Cover photo for Maj. General Francis Murdoch, Jr.'s Obituary
Maj. General Francis Murdoch, Jr. Profile Photo

Maj. General Francis Murdoch, Jr.

Murdoch, Francis Johnstone Jr. Maj. Gen. USA (Ret.) died Sunday, February 21, 2010.

The last surviving Battalion Commander of the D-Day landing at Normandy June 6,1944, General Murdoch was born in Tarboro, NC July 22,1912.   After spending 1 year at the University of North Carolina he attended the US Military Academy at West Point and graduated with the Class of 1935. Frank began his career as a US Cavalry officer under then Col. George S. Patton and was also a member of the US Olympic Equestrian Team in the war canceled 1940 Olympics.

In 1940 he was sent to England as a military advisor where he met his beloved wife of 63 years Denzil Elizabeth Powell Murdoch. In 1942 he landed in North Africa with his second love, the 1st Infantry Division, "The Big Red One" and became General Patton\"™s Executive Officer. In 1943 he hit the beaches again with the 1st,this time in Italy. He was a member of Eisenhower\"™s staff when he married Denzil in April 1944 and on D-Day his third landing was at Omaha Beach as Lt. Col. in command of the 1st Battalion, 26th Reg. of the 1st Infantry Div. A month later he was wounded in France and sent back to England where he got himself released early from the hospital so he could return to his men in Belgium .On the way to Germany he fought at the "Battle of the Bulge" in Dec. of 1944 and then helped to liberate the concentration camps. After the war he was the Military Governor of Nuremberg during the war trials. He was posted in Korea, served with NATO in France and Italy and was on the Staff of the Army War College in Carlisle, PA. He retired from the military at Fort Sam Houston, TX where he was Deputy Commander of the US Army Reserve, Army National Guard and ROTC for the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkanas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Among his many Commendations were; The Distinguished Service Medal, The Silver Star with Oakleaf Cluster, The Legion of Merit, The Bronze Star with V-device for Valor, The Purple Heart, The Combat Infantryman\"™s Badge and the French Croix De Guerre with Palm.

In 1972 after the military and a year studying Animal Husbandry at Texas A&M, he "retired" with his family and his horses to his 350 acre farm "The Anchorage" in Thaxton, VA There he raised cattle, grew vegetables, tended to gardens and had wine vineyards. In 1998 he retired again to Bedford, VA, which ironically became home to the National D-Day Memorial in 2000.

He was predeceased by his beloved wife Denzil, his brothers Robert, Seth and William and sisters Alice, Liza, Della and Josephine. He is survived by his adored children Sara Drew Murdoch, Caroline Murdoch Khella Hope and William, all of New York City, Catherine Murdoch Namenek and Andre of Thaxton Virginia, Francis Johnstone Murdoch III of Montrose Colorado and Madeleine Murdoch Taylor of Roanoke Virginia, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and many loving nephews, nieces, grand nephews and grand nieces. He will be missed by many and remembered by more.

The family wishes to express the extraordinary love and support given to General Murdoch from Oakwood Manor and Bedford Hospice care. The family suggests that those who wish to make memorial contributions consider Bedford Hospice Care, 815 Summitt Street, Bedford, VA 24523.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 pm June 4th, 2010 at the Fort Myer Chapel. Burial will follow in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maj. General Francis Murdoch, Jr., please visit our flower store.


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