CW3 Donald S. Murray

Belleville Paratrooper Killed on Training Maneuver

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

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

As a youth, Murray was a member of Boy scouts - Troop 152 Nutley, where he attained Eagle Scout with two gold palms. He was a summer camp counselor from 1973 to 1975 at Camp Tamarack, Oakland, N.J.

At Belleville High School, Murray was a Key Club member, performed in the senior class play, and was on the wrestling and football teams. He was graduated with the class of 1976.

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

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

In March 1988, Murray was assigned as an OH-58 (Kiowa helicopter) pilot to the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry at Fort Drum, N.Y.

In May 1990, following the AH-1 (Cobra helicopter) qualification course, CW3 Murray was assigned as an AH-1 pilot to B Company, 4th Battalion, 501st Aviation Brigade in Camp Page, Korea.

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

C W3 Donald Murray hometown memorial, Belleville, N.J.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, Murray was certified as an Instructor Pilot in the OH-58D and served in that capacity when he was killed in a mid-air helicopter crash on April 14, 1996.

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.

At the time of his death Murray was survived by his wife Song Cha, their two children Donald and Erin, his father Donald, his mother Irene, and siblings Neal, Scott, Mary, Patricia, Suzanne and Allison.

Donald Murray is buried alongside his father at Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

Albuquerque Journal (NM) - April 16, 1996

Ft. Bliss Crash Kills Three

2 Copters Wend Down During Night Training

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 9:50 p.m. Sunday night. The soldier then was released back to his unit. Two OH-58 Delta Kiowa Warrior helicopters, each carrying two...

(Combined release)

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

Donald S. Murray Way dedicated in honor of CW3 Donald S. Murray of Moore Place, Belleville, N.J., on October 8, 2016

Donald S. Murray Way, Street Naming Dedication, Belleville, N.J.

Immediate family of CWO Donald Murray includes his mom
Irene, center, wife Song Cha, their children Donald
and Erin, and Donald's siblings Neal, Scott, Mary,
Patricia, Suzanne and Allison.


Albuquerque Journal

Army Aircrews News

Memorial Plaque in the Kiowa Warrior Training Command at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.

Neal Murray - Pilot photo

U.S. Army memorial service booklet; Neal Murray; Albuquerque Journal, N.M., April 16, 19, 1996;

U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File

U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current

U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007

Facebook Memorial Page

Remembering CWO3 Donald S. Murray

DONALD S. MURRAY WAY - Street honors Donald S. Murray Way, Belleville, New Jersey

Belleville Street Named in Honor of Sailor Killed In Service

October 8, 2016


Moore Place at Meacham Street

Peacetime Casualties

Belleville Sons Honor Roll

  A Place of Honor and Remembrance In the Home of the Brave

Belleville, New Jersey

BELLEVILLE SONS HONOR ROLL - Remembering the men who paid for our freedom; photo by Robert Caruso, used by permission.

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