Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Great American Heroes- Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier in World War II. He also became a very popular movie star, after the war, playing heroes like himself. In fact, in one movie, he did play himself. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Audie wanted to serve his country, despite not being old enough. He lied about his age, but was still too short and slight of build. Audie was turned down by the Marines, paratroopers, and the Navy. Eventually, the Army accepted him. Many would have thanked their lucky stars that they had been disqualified. Audie's persistence finally paid off and he was sent off to war, where he earned the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, two Silver Stars, and many other awards.

Here is his Medal of Honor Citation:

Second Lt. Murphy commanded Company B, which was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. 2d Lt. Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to a prepared position 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, one of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to the woods. 2d Lt. Murphy continued to direct artillery fire, which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, 2d 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 three 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 2d Lt. Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad that 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 his single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way back 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. 2d 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.


  1. We're still making Audie Murphys. We just stopped making Eisenhowers, Pattons, and Pullers.

  2. I refuse to believe this guy wasn't a Marine.