Spud Murphy joined the RAF in 1945 and qualified as an RAF pilot in July 1947. Between 1948 and 1951 he served with No's 56 and 66 Fighter Squadrons. During this period he led the Squadron aerobatic team displaying the Meteor F4 in many flying demonstrations,including the Festival of Britain Air Display at Hatfield in June 1951.
He resigned his commission in August 1951 in order to join Vickers-Armstrong as an experimental test pilot involved in weapon development on Red Dean and Blue Boar projects flyinf Meteor, Canberra qnd B-29. He became project pilot on the Valiant in flight refuelling and super sprite RATO equipment. Moved to Handley Page in 1958 and was involved in development of Victor BMk1 and 1A Tanker, Spectre RATO,Victor BMk2, Herald and Jetstream Mk1 and Mk2. He ejected from Victor XL159 in March 1962, when the aircraft was locked into a super stall. Appointed Deputy Chief Pilot in 1965 and was awarded the Queens Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air in 1967.
He remained with Handley Page until the company's collapse in 1970. He joined Air Anglia as Chief Pilot,later becoming Operations Manager. Became Operations Director of AirUK when new company formed in 1980. He joined BAe as Chief Test Pilot in 1981 and was succesful in bringing the Jetsream 31 to type certification. He retired from test flying in 1983 but continued to fly commercially until 1992.