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2nd. Lt. Audie L. Murphy

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by Sturmkreuz, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Sturmkreuz

    Sturmkreuz Member

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    I knew him for awhile but now I gonna let you guys know who he was:
    Source: Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipient - Audie L. Murphy, America's Most Decorated War Hero


    World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

    Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy

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    AUDIE L. MURPHY

    AMERICA'S MOST DECORATED WAR HERO

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    Audie Murphy was born on June 20, 1924, near Kingston (Hunt County) Texas, one of thirteen children. On June 30, 1942, at the Federal Building in Dallas, Texas, Audie was inducted into the United States Army-Paratroopers. Audie had initially applied to the Marines but was turned down as being underweight and too short. He received his basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas, and advanced infantry training was carried out at Ft. Meade, Maryland. On March 3, 1943, Audie was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division. On May 7, 1943, he was promoted to Private First Class; through subsequent promotions including Corporal, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, and finally on October 14, 1944, was given a battlefield commission to Second Lieutenant. He was promoted to First Lieutenant after his Medal of Honor of Honor action.

    Before his 21st birthday, and after more than two years overseas, most of it front line duty, Audie Murphy returned home at the end of World War II with every decoration for valor this country could bestow. He participated in nine battle campaigns, including participating in the assault landings at Sicily and Southern France. His fame earned him the title of "The most decorated combat soldier of World War II."

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    Audie's string of decorations began on March 2, 1944 with the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device for valorous conduct in action against the enemy on the Anzio Beachhead, Italy. This was followed with the First Oak Leaf Cluster on the Bronze Star Medal for his exemplary conduct in ground combat on or about 8 May, 1944. Also at this time, Audie was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge.

    After landing near Ramatuelle in Southern France, Audie earned the Distinguished Service Cross on 15 August, 1944. Audie Murphy advanced inland with his squad but was halted by intense machine gun and small arms fire from a boulder covered hill to his front. Acting alone, he obtained a light machine gun and in the ensuring duel, he was able to silence the enemy weapon. Killing two of it's crew and wounding the third. As he proceeded further up the draw, two Germans advanced toward him. they were quickly killed. Still alone, Audie then dashed further up the draw toward the enemy strong point disregarding the hail of bullets directed at him. Closing in, he wounded two more Germans with Carbine fire, killed two others in a fire fight, and forced the remaining five to surrender. But it was during this action that took the life of his dear friend, Lattie Tipton. So devastated by this loss, that Audie co-dedicated his autobiographical book "To Hell and Back" to PVT Lattie Tipton and to PVT Joe Sieja who was killed in action on the Anzio Beachhead in January, 1944.

    On the morning of 2 October 1944, near the Cleurie Quarry, France, Audie inched his way over rugged terrain toward an enemy machine gun which had fired upon a group of American Officers on reconnaissance. Getting to within fifteen yards of the German gun, Audie stood up, and disregarding a burst of enemy fire, flung two hand grenades into the position, killing four Germans and wounding three more thus destroying the position. For this action, Audie was awarded the Silver Star Just three days later, on October 5, 1944, on a hill in the Vosges Mountains near Le Tholy, France, he earned an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Silver Star. Carrying an SCR536 radio, and alone, Audie crawled fifty yards under severe enemy machine gun and rifle fire, to a point 200 yards from a strongly entrenched enemy. For an hour Audie Murphy directed artillery fire upon the enemy, killing fifteen Germans and inflicting approximately thirty-five casualties.

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    Audie Murphy's three Purple Hearts recognize wounds he received on 15 September 15, 1944, in his action near Genevreuville, France; October 26, 1944 in action near Les Rouges, Eaux, France; January 25, 1945, in action in the Colmar Pocket.

    Audie Murphy received a severe hip wound from a German mortar on October 26, 1944. Tired of the monotony of hospital life, he took it upon himself to rejoin Company B. He was still in a state of convalescence on January 26, 1945 when Audie earned the Nation's highest tribute for action in the Riedwihr Woods near Holtzwihr, France. The Third Division was engaged in fierce fighting in the Colmar Pocket which consisted of a heavily fortified bulge stretching from the Rhine into France. At midnight on January 25, Company B moved through the Riedwihr Woods, but fierce fighting reduced the company to two officers and about 28 men. Despite five replacements, the company remained critically under strength. As the senior ranking officer, Audie was placed in charge of the company and was ordered to advance to the edge of the forest and hold the line until relieved. Company B was supported by two tank destroyers from the 601st Tank battalion which were attached to the 15th Infantry, but they would soon be out of action.

    The frozen ground was covered with 10-12 inches of snow; it was impossible for the men to dig in. Audie's company was strung along a three hundred yard front at the edge of the woods. Company B was in a defensive position when at 1400 hours, on January 26, 1945, the Germans began a fierce attack from Holtzwihr. This assault consisted of six heavy Jagdpanther tanks supported by approximately 250 German infantry attired in white snow capes. The first tank destroyer slid into a drainage ditch and could not extricate itself. The second TD received a direct hit from a German 88 , killing the commander and gunner. Seeing that the situation was desperate, Audie ordered his men to fall back to an alternate position. At this time, Audie began calling in artillery supported by a field telephone through Battalion Headquarters. With his ammunition depleted, Audie decided to mount the burning TD and employ it's .50 caliber machine gun. After removing the dead TD commander, Audie sprayed deadly fire upon the German infantry. With the TD in danger of blowing up at any moment, the Germans gave it a wide berth. The black smoke streaming from the TD made it difficult for the Germans to see Audie, but it also reduced his view of the advancing infantry. At this point, Audie called in more artillery support even though it was dangerously close to his own position. For an hour, Audie managed to kill or wound approximately 50 to 100 Germans and confused the rest as to the source of the deadly fire. The German tanks, lacking infantry support, were forced to withdraw. Audie jumped from the burning TD only to hear it explode seconds later. Thus ended one of the most famous Medal of Honor actions of World War II.

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    Following the presentation of the Medal of Honor on June 2, 1945, at an airfield near Werfen, Austria, Audie was also awarded the Legion of Merit. In addition to the US awards, Audie received the French Legion of Honor (Grade of Chevalier); the French Croix du Guerre with Silver Star; the French Croix du Guerre with Palm and the Belgium Croix du Guerre 1940 with Palm. Despite the weight and burden of his medals, Audie always stated that the "the real heroes were the ones with the wooden crosses."

    On July 14, 1950, Audie was sworn in as a member of the Texas national Guard's 36th Infantry Division and promoted to the rank of Captain. He was promoted to the rank of Major on February 14, 1956.

    Audie Murphy's fame earned him the cover of Life Magazine on July 16, 1945. His popular appeal led him to a film career in Hollywood. He was in forty-four movies, mainly westerns. His most noteworthy were "To Hell and Back, " "The Red Badge of Courage," and "The Unforgiven."

    Audie was a passenger in an Aero Commander 680E when it crashed in the Appalachian Mountains 12 miles northwest of Roanoke, Virginia on memorial Day weekend, May 28, 1971. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Audie's resting place is one of the most frequently visited sites at Arlington. There were many tributes paid to Audie, mostly after his untimely death. In the end, Audie was destined to cast a longer shadow than most Medal of Honor recipients.


    Visit the Audie L. Murphy Medal of Honor Tribute

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    Major General "Iron Mike" O'Daniel, CG, 3rd Infantry Division, presents the Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy for heroism during World War II.

    Audie Murphy's Military Award List

    Military Service Number 01 692 509

    Medal of Honor

    Distinguished Service Cross
    Silver Star with First Oak Leaf Cluster
    Legion of Merit
    Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device and First Oak Leaf Cluster
    Purple Heart with Second Oak Leaf Cluster
    U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal
    Good Conduct Medal
    Distinguished Unit Emblem with First Oak Leaf Cluster
    American Campaign Medal
    European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star, Four
    Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead
    (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France)
    World War II Victory Medal
    Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp
    Armed Forces Reserve Medal
    Combat Infantry Badge
    Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar
    Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar
    French Fourragere in Colors of the Croix de Guerre
    French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier
    French Croix de Guerre With Silver Star
    French Croix de Guerre with Palm
    Medal of Liberated France
    Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 Palm
    Reprinted from a letter dated 7 Sept 1979, from the Department of the Army, Office of the Adjutant General and the Adjutant General Center, Washington, D.C. 20314; Subject: Maj Audie Murphy - Authorization for Awards and Decorations

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    General Alexander Patch of the U.S. 7th Army decorates Lt. Audie Murphy of Farmersville, Texas with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Lt. Murphy is the most decorated American soldier, holder of every decoration for bravery save the legion of merit. He rose from the rank of private to become a company commander in 30 months of combat duty with the veteran third division.

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    Official Narrative
    For Medal of Honor Recipient

    MURPHY, AUDIE L.

    CITATION: 2ND Lt. Murphy commanded Company B, which was attacked by 6 tanks and waves of infantry. 2ND Lt. Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to prepared positions in a woods, while he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by telephone. Behind him, to his right, 1 of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to the woods. 2ND Lt. Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, 2ND Lt. Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer, which was in danger of blowing up at any moment, and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to German fire from 3 sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. The enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate 2ND Lt. Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad which was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards, only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a leg wound, but ignored it and continued the single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way to his company, refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack which forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many of the enemy; he killed or wounded about 50. 2ND Lt. Murphy's indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction, and enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy's objective.

    Audie Murphy was a successful movie star earning his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

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  2. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    Great soldier, i just watched 'To Hell and Back' again the other day. Does anyone know how Murphy MOH felt about the movie, and how accurate he felt it was?
     
  3. Mats

    Mats Member

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    Panzerknacker!

    Try to find "After the Battle" no 3. There is an interesting article about Audie. I know that there is another article about him in another no, but cannot find out where it is.

    Best regards from the cold Sweden
    Mats
     
  4. JKilts

    JKilts Member

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    Most decorated soldier for the Allied Army, right? Just from what I heard, sorry I don't have time to read all of what you wrote. My grandmother's sister's husband was the second most. His last name was Paton (not Patton), that's all I remember. Had he just gotten one more medal they would've been tied, and that drove him to the brink of insanity.
     
  5. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hi S.K, great Citation to read about a great Soldier. However, there is only one minor error in it. What it is is that Audie Leon Murphy is America's most HIGHLY decorated Soldier of WWII. The MOST decorated Soldier of WWII happens to be Lt.Col. Matt Urban. The 2nd most (or most) highly decorated soldier of WWII happenes to be Staff Sergeant or Master Sergeant? I forget his exact rank: Llewellyn B. Chilson. Not sure if I have his first name spelled correctly?

    I had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with one of his Sisters who lived in my old home town. This lady now resides in the State of Washington.

    On a side note, Sergeant Lafayette G. Poole, happens to be America's version of Michael Wittmann. He was I think our highest scoring tank ace in WWII with the destruction of some 225++ German Armoured vehicles. Thi shappened from the Normandy landings on D-Day to sometime in early 1945. His ""career"" as a tank ace ended when he was severely wounded. I don't know much more about him except that he lived in the tiny south Texas town of Taft.

    I've always called him: "A Hero In My Backyard." Meaning that he lived only a hop-skip and a jump from where I live.
     
  6. Sturmkreuz

    Sturmkreuz Member

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    Quote of what was writed. Not Allied but American most decorated. So a Canadian or British soldier or other Allied could have been over.
     
  7. chiefgeorge

    chiefgeorge Member

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    My father was in 3rd Inf. and knew Audie Murphy and he told me years ago how much the guys admired him. That was before the MoH and my dad was severely wounded in Italy and never saw him again. Audie Murphy was highly thought of well before all the medals. A great soldier and person all around.
     
  8. Blaster Twins

    Blaster Twins Member

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    I'm a new entry of this Forum,so I hope that you'll have a great patience with me.My English isn't so good,because I'm Italian.
    I've a question:I've seen in the pics the patch of "Marne", the 3rd I.D.,but I've a postcard about Audie Murphy where there's on his arm the patch of "Texas", the 36th I.D.,well...he fought in both divisions?Thank you so much!!!
    Alex.
     
  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    That picture was probably made during the Korean War, when he joined the 36th Infantry Division, which was a National Guard unit.
    During the war, he was in the Rock of the Marne, the 3rd Infantry Division, until he was discharged.

    No one will complain about your English. If we can't figure it out, we'll ask you say it a different way.
     
  10. Blaster Twins

    Blaster Twins Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply Slipdigit.
     
  11. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    You're welcome, Blaster Twins.

    How knowledgeable are you on the Italian Armed Forces of the era? We need someone here who is.
     
  12. Boozie

    Boozie Member

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    A couple of weeks ago we traveled to Gettysburg, Antietam and D.C. While at Arlington Cemetery waiting for the changing of the guard, a tour guide said that Audie Murphy was buried across the street. I had to go grab a pic. I felt very humbled while standing there.

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  13. audiesdad

    audiesdad Member

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    Audie did not want to make "THB"
    He actually preferered Tony Curtis to play himself as he did not want to be seen as "cashing in" on his hero status.

    I am the sponsor of a Petition drive to recongnize and bestow upon Audie Murphy posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
    To locate the site and sign the Petition to recongnize this great American legend and hero go to:

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Audie-Murphy-Presidential-Medal-of-Freedom-Award

    Thank you for your support.

    Dave
     
  14. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

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    Can I ask why? He was already awarded every medal for bravery and heroism the United States can bestow on a man. The PMoF is for civilians who have done extraordinary things to benefit the population, isn't it?
     
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  15. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I agree Luke, there is not a single reason I can think of that "Murph's" memory would be aided by this award. He didn't do anything that would merit the civilian award, eventhough he was a humble man who didn't "cash in" on his military exploits, that isn't justification for the civilian PMoF award.

    Audie Murphy's memory needs this like I need a sixth finger on one hand.
     
  16. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    For Dave. There is a Barbershop owner who lives and works in Corpus Christi, Texas. I am going to be seeing this guy sometime within the next six months. What is so special about him is that he was in Audie Murphys Platoon. If anyone wants me to ask any questions for them? please let me know.
     
  17. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    It has always been amazing to me that he was able to reportray himself in combat! I enjoyed his performances, but I think it was the US Military's loss that due to his injury he did not get to attend West Point.

    Carl, I guess my question would be how he or his platoon reacted to the notoriety that began to accompany his actions of bravery. To Hell and Backis still one of my favourite movies to watch, because of the nobility of spirit he had, and that is was one of the films where they showed how hard it was to be friends with newcomers after the pain of losing men with whom you had served since the beginning.
     
  18. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hi Michelle, I don't know the answer to your question but, when I get back to Corpus Christi and setteled back in, im going to try to find that Gent who I was told had served in Audie Murphys Platoon. ;-)) This is one thing I am greatly looking forward to-once I get back there. Ill gladly ask him what you want to know. I've always kind of wondered about that same thing ;-))

    Cheers Michelle, and I hope you are not snowed in yet? ;-))
     
  19. audiesdad

    audiesdad Member

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    OK, for Luke and the others who cannot understand the reasoning for the Presidential Medal of Freedom there are several:
    1) Murphy became and is even today some 40 years after his passing still a cultural icon whose very name is synomous with the word "freedom."
    2) The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to anyone (military or civilian) who has made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." In his Hollywood career alone I feel as though ole Murph made the benchmark of having left this Nation a cultural contribution. In addition, Murph made the film "Broken Bridge" which brought to the forefront the dangers of "weapons of mass destruction" and the dangers of the soviet missle system. In addition the film showed the dangers of the growing threat of communism throughout the world at that time. Audie Murphy made that film free of charge for the U.S. government, i.e. world peace contributions.
    Further, Audie Murphy again with no compensation, allowed not only his image to be used in U.S. Army recruiting posters at the height of the Vietnam conflict, but further made several Public Service Announcements for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, i.e. security and national interest of the United States.
    Lastly, Audie Murphy was the first American of import, to speak openly and publicly about the phychological effects of war on the human spirit. In his time it was referred to as "battle fatigue" or "shell shock" but is known in the medical community today as "PTSD" and he also lobbied Congress for better treatment of veterans returning from combat duty as well as better benefits for veterans. Our Veterans of today have Audie Murphy to thank for the care they now receive through the VA and for the benefits they reap, i.e. other significant and private endeavors.
    Audie Murphy was not a perfect man, and brought baggage with him, but he made many, many contributions to our Nation. He never apologized for our Soldiers, wars, or government and always remained a Patriot in the truest sense of the word.
    There have been almost 30 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to military personel, as well as two to Medal of Honor recipients.
    Major Murphy is indeed worthy of such an honor.
    I invite you to look at the names of the recipients since its inception. Most you will not even know. I sure don't. Some such as John Wayne never even donned a uniform because although a Patriot in many ways, he by his own admission was more interested in his Hollywood career in the 1940's than service to Nation.
    In a time when our Country needs true heroes and with the name of Audie Murphy fading from history, I for one, feel that it is time his name return to the ears of the American public so that he will not be forgotten by history.
    Thanks!
     
  20. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

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    I disagree with your reasoning. I'm sorry but all of the things that he did after the war are things I'd expect any man, as highly decorated, and especially one who was able to become a little famous, to do. As for being the first person of some importance to talk about psychological effects of war...the fact that he was famous doesn't make his insight any more reliable or important that any other soldier. To suggest otherwise is detracting from everyone else who spoke about "shell shock". I suggest the documentary "Let There Be Light" It spoke about PTSD long before Audie Murphy did.
    I do agree with you that right now America needs true heroes...rather, we need to recognize the ones we have. TRUE heroes right now are the men and women who every day are on the line protecting this country from terrorists. Police and fire, EMT's, the list goes on and on. True heroes surround us in life, sometimes we just choose to look for larger than life characters to take their places. I respect the HELL out of Audie Murphy's accomplishments and his contributions to American culture...but if siting films and recruiting speeches that he made are your best argument for the PMOF, shouldn't the folks who wrote those items be considered too?
     

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