Scope and Content of Collection
Title: John Damian Murphy Papers
Collection number: 79095
Murphy, John Damian, 1896-
14 manuscript boxes
(5.6 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Consists of court proceedings, investigative reports, regulations, orders, memoranda, printed matter, and photographs relating
to trials held on Guam, 1946-1949, of Japanese military personnel for war crimes.
Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research. Access to audiovisual materials requires at least two weeks advance notice. Audiovisual materials
include sound recordings, video recordings, and motion picture film. Hoover staff will determine whether use copies of the
materials requested can be made available. Some materials may not be accessible even with advance notice. Please contact the
Hoover Institution Archives Audiovisual Specialist for further information.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives
[Identification of item], John Damian Murphy Papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1979
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes
listed in this finding aid.
|1896 August 19
||Born, Newton, Kansas
||Student, University of Kansas
||Enlisted as apprentice seaman, United States Naval Reserve
||Student, Torpedo School, United States Navy, Newport, Rhode Island
||Associated with George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C.
||JD, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
||Executive officer, USS
Mindanao, Asiatic station
||U.S. Army Chemical Warfare School
||Chief of division, Office of Judge Advocate General (Navy)
Alcor, fleet repair and flagship
||Graduated from Joint Army-Navy Staff College, Washington, D.C.
||Legal officer, U.S. Pacific Fleet staff
||Planning officer, 7th Amphibious Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
||Naval aide, Justice Frank Murphy, special U.S. representative to the Philippine Republic
||Director, War Crimes, U.S. Pacific Fleet
||Bachelor of science, American University, Washington, D.C.
Scope and Content of Collection
The papers of John Damian Murphy consist of court proceedings, investigative reports, regulations, orders, memoranda, printed
matter, and photographs, relating to trials held on Guam, 1946-1949, of Japanese military personnel for war crimes.
Trials of accused Japanese war criminals were held on Guam and Kwajalein by the War Crimes Branch of the Pacific Fleet, U.S.
Navy, from 1945 through 1949. They were held under the auspices of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), which
oversaw war crimes trials in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region until 1951.
Major accused war criminals were tried by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, also known as the Tokyo Trial.
Other war crimes trials for alleged minor war criminals were held in the countries and territories invaded and occupied by
the Japanese. The U.S. Navy had jurisdiction over some of these trials.
Admiral John D. Murphy, a lawyer who had risen through the ranks from enlisted man, served as War Crimes Director. Naval
trials were conducted by the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Navy) under the Navy Division of the War Crimes Office.
The War Crimes Office was a central agency in the War Department to coordinate with the Departments of State, War, and the
Investigations into alleged war crimes were conducted by U.S. Navy personnel. The courts were known as military commissions,
and consisted of five to seven U.S. military officers. The accused were tried for minor war crimes, such as murder and ill-treatment
of prisoners, and included personnel of the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Imperial Japanese Army. The accused were afforded
defense counsel, both Allied and Japanese. Rules of evidence were relaxed. Summaries of trials were regularly submitted
to the Japanese government via SCAP memoranda.
Related material at the Hoover Institution includes records of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. The
National Archives in College Park, Maryland, holds official records of the U.S. agencies involved in these war crimes trials
The John D. Murphy papers were acquired in 1979.
Source: Welch, Jeanie M., "Without a Hangman, Without a Rope: Navy War Crimes Trials after World War II,"
International Journal of Naval History
1 (April 2002). Available from
the International Journal of Naval History.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
United States. Navy--Officers.
War crime trials--Guam.
World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities.
World War, 1939-1945--Japan.