 1:57 pm #14

  This is my sad face...................................... What can I say but that it saddens me to learn of things like this. As to the book " .......we die..." I remember the passages as reported by Heim. Although I've read of Heim's rendition before in other places, I thought this book had set it forth rather well. In fact I have that very passage(s) earmarked for my return time to time. However, credibility is everything.  Once a person has been shown to be something other than credible it is a verrrrry rough road to get back from. However, Murphy, unlike Manionan, was ABSOULTELY "there" on June 6th. Normandy being the place and jumping into being the "mode of transportation".  I'm supposing that the photos which purport to  include Murphy in the "blackface" camo as a "Pathfinder" is also legit.  But who the heck knows anymore?!?!?!?!?  Brian's documentation seems to be irrefutable and he deserves an "attaboy" for awesome research work. Another great author and researcher who "frequents" this board has been accused of being a "revisionist" but in a negative way (!) and for that I say; if history is incorrect, then it needs to be revised and corrected. People like Brian and others like him are the measure of a "historian" and deserve our respect and  recognition.
A case in point............I had an uncle that passed away about 4yrs ago. He was a Bataan Death March survivor. There was no doubt he was in the Philippines and no doubt that he was captured and no doubt he marched as a POW. However, several times while looking at the same series of "Time/Life" photos taken by the Japanese of the surrendering POWs my uncle would point to one or two different photos of two different POWs and say "that one is me".......................then a look again with obvious uncertainty and then a reaffirmation of the identity.
A good name and a good reputation is , after all, all we have in life.  Johnny F
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Jpz4
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March 16th, 2015, 3:21 pm #15

What can I say? What a shame....
Brian's research does indeed look solid.

Until now I was unaware of this, ehm, 'controversy' so I'm not really the person to say much about it.

What I can say is based on my contact with Bob during the filming (on the scene) for the WW2 Museum La Fiere documentary. I found him somewhat evasive about certain questions or events (questions via email were not answered either). On other details I found him very definitive, even if my research seemed to disagree.
The experience left me a bit confused, yes, even in doubt of my own research. After I let it sink in and looked over work I decided to stick to my results. I concluded Bob probably had spent so much time writing, researching and telling about it, that he had lost grasp of what he witnessed himself. (In case people are wondering: yes, I've expressed this before). My main reason for coming to this conclusion was that I could not get the film/photographic evidence and other accounts to fit with his version of events.
I further attributed him being as convincing as he was to his background as a lawyer. Being convincing is certainly not the same as being right.

This new information now gives another possibility to explain my experiences with him. It may be good for my research, but I'd rather wish it wasn't true...
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adam517
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March 17th, 2015, 6:23 pm #16

Johnny,

Yes, no doubt that Bob appears in the photos of Pathfinders at North Witham, and certainly did at very least parachute into Normandy as a Pathfinder of the 1st Battalion team. The rest, as you've now seen, is questionable.

It, too, saddens me. I met Bob two years before his death, and he provided information for my book due out this May. Whilst most of what he said about his Regiments life in England is likely accurate, some of what he told me about the race troubles that sparked in Leicester I am now having to think twice about adding. A man who was an idol of mine until Brians research came light, and disappointingly he need not fabricate!

Regards,

Adam
Ignorance means life is lost.
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Jpz4
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March 18th, 2015, 5:23 am #17

Since I've been getting questions on where to find my articles, it might be a good idea to provide the links here. The second one is most relevant about La Fiere (mainly an updated version of the first). The beginning of the third also adresses La Fiere, but was based on information I now consider to be unreliable (see my comments in this thread). The fourth covers the collection point just east of La Fiere, it gives an impression of the material losses during the fighting in June.

1: http://www.network54.com/Forum/47207/thread/1165343863

2: http://www.network54.com/Forum/47207/thread/1174669606

3: http://www.network54.com/Forum/47207/thread/1192224502

4: http://www.network54.com/Forum/571595/thread/1215773424

Of course these articles are now rather old, but most of the analysis still stands (very much so). In some case I've come to different conclusions but these are mostly not La Fiere related. My new views mainly concern photos and have to do with vehicle types, locations and units. In other cases I actually have since eliminated any doubts I still had.

It's possible I'll post an updated version sometime in the future. But this will probably not happen until the summer of next year when I'm hoping to poublish my book on armored combat in the area.

There are a few details I can share already:
- the photo of the two soldiers behind the tank was not taken at La Fiere
- there were no Hotchkiss H35 tanks in the area. Further analysis has shown all were Hotchkiss H39 tanks.
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Tex82ndABD
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January 7th, 2018, 7:55 am #18

Guys,

I know it is very late to reply to those who have posted on the subject of Bob Murphy's service, especially in Normandy. Bob Murphy jumped as a Eureka operator with the 1st Battalion, 505 pathfinder team in Normandy. This role was confirmed to me by Charles "Chuck" Copping, and is quoted in my 505 history describing Lieutenant Mike Chester pointing out to Murphy where he wanted the Eureka placed in the field.

First, I need to say that I have the utmost respect for Brian Siddall and his superb research. Brian gathers documentation from multiple sources and shares that documentation freely. Some errors exist in some documentation, and sometimes conclusions are drawn from documentation that may not be accurate.

In the case of Bob Murphy at la Fiere, I want to clarify a few details. First, Bob Murphy was wound by mortar shrapnel on June 6, not "shot in the ass" as Brian indicates. Having interviewed many veterans of the 505 who participated in that battle, virtually all of those with minor wounds stayed in the fight until relieved because the danger of being hit by artillery or mortar fire while trying to evacuate was much greater than staying in a slit trench behind a hedgerow. I believe that was the case for Murphy. In any case, no wounded were evacuated to Utah Beach until after the link up on the afternoon of June 7. 

As far as days in combat, there were many 505 veterans who missed a lot of combat due to flare ups of malaria that they contacted in North Africa. Murphy was a member of one of the EGB replacement pools that were attached to and trained with the division in North Africa. Captain Clyde Russell suffered this flare up of malaria shortly after the Normandy jump, for instance.

I agree with most of Brian's conclusions.concerning Murphy exaggerating his military record. But, I believe some of his absence from combat may very well have been due to recurrences of malaria.

Respectfully,

Phil Nordyke
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cpmac
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January 21st, 2018, 5:33 am #19

adam517 wrote: of his service as being a D-Day Pathfinder was enough for some, but anyhow I wil refer you to the page on Brians website for more information.

http://www.airborneinnormandy.com/fakemurphy.htm

Adam




Interesting link about Bob Murphy
I was one of the guides when the Ancient Honarable Artillery company Of Massachusits inaugurated the plaque in  rue Bob Murphy in oct 2009.  
I'd heard that some things in No better place to die were to taken with a pinch of salt but didn't realise it was that bad. They've recovered the monument to Moinian with a plaque to make it to all airborne.
Colin McGarry
Normandy Tour guide
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Tex82ndABD
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January 25th, 2018, 3:06 pm #20

Adam,

I should have been more clear that my post was in response to Brian's webpage about Murphy.

Regards,

Phil
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