The most decorated U.S. soldier in World War II earned numerous awards and medals. His bravery is known far and wide.
Second Lieutenant Audie Murphy was wounded three times, killed 240 German soldiers, and earned 33 medals and awards by the end of WW II.
With enemy tanks closing in, Lieutenant Murphy climbed onto a burning tank destroyer and used its .50 caliber machine gun against them. Though the tank destroyer was in danger of exploding and he was exposed to German fire on three sides, Audie did not back down; his deadly firepower took out dozens of German soldiers. Due to the loss of infantry support, the enemy tanks began to fall back.
Audie held off the Germans for an hour, during which time the enemy soldiers tried every weapon available to eliminate him. A squad trying to creep up on him was mowed down by his fire; the enemy made is as close as ten yards away before he took them out. Although Lt. Murphy received a leg wound, he ignored it. He fought on singlehandedly until his ammunition was gone.
Lt. Murphy then went back to his company, where he refused medical treatment. Instead, he organized his company in a counterattack. Many of the enemies were wiped out due to his directing of artillery fire; 50 wounded or dead. The Germans were forced to withdraw.
The Texan didn’t stop there, though. Murphy later became a film star when he played himself in “To Hell And Back,” an autobiographical film. It was the biggest hit in Universal Studio’s history at the time. In a movie career lasting 21 years, he also became known as a western hero. He went on to raise quarter horses at his ranch, though he fell on hard times.
Sadly, Audie had PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) after his battle experience. At age 45 he was killed in a plane crash. Buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Audie’s gravesite is one of the most visited, second perhaps to JFK’s.
Join us in remembering and celebrating this iconic American hero. He was indeed one of a kind.