The next day, January 26 (the high temperature was at 14 degrees with 24 inches of snow on the ground), the battle at Holtzwihr (France) began with Murphy’s unit at an effective strength of 19 out of 128. Murphy sent all of his men to the rear while he took pot-shots at the Germans until out of ammunition. He then proceeded to use an abandoned, burning tank destroyer’s .50 caliber machine gun to cut into the German infantry at a distance, including one full squad of German infantry that had crawled in a ditch to within 100 feet of his position. Wounded in the leg during the heavy fire, he continued this nearly single-handed battle for almost an hour. His focus on the battle before him stopped only when his telephone line to the artillery fire direction center was cut by either U.S. or German artillery. As his remaining men came forward, he quickly organized them to conduct the counter attack, which ultimately drove the enemy away from Holtzwihr. These actions earned Murphy the Medal of Honor near Holtzwihr, France.