He was the most decorated U.S soldier in World War II earning countless awards and medals for his bravery.
After his valiant war effort, the Texan then went on to a 21-year acting career.
But it was on January 26, 1945 that Audie made his mark in the history books for single-handedly holding off an entire company of German soldiers for an hour.
His actions earned him the Medal of Honor and his story is truly remarkable.
Audie Murphy found himself surrounded by six German tanks. Most soldiers would have retreated but not this fiery fighter.
Instead, the second lieutenant in charge of a Battalion, ordered his soldiers to take cover in a nearby forest and wait for his command.
Most decorated World War II soldier
He then boarded a burning tank destroyer, which was in danger of exploding, and took on the German infantry using the vehicle’s machine gun. He even got shot in the process but that didn’t stop him.
He was just 21 years old at the end of the war and yet had killed 240 German soldiers, had been wounded three times and earned 33 awards and medals. His story is truly remarkable.
With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, Second Lieutenant 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.
Wounded about 50
For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate Second Lieutenant 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 ten 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.
Murphy would later become a film star and played himself in the autobiographical “To Hell and Back”, that film became the biggest hit in Universal’s history at that time.
He also became known as a western hero in a movie career that would last 21 years. Audie Murphy later raised quarter horses at his ranch but fell on hard financial times.
Due to his war-time and extensive battle experiences, Audie would be plagued by PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) during the rest of his life. For example, he slept with a gun under his pillow and sleeplessness would plague him, along with an addiction to sleeping pills.
Tragically, he was killed in a plane crash in Virginia in 1971. He was only 45 years old.
Audie Murphy was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery and his gravesite across from the amphitheater is one of the most visited other than JFK’s.
Audie Murphy was a true hero. I cannot believe what he achieved during his life. He was a remarkable man.
Truly a hero for all time. His life should be read by every young person in the 7th or 8th grade of what it means to be an American. He was not very tall and didn’t weight much but he wanted to be in the service.
Finally being accepted look at what he did! An inspiration for all. Anyone could go to his movies and not filled with r rated scenes as today are. God Bless that young man.
Please share this story of true courage with your friends and family!