Murray’s Military Career, Part 3

I’ve written twice before about Murray Scheshko’s (Murray Castle) military career.

The other day I discovered some new documents that belonged to Murray. The gardener (my husband) didn’t realize we had these papers pertaining to his father’s military career.

I wrote earlier that Murray was in the 353rd fighter group: Murray’s Further Military History and Murray’s U.S. Military History.

One of the new documents I discovered is a discharge paper that states that he was in the 352nd fighter squadron.


So was he in the 353rd or 352nd? Apparently both squadrons worked together and were in England at the same time. Both also finished up their service in New Jersey, but not at Fort Dix as this discharge paper states–at Camp Kilmer instead. Both squadrons were highly celebrated.

In the stack of papers, I found Murray’s “transcript of military record.”

His bronze stars and other awards are mentioned, but not his purple heart. He not only earned a purple heart, but it meant that he received $67 per month for the duration of his life for the injury he sustained.

I found out that the gardener can order information about the bronze stars from NARA (National Archives) in St. Louis. I plan to help him do so this week.

These documents show that when Murray was discharged he was a sergeant. He had had a higher rank, but was in the brig for fighting, so he was demoted. There is a rumor he was AWOL for awhile, too, but none of this is mentioned on these official records.

On the transcript, I was particularly transfixed by the list of “battles and campaigns” he was involved with:

  • Air Offensive Europe
  • Central Europe
  • Normandy
  • Northern France
  • Rhineland
  • Ardennes-Alsace

We are guessing that his time in England would be covered under “Air Offensive Europe.”

According toU.S. ARMY CENTER
OF MILITARY HISTORY
EDUCATE-INSPIRE-PRESERVE
, these are the dates Murray would have been in these areas:

  • Air Offensive Europe – 4 July 1942 – 5 June 1944
  • Central Europe – 22 March – 11 May 1945
  • Normandy – 6 June – 24 July 1944
  • Northern France – 25 July – 14 September 1944
  • Rhineland – 15 September 1944 – 21 March 1945
  • Ardennes-Alsace – 16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945

In general, we knew that he had been in England, and the gardener and I had both heard about his service in Israel after WWII, but neither of us had any idea he was involved in these other battles and campaigns.

The gardener and I were talking about how we wished we had thought to ask Murray questions and interview him about his wartime and other experiences. But, unfortunately, Murray died suddenly of a massive heart attack onboard a flight home from his job in Tupelo to Kalamazoo at the age of 62. We were young and had expected him to be around “forever.”

22 thoughts on “Murray’s Military Career, Part 3

  1. Pingback: At Entering the Pale This Week | The Family Kalamazoo

    • I couldn’t even believe it when I saw them. My husband doesn’t remember ever seeing them before. Oh, we sure do. There is so much I would ask my MIL, but at least with her I did a video of her and had her talk about her past for a couple of hours. I thought it would be one of many, but she passed away (of course) before I could film another one. But Murray dying so young we had no idea and weren’t yet thinking along the lines of collecting family history.

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  2. I love finding lost/forgotten documents ~ they open up a whole new thread of thought and information. Quite a military career ~ Yes oder from Nara and you can replace lost metals and awards. I did this for my husband (Vietnam) he lost everything and I thought what a shame we need to replace this stuff. If only we had asked more questions 😦 feeling the same 🙂 – love the updated post Luanne

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    • Murray was definitely a heroic kind of guy. The type who would be screwing off and then the need is there and he does what needs to be done and more. He had a ton of courage and was super smart.

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  3. I sadly know that feeling of “Why didn’t I ask my father about….?” And he lived to 92. I asked him many questions (as many as he would tolerate) in the six years I’ve been doing genealogy, but damn, there are always more.

    Murry was truly part of the Greatest Generation.

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    • It is difficult to ask questions in some cases. And then it’s difficult to recall either without specific prompts or sometimes the prompts are for things that are not readily available memories. I am always surprised how the gardener and I have different memories, not of the same event, but I remember some things and he remembers others, so together we have a pretty good recall hahahaha.
      Murray was definitely part of the Greatest Generation. Thanks, Amy.

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