Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, pictured above with his platoon farthest on the right, led a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan, OPERATION Redwings. The team came under fire from a much larger enemy force with superior tactical position. Mortally wounded while exposing himself to enemy fire, Murphy knowingly left his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, Murphy calmly provided his units location and requested immediate support for his element. He returned to his cover position to continue the fight until finally succumbing to his wounds.
An MH-47 Chinook helicopter, with eight additional SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers aboard, was sent as part of an extraction mission to pull out the four embattled SEALs. As the Chinook raced to the battle, a rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter, killing all 16 men aboard.
This was the worst single-day U.S. Forces death toll since Operation Enduring Freedom began nearly six years earlier. It was the single largest loss of life for Naval Special Warfare since World War II.
The photograph above taken from the Navy website media page for Lt. Michael P. Murphy was used to paint Lt. Murphy and His Platoon From left to right: ST2 Matthew G. Axelson, ITSC Daniel R. Healy, QM2 James Suh, HM2 Marcus Luttrell, MM2 Eric S. Patton, and LT. Michael P. Murphy. With the exception of the lone survivor, Marcus Luttrell, all were killed June 28, 2005 by enemy forces while supporting OPERATION Redwings. To recognize all those who lost their lives not in the photograph, their initials were painted along the bottom.
The painting now hangs in the National Navy SEAL Museum.