William D. Murchie

Colonel William D. Murchie

Was commander of the 930th Special Operations Group, one of four units which compose the 434th Special Operations Wings (Reserve) at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana. Colonel Murchie passed away July 8, 2013 in Franklin, Indiana. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana on January 1, 1923 Colonel Murchie was a Business Administration graduate from Indiana University. Soon after graduation, he enlisted in the Army Reserve Corps, January 29, 1942, reported to the Officers Candidate School, Fort Benning, GA. In January 1943 and subsequently was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on April 9, 1943. Transferring to the Army Air Corps, he completed basic and advance flying in January 1944.

Colonel Murchie was assigned to multi-engine aircraft and flew B-24s at Smyrna Army Air Field until Feb. 1945, when he transitioned into B-29 aircraft at Maxwell Army Air Field. His World War II active duty ended on March 20, 1946.

His Air Force Reserve career began immediately with the 80th Troop Carrier Squadron at Bloomington, Indiana as Operations Officer. In July 1949, he transferred to the reactivated 434th Troop Carrier Wing (Reserve) at Bakalar AFB as an instructor pilot in the 72nd Troop Carrier Squadron. Called to extended active duty on May 1, 1951, Colonel Murchie served with the 315th Troop Carrier Wing, Brady AFB, Japan from December 23, 1951 until January 23, 1954. During this period, he flew twenty C-46 re-supply missions, logging 103 combat hours over Korea. Released from active duty in February 1954, he served as Operations and Training Officer with the 8634th Pilot Training Squadron at Bakalar AFB until February 1957, when he was named commander of the 72nd Troop Carrier Squadron. During this period, the unit converted from C-46 to C-119G aircraft.

In 1963, he was named Director of Operations of the 931st Troops Carrier Group, which established a record in 12th Air Force as the only unit to pass an Operational Readiness Inspection three consecutive years without an unsatisfactory or marginal rating in any major Function. During this same period the group was selected by Continental Air Command to develop the Off-Set-In-Trail System of aerial delivery for the C-119G aircraft. The system has now been adopted for all C-119G units. The groups mission was changed from airlift to tactical air support by mid-1969. The group flew the U-3 aircraft for training until 0-2 aircraft became available. The mission of the 931st Tactical Air Support Group was changed in March 1971 and Colonel Murchie was selected to command the first A-37A Air Force Reserve Fighter Group and subsequently the first A-37B Group at Grissom AFB, Indiana. The group has been assigned to Special Operations Forces.

Colonel Murchie was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, for "outstanding achievement rendered in behalf of the Air Force," for his service as Director of Operations. When named commander of the 931st Tactical Airlift Group on July 1, 1967, he had logged more than 6,000 flying hours. He served in that capacity until the unit moved to Grissom AFB. Then in March 1971 he was named Commander of the 930th Special Operations Group. Other military decorations awarded Colonel Murchie are the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and six services medals.

His civilian occupation was Director of the Bureau of Special Institutions, Indiana State Board of Health. He also served as Senior Vice President of the Indiana Department of Reserve Officers Association of the United States.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara H. Murchie. Colonel Murchie is survived by son, William M. Murchie, daughters, Sue Ann Bradford, Frances J. Lecain, Bonnie Lee Koch; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Service will be 11:00 am Friday, July 12 at Indiana Masonic Home in Kresge Chapel with calling 1 hour prior. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery. Those who wish to express condolences to the family or sign the guest registry may do so by visiting: http://www.flannerbuchanan.com. Flanner and Bu chanan - Carmel is handling arrangements.

Funeral Home

Flanner and Buchanan – Carmel
325 E Carmel Dr Carmel, IN 46032
(317) 848-2929

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on July 11, 2013