Documentary about SC Medal of Honor recipient up for award

From Staff ReportsMay 25, 2013 

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The film “Man and Moment: Charles Murray, Defining a Hero,” about Columbia Medal of Honor recipient Charles Murray, has been nominated for a Southeastern Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary.

The 30-minute film is part of the South Carolinians in World War II project, a partnership between The State and the ETV Endowment.

Four documentaries from the region are nominated this year. The winner will be named June 8 in Atlanta.

The film was produced by The State reporter Jeff Wilkinson and directed by Columbia filmmaker Wade Sellers.

“It was an honor to have known Col. Murray and be able to record his story in print and on film,” Wilkinson said. “We’re happy this nomination will make more people aware of what he did for our country.”

Murray’s heroic moment came on Dec. 16, 1944, near Kaysersberg, France. While leading a scouting mission for the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, he single-handedly attacked a position manned by about 200 German soldiers. Using a variety of weapons, he killed 22 enemy soldiers, captured 10 and caused the rest to retreat. He eventually was downed by a hand grenade but refused to leave his post before directing his men into a defensible position.

Murray died on Aug. 12, 2011. The film first aired on ETV in December 2012 and has since been broadcast by other PBS stations nationally.

The “Man and Moment” series is one of two series stemming from the project. The other, “South Carolinians in World War II,” uses the stories of more than 160 veterans to paint a complete picture of the war “from the foxhole up,” director Sellers said. The sixth episode is scheduled for broadcast in November.

The “Man and Moment” series focuses on individual soldiers returning to the battlefield.

The first, “Man and Moment: T. Moffatt Burriss and the Crossing,” followed Columbia paratrooper Burriss back to Holland. It, too, is being distributed nationally.

A new film, “Man and Moment: Ted Bell and the Ridge,” documents the return of Columbia’s Bell, the most decorated World War II soldier from The Citadel, back to the battlefield of Okinawa. It is slated to air around VJ day in late August or early September.

Copies of the films can be purchased through the project’s website, SCWW2.com.

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