CW3 Donald S. Murray
Donald S. Murray Way, Belleville, New Jersey

Please join us as we dedicate Donald S. Murray Way in honor of CW3 Donald S. Murray of Moore Place, Belleville, N.J.

11 a.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2016

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Belleville Paratrooper Killed on Training Maneuver

Chief Warrant Officer Donald S. Murray, 37, was killed in a mid-air helicopter crash on April 14, 1996, during live Hellfire Missile drill.

Murray was born on April 26, 1958, in Montclair, N.J., and grew up at 65 Moore Place in Belleville, N.J., and attended Holy Family School in Nutley.

Chief Warrant Officer Donald S. Murray of Belleville, N.J.

The 14-year veteran, paratrooper died as a result of injuries sustained in a helicopter accident at McGregor Range Complex near Fort Bliss, Texas.

Murray enlisted in 1982 and was stationed at Camp Humphreys, Korea as a UH-1 Crewchief.  Following Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, CW3 Murray was appointed as a Warrant Officer One in November 1987.          

Murray was initially assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry at Fort Drum, NY in March 1988 as an OH-58 pilot. In May 1990, following the AH-1 qualification course, CW3 Murray was assigned to B Company, 4th Battalion, 501st Aviation Brigade in Camp Page, Korea as an AH-1 pilot.

In July 1990, he was reassigned to C Company, 4th Battalion, 501st Aviation Brigade where he eventually served as an OH-58 Instructor Pilot.

In June 1993, CW3 Murray was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 82nd Aviation Brigade where he continued to perform duties as an OH-58 Instructor Pilot.  In March 1995, he was certified as an Instructor Pilot in the OH-58D and served in that capacity until present.

Murray earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and Forestry from the University of Maine and a Master of Arts degree in Aerospace Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Murray’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Army Achievement Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, The Army Service Ribbon, and the Senior Army Aviator Badge.

As a youth, Murray was a member of Boy scouts - Troop 152 Nutley, where he attained Eagle Scout with 2 gold palms. He was a summer camp counselor from 1973 to 1975 at Camp Tamarack, Oakland, N.J. While attending Belleville High School, class of 1976, he was a Key Club member, senior class play, JV wrestling, freshman football. He was a Theta Chi fraternity brother.

Murray is survived by his wife Song Cha, their two children Donald and Erin, his father Donald, his mother Irene, and brothers and sisters Neal, Scott, Mary, Patricia, Suzanne and Allison.

Sources: U.S. Army memorial service booklet; Neal Murray; Albuquerque Journal, N.M., April 16, 19, 1996; Photo courtesy of Neal Murray. Memorial Plaque in the Kiowa Warrior Training Command at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.


Albuquerque Journal (NM) - April 16, 1996

FT. BLISS CRASHES KILL THREE

2 COPTERS WENT DOWN DURING NIGHT TRAINING

LAS CRUCES -- A team of Army investigators from Alabama arrived at Fort Bliss on Monday to examine wreckage strewn in the crash of two Army helicopters that killed three paratroopers. A fourth soldier who rode in one of the helicopters was treated at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss after the crash Sunday night. The soldier then was released back to his unit. Two OH-58 Delta Kiowa Warrior helicopters, each carrying two...


Albuquerque Journal (NM) - April 16, 1996

ARMY TEAM SEEKS CAUSE  OF COPTERS' CRASH

LAS CRUCES -- A team of Army investigators from Alabama arrived at Fort Bliss on Monday to examine wreckage strewn in the crash of two Army helicopters that killed three paratroopers. A fourth soldier who rode in one of the helicopters was treated at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss after the crash Sunday night. The soldier then was released back to his unit. Two OH-58 Delta Kiowa Warrior helicopters, each carrying two soldiers, crashed about 9:50 p.m. Sunday ...


Albuquerque Journal (NM) - April 19, 1996

ARMY IDENTIFIES TWO DEAD PARATROOPERS

AROUND NEW MEXICO LAS CRUCES -- The Army on Thursday released the names of two paratroopers killed in the April 14 crash of two helicopters on the Fort Bliss Military Reservation. Two of the victims of the nighttime crash, which occurred during aerial gunnery maneuvers, were identified as Capt. Joseph O. Reed III, 30, of Windermere, Fla., commander of Company B, 1st Battalion, 82nd Aviation Brigade; and Chief Warrant Officer Donald S. Murray, 37, of Belleville, N.J. ...

Albuquerque Journal


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