Check the archives

The local newspaper today erroneously reports that the remains of Martin Murray, a World War Two aviator from Lowell who was lost when his B-24 crashed in New Guinea in 1943, will be buried this coming Monday at Arlington National Cemetery. As we reported HERE back in April, Lieutenant Murray’s remains were buried in Lowell at St Patrick’s Cemetery on April 15, 2011 following a ceremony held at McDonough Funeral Home.

4 Responses to Check the archives

  1. Marie says:

    I was taken aback by the Sun artiicle today. As I noted on my Facebook post earlier this morning, I attended Lt. Murray’s interment and full honors ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cemetery last April. In fact, the ceremony included a flyover in tribute to his service. He did indeed still have family in Lowell – cousins actually living in the family home on Cosgrove Street. John McDonough had the funeral cortage drive past the family home before entering the cemetery. Lt. Murray of the Sacred Heart Parish was born just a few days before my father in March, 1922 – they attended the Sacred Heart together. My father also served in WWII but unlike Martin Murray he came home to his life and his family. Lt. Martin Murray may you rest in peace – back in Lowell in your family grave so close to your family home.

  2. Dean says:

    I did talked to the Captain Minor who escorted the body from Hawaii. He told me there were a few bones in the coffin. He did give me a number. In fact I have a picture of the local reporter interviewing the two captains. One of them was Captain Minor.

  3. Eleanor Rigby says:

    The following is the DoD press release when Lt Murray’s remains were identified. The Pentagon said he would be buried in Marshfield.

    U.S. Department of Defense
    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
    News Release

    On the Web:
    Media contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132 Public contact:
    or +1 (703) 428-0711 +1


    April 13, 2011


    Airman Missing in Action from WWII Identified

    The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

    Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Martin P. Murray, 21, of Lowell, Mass., will be buried on April 16 in Marshfield, Mass. Murray, along with 11 other crew members, took off on Oct. 27, 1943, in their B-24D Liberator from an airfield near Port Moresby, New Guinea. Allied plans were being formulated to mount an attack on the Japanese redoubt at Rabaul, New Britain. The crew’s assigned area of reconnaissance was the nearby shipping lanes in the Bismarck Sea. But during their mission, they were radioed to land at a friendly air strip nearby due to poor weather conditions. The last radio transmission from the crew did not indicate their location. Multiple search missions in the following weeks did not locate the aircraft.

    Following World War II, the Army Graves Registration Service conducted searches for 43 missing airmen, including Murray, in the area but concluded in June 1949 that all were unrecoverable.

    In August 2003, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) received information on a crash site from a citizen in Papua New Guinea while it was investigating another case. The citizen also turned over an identification card from one of the crew members and reported that there were possible human remains at the site of the crash. Twice in 2004 other JPAC teams attempted to visit the site but were unable to do so due to poor weather and hazardous conditions at the helicopter landing site. Another team was able to successfully excavate the site from January to March 2007 where they found several identification tags from the B-24D crew as well as human remains.

    Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA in the identification of Murray’s remains.

    At the end of the war, the U.S. government was unable to recover and identify approximately 79,000 Americans. Today, more than 74,000 are unaccounted-for from the conflict. For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at or call 703-699-1169.