Audie Murphy: American Hero

In the Fifties actor Audie Murphy achieved stardom, mainly in Westerns.  Murphy looked like a typical Hollywood “pretty boy” but he was anything but.  From a family of 12 in Texas, Murphy had dropped out of school in the fifth grade to support his dirt poor family after his worthless father ran off.    His mother died in 1941.  In 1942 he enlisted in the Army at 17, lying about his birthday, partially to support his family and partially because he dreamed of a military career.  He served with the Third Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany.  By the end of the war, before his 21st birthday, (it is possible that he was only 19 at the time as his older sister Corrine may have added two years to his birth certificate in order to help him get in the Army) he was a First Lieutenant and had earned, in hellish combat, a Medal of Honor, a Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, a Legion of Merit, a French Legion of Honor, a French Croix de Guerre, a Belgian Croix de Guerre, two Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts.  He was the most decorated soldier of the US Army in World War 2.  Here is his Medal of Honor Citation and which helps explain why Murphy entitled his war memoir, To Hell and Back: (more…)

Published in: on September 30, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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