Exactly 77 years ago today, my dad, Arthur Philip Murphy, was stationed as a U.S. Army first lieutenant at Camp John Hay adjacent to Baguio, North Luzon, Philippines. Early that morning, as he and his housemate, Lieutenant Lars Jensen, were preparing to head over to the Officers’ Mess for breakfast, they got a phone call ordering them to report to the Post Adjutant’s office for a special briefing at eight.
Following a hasty breakfast, the two headed over to Captain Giitter’s office in the headquarters building. The room was strangely quiet as it filled with other officers and non-coms. As they waited expectantly, the captain didn’t even say “good morning.” Instead, in a voice hoarse with emotion, he said, “The Japs have bombed Pearl Harbor.”
Thus began an odyssey that would last nearly four years, would test the very core of Murphy’s character and endurance, and would forever change the course of his life.
Today, I remember Pearl Harbor, but more than that, I remember Camp John Hay. I remember Baguio. I remember my dad.