From Murph: The Protector to USS Michael Murphy: The Destroyer
A decade later, we still remember
"We had positioned ourselves in an area where we thought no one was going to walk on top of us," said Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, as he describes Operation Red Wings, which took place June 28, 2005 and killed three of his teammates including Lt. Michael Murphy. "And sure enough, about two hours later, they did."
"The place we were at was so desolate; it was the end of the cliff. There wasn't anything else out there. It was a drop off on three sides and there was only one way in and one way out. After we turned them loose, they high tailed it out of there ... out of our sight. We relocated, and then an hour later that militia showed up ... and they were looking for us."
Murphy knew outside help was needed, so he took action.
"We were about an hour into the gun fight, and we had been pushed down the back side of the mountain. The Taliban had the high ground on us and they had completely encircled us, 360 degrees, so no matter where we were hiding in there, we were getting hit. The only way you could prevent yourself from getting shot was to keep moving. We were using each side of the mountain for cover."
At this point, one of the four, Petty Officer Danny Dietz, had already lost his life, and another, Petty Officer Matthew G. Axelson, had been shot pretty bad. Murphy had also been shot quite a few times.
"We were in a straight line down the mountain. I look back up the mountain and Mikey had pushed out to the middle of the draw, we call it the fatal falling, you don't want to be in an area like that, that's the only place he could go to get coverage for the phone. Sure enough he dialed it up ... made that phone call ... and took two more rounds. It actually dropped him. He stood back up, finished the phone call, grabbed his rifle ... and moved back."
By the time the smoke cleared, all men, with the exception of Luttrell, had been killed by enemy forces.