Audie Murphy, Most Decorated Soldier in American History
After being turned down by the Navy and Marine Corps because he was too small, 5’5, 110lbs, Audie Murphy enlisted in the Army in 1942. He was deployed to the European Theater of Operations, serving in Africa, Italy, and France. He was known for doing highly badass things such as charging machine gun nests and flushing out snipers by personally playing as bait. He started the war as a private but by 1945 he had been given a field commision as a 2nd lieutenant.
On January 26 his unit was attacked by a large force of German mechanized infantry. He jumped on a burning tank and used it .50 browning machine gun to hold back the German attack. During the next hour of combat he personally killed 50 German soldiers. For his actions he was awarded the Medal of Honor. He is crediting with killing 240 enemy through out the war, as well as destroying 7 tanks. He also wounded and captured many more. He served in 9 campaigns and was wounded three times. He was awarded with 33 medals and citations from the United States, France, and Belgium.
After the war Murphy became even more famous as an actor and Hollywood star. His filmography consists of 43 movies including war films and westerns. He also was a country singer on the side and even singing a duet with Dean Martin.
Despite his successes Murphy suffered from serious personal wounds. After the war he suffered from depression, insomnia, nightmares, and PTSD. One time during a night terror he held his wife at gunpoint. A pyschiatrist perscribed sleeping pills but he soon became an addict, later quitting cold turkey. During the Vietnam War he was the first to speak out about battle fatigue and war related mental illnesses, something that was considered very taboo at the time.
In 1971 Audie Murphy was killed in a plane crash at the age of 46. He is currently interred at Arlington National Cemetary.
- Congressional Medal of Honor
- Distinguished Service Cross
- Two Silver Stars
- Legion of Merit
- Two Bronze Stars
- Three Purple Hearts
- U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal
- Good Conduct Medal
- Two Presidential Unit Citations
- American Campaign Medal
- European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star,
Four Bronze Service Stars and one Bronze Arrowhead
- World War II Victory Medal
- Army of Occupation Medal
- 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
One of my heroes
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