Lt. Audie L. Murphy Most Decorated World War II Combat Soldier June 20, 1924 -
May 28, 1971
Last update on
September 10, 2013
Murphy Petition Draws Major Endorsements Murphy: a pioneer in PTSD awareness September 9, 2013 by David Phillips
Audie Murphy, moments after being awarded the Medal of Honor and
Legion of Merit, Salzburg, Austria, 1945. Courtesy U.S. Army.
Endorsements on the Audie Murphy
Presidential Medal of Freedom Petition read like a VIP address book.
Distinguished Americans such as Melvin Laird, Bob Dole, General Tommy
Franks, Charlie Duke, Toby Keith, Dan Rather, Barbara Eden and countless
others too numerous to mention. In addition to those named above,
three-fourths of the 79 living Medal of Honor recipients have offered
forth their endorsements.
Finally, representing service over
seven decades to America, nearly 100 generals and admirals have endorsed
the petition. These flag officers represent every branch of service and
level of command of the armed forces to include two former chairman of
the joint chiefs of staff. Each has personally hand signed the petition.
A final tribute for Major Audie Murphy
citizens have united with the common goal of honoring this legendary
American soldier with one last final tribute. Thousands of ordinary
citizens from across the country and around the world have joined those
notable distinguished Americans in signing the online version of the
petition hosted on the website ipetitions as well as on the Audie Murphy
America’s highest civilian honor
petition, directed to the President of the United States, requests that
the late Major Audie Murphy, Medal of Honor recipient and the “most
decorated” soldier of World War II, be posthumously awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor. The
Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to those who have made
significant contributions to the security and/or national interest of
the nation, world peace or for lifetime achievement in other cultural or
significant public or private endeavors.
Following World War II
Audie Murphy went on to a successful career as a film star appearing in
44 feature films, most of them westerns. He appeared on television
making guest appearances, wrote poetry, country music and raised
champion quarter horses and thoroughbreds.
Audie Murphy – a
pioneer in PTSD awareness
Although the name of Audie Murphy would
certainly merit consideration for this most prestigious honor for his
many contributions to American culture and his Hollywood career, the
petition and recommendation, is based on a much more complex issue, one
that Murphy assuredly had a significant role in raising awareness
In his endorsement of
Audie Murphy, former Sen. Bob Dole, referred in part to Murphy as a
“true pioneer in PTSD awareness.” Sen. Dole is a disabled World War II
combat veteran and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom as
While Audie Murphy’s name is known to many, it is almost
unknown to the average American that Murphy suffered from PTSD.
Beginning after World War II and continuing throughout his life Murphy
became one of the first veterans to speak of PTSD. Over the last years
of his life Audie Murphy often reflected on war and its toll on the
human mind. Murphy displayed remarkable courage during an era when it
was deemed “unmanly” to show perceived weakness and speak about what was
then only known as “shell-shock.”
In the years immediately
following World War II, “shell-shock” was often associated with
“cowardliness” or “physical weakness” but Murphy, while never
glamorizing his own heroism, managed to parlay his international stardom
and name recognition to his advantage and helped turn the tables on the
stigma often associated with PTSD. He spoke candidly with the media
about the emotional effects of the war and the nightmares associated
with it. In doing so, Audie Murphy served as an advocate for returning
veterans of both the Korean and Vietnam wars and helped bring the issue
of PTSD and the need for early diagnosis and treatment of this illness
into the mainstream of American society.
In a 1955 interview at
the time of the release of his now indelible appearance in the
autobiographical film “To Hell and Back,” Murphy remarked that “War is
like a giant pack rat. It takes something from you and leaves something
behind in its stead. It burned me out in some ways so that now I feel
like an old man but still sometimes act like a dumb kid. It made me grow
up too fast. You live so much on nervous excitement that when it is
over, you fall apart. That’s what war took from me, the excitement of
living.” In 1961 he offered forth the following commentary: “After the
war, they took the dogs and rehabilitated them for civilian life. But
they turned soldiers into civilians and let ‘em sink or swim.”
Audie Murphy is credited by the Amy with having killed more than 240 of
the enemy while wounding more than 500 and capturing about 100. Some
years after the war when asked by a reporter how the Army could arrive
at such casualty figures Murphy retorted, “I don’t know how they know.
Maybe the War Department kept count somehow. Maybe the officers sent in
totals. I didn’t keep count. I don’t know how many. I don’t want to
know.” In a subsequent interview when asked the question “How does it
feel to have killed 240 men?” Murphy remarked, “To begin with, I didn’t
kill that many; how the hell does anyone think it felt. It didn’t feel
either way; good or bad. Feeling wasn’t a luxury in the infantry.”
Perhaps one of his more eloquent and reflective statements came in a
1967 interview by Thomas Morgan of the Chicago Times. In the interview
Audie Murphy stated, “To become an executioner, somebody cold and
analytical, to be trained to kill, and then to return to civilian life
and be alone in the crowd—-it takes an awful long time to get over it.
Fear and depression come over you. It’s been twenty-odd years already,
and the doctors say the effect of all this on my generation won’t reach
its peak until 1970. So, I guess I got three years to go.” Sadly though
and almost prophetically, Audie Murphy had only four years remaining in
his own life, four years in which to ride the emotional roller-coaster
of mental anguish agitated by his own inner turmoil and the demons that
haunted his sleepless nights.
Murphy over the course of almost 25
years, beginning with the release of his memoirs in 1949, attempted to
show the brutality of war and the mental toll war exerts on a soldier.
In almost every memorable interview he would bring up the subject of
“shell-shock” and the nightmares in order to inform the public of the
affects of war on the human spirit. Near the end of his short life,
Audie Murphy was asked in an interview “How does a soldier get over a
war” to which the ever sad Murphy lowered his head and with a barely
audible voice reflected, “I don’t think they ever do.” His first
wife, the actress Wanda Hendrix, offered this poignant but sad
commentary on Murphy following his death: “Audie had a beautiful smile,
unfortunately he didn’t smile much.”
Audie Murphy – his legacy
Honors are rendered and tributes bestowed by great
societies so that we may remember the person; and the accomplishments of
that person’s life and in doing so perpetuate their memory for future
generations. Audie Murphy has certainly been accorded many tributes over
the years since his untimely passing and his legacy continues to grow
with the passage of time.
The name of Audie Murphy has been cited
in the Congressional Record on numerous occasions. Additionally, he has
had schools, monuments, markers, highways, bridges, a Veterans
Administration hospital and numerous facilities on military
installations named in his honor. The Army today has the “Sergeant Audie
Murphy Club” to honor its most distinguished non-commissioned officers.
Audie Murphy has further received a “Star” on the Hollywood Walk of
Fame, and was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
addition, in 1995 he was honored with postage stamps by the governments
of Guyana, Nevis and Sierra Leone. In 2000 he was finally honored with a
commemorative United States postage stamp as a testament to his status
as an iconic figure in American history.
Most recently, the
author lead a national campaign to have Audie Murphy awarded the Texas
Legislative Medal of Honor, the supreme military honor in the state of
Texas. That campaign resulted in Gov. Rick Perry posthumously bestowing
Major Murphy the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor this past month.
Perhaps his single greatest honor is having been laid to rest after
his untimely death in a plane crash at age 46 at Arlington National
Cemetery. He lies amongst those that represent the finest in America,
and Audie Murphy was certainly one of the finest of America’s soldiers
and one of the greatest of our nation’s heroes. The Presidential Medal
of Freedom would be one final fitting honor for Audie Murphy, so that he
may once again be remembered by the citizens of Texas, and indeed all
The petition is due to close in the coming days and
the formal recommendation submitted to the White House for action.
David Phillips Mr. Phillips is the Executive Administrator of the
Audie Murphy Presidential Medal of Freedom Petition Campaign. In
addition, he initially recommended Audie Murphy for this honor and
spearheaded the campaign for its passage. The petition has the
endorsement of more than 100 general officers, 50 of the 79 living medal
of honor recipients, moonwalkers, members of congress, & celebrities.
The nomination will be based upon Audie Murphy's advocacy for better
treatment of veterans suffering from PTSD
On the anniversary of Audie Murphy's death
at his memorial on Brush Mountain in Virginia with two WWII
veterans of 3ID - MG Lloyd B. Ramsey and Robert Dutil with Tim &
Monika Stoy. Awesome!
Audie Murphy with his
array of medals
Photo Compliments of
The Audie Murphy Research Foundation
"I never liked being
called the 'most decorated' soldier. There were so many guys who should have
gotten medals and never did--
guys who were killed."
"Men who have offered their lives
for their country know that patriotism is not fear of something;
it is the love of something." Adlai Stevenson-1952 speech to American Legion
Colonel Henry Bodson, SGT Audie
Murphy Club Speaker
Col Henry Bodson
Words of Wisdom
Col Bodson with SGT Audie Murphy Club Inductees
Ryan Joseph, Col Henry Bodson,
LTC Tim Stoy, CPT Monika Stoy
Colonel Henry Bodson, Society
of the 3ID member
of Outpost 7 and WWII veteran of the 39th
Field Artillery, recently served as the guest speaker at a 9 April
induction ceremony for two noncommissioned officers from the
Military District of Washington into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club
(SAMC).The event was held in Conmy Hall of Fort
Myer, the home of the United States Army’s 3rd
Infantry Regiment, the Old Guard.The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club is comprised
of noncommissioned officers who have exhibited exceptional
leadership in their positions as leaders in their units.
Colonel Bodson was invited to speak because
he knew Audie Murphy, having first met him during training in
Podzuoli, Italy in preparation for Operation Dragoon.Then Captain Bodson, a battery commander in
the 39th Field
Artillery, was tasked to train a group of 30 noncommissioned
officers from the 15th
Infantry to call for and adjust indirect fire. The first soldier
called to exhibit his skills after the training was Staff Sergeant
Audie Murphy, who successfully called for and adjusted fire on a
target floating in the Bay of Naples.Actually, he blew it to smithereens!
Bodson would later encounter Murphy
after he had been commissioned and been recommended for the Medal of
Honor for his actions at Holtzwihr, France on 26 January 1945. It is
highly probable the training Bodson provided in Podzuoli came in to
effect as Murphy called for the murderous artillery fires during his
action.When Murphy returned to the 15th
Infantry Regiment and was put in Regimental Headquarters, then CPT
Bodson was the 39th FA
liaison officer in the headquarters and he had several months of
shared service with Murphy in the operations shop of the Regiment
before the war ended in May 1945.
COL Bodson shared these and several other
stories of Audie Murphy which illustrated the character of the man
the noncommissioned officers in the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club
strive to emulate.His 35 minute speech was very well-receivedby the 500 soldiers and noncommissioned
officers who were present from the 3rd
Infantry Regiment and SAMC members from the Military District of
Washington (MDW)which extends as far as Fort Dix, New Jersey and
includes Fort Meade, Maryland.The presiding officers for the ceremony were
Major General Linnington, Commanding General of the MDW; Command
Sergeant Major Turnbull, CSM of the MDW; and Master Sergeant William
Haddon, President of the MDW Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy
Club.The ceremony was supported by soldiers of
the 3rd Infantry
Regiment, “The Old Guard”, who provided the color guard and a
program on the history of the NCO Corps from the Revolutionary War
The MDW chapter of SAMC has supported OP
Europe’s Operation Dragoon and Battle of the Colmar Pocket for
several years in Arlington, Virginia.The chapter was very pleased and honored
that Colonel Bodson spoke at this ceremony.One of the NCOs inducted was SFC Ryan
Joseph, who is a veteran of four Iraq deployments with the 7th
Infantry Regiment of the 3rd
ID and is now the Platoon Sergeant of the United States Army Drill
Team.It was great to see that 3rd
Infantry Division combat service badge on his uniform!
Technology, and Education Links of Interest
People, as you may know Audie’s
highest rank was that of Major which is reflected on his
headstone. I have never seen any photographic prints but I did
locate in my inventory the following gem. It is a color painting
of Audie with Major's rank. This was for the cover of a
National Memorial Air Tribute [Audie Murphy Memorial Air Show]
Sunday, May 28-29, 1972 in New Castle, PA.
Not too bad for an artist’s rendition.
Pam Murphy Dies, Widow of
Was veterans' friend and advocate
Pam Murphy, the widow of Audie Murphy, was
involved in the Sepulveda, VA hospital and care center over the
course of 35 years, treating every veteran who visited the
facility as if they were a VIP. Pam Murphy died last week at the
age of 90.
I Have Fought a Good Fight
I Have Finished My Course
I Have Kept the Faith
Murphy, Audie L.
Rank and organization: Second
Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B 1 5th Infantry, 3d Infantry
Division. Place and date: Near Holtzwihr France, 26 January 1945.
Entered service at: Dallas, Tex. Birth: Hunt County, near Kingston,
Tex. G.O. No.. 65, 9 August 1945. Citation 2d Lt. Murphy commanded
Company B, which was attacked by 6 tanks and waves of infantry. 2d
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. 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 machinegun 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 2d 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. 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
General John "Iron Mike O'Daniel
presents 1st Lt. Audie L. Murphy
the Distinguished Service Cross
and Silver Star Medals
On March 5, 1945, 1st Lieutenant Audie Murphy was called
to Nancy, France by order of the 3rd Infantry Division Commander, Major
General John "Iron-Mike" O' Daniel. On this day, General O' Daniel presented
to 1st Lieutenant Murphy the Distinguished Service Cross and Silver Star.
After 'Iron Mike" pinned the medals on Audie's uniform, he pulled out of his
pocket a Medal of Honor. Without giving it to Audie, O' Daniel showed the
medal to him and stated that General Alexander Patch, the 7th Army
Commander, would soon pin it on Audie during a different ceremony.
The Medal of Honor was given to Murphy June 2, 1945 at the airport of
Salzburg by General Patch, CG 7. Army. Some members of US-congress where
present at this ceremony. See photos below.
The President of the United States of
America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in
the name of The Congress the MEDAL OF HONOR to
LIEUTENANT AUDIE L. MURPHY
UNITED STATES ARMY
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty, Second Lieutenant Audie L.
Murphy, 01692509, 15th Infantry, Army of the United States, on 26
January 1945, near Holtzwihr, France, commanded Company B, which was
attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. Lieutenant 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, one of our tank
destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to
the woods. Lieutenant Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which
killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy
tanks abreast of his position, 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. For an hour the
Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate 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 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. Lieutenant 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.
"Loyalty to your
comrades, when you come right down to it, has more to do with bravery in
battle than even patriotism does. You may want to be brave, but your
spirit can desert you when things really get rough. Only you find you
can't let your comrades down and in the pinch they can't let you down
159th French Alpine Infantry Regiment.
This crest is the
insignia of the 159th French Alpine Infantry Regiment. It is a lozenge
shaped shield, consisting of an edelweiss flower, mountain ridge and the
numeral “159”. It measures 30mm at its widest point and is 52mm high.
The 159th R.I.A. (Regiment - Infantry - Alpine) existed from 1944-1951.
In 1951, it became the B.I.A. (Battalion - Infantry - Alpine), along
with a new design. Then in 1964, was re-designated the 159th R.I.A., and
changed its unit insignia to the lozenge shaped shield. The 159th no
longer exists and consequently the badge is a collector’s piece.
Audie was presented with the device by the Mayor of Ramatuelle, France
on July 13, 1948. Audie was in France to be decorated by General de
Lattre de Tassigny with the French Legion of Honor (Chevalier) and the
French Croix de Guerre with Palm, which took place on July 19, 1948.
This is an unofficial, honorary award and there are numerous photos
showing Audie wearing it such as the attached.
have to admit I love the damned Army. It was father, mother, brother to
me for years. It made me somebody, gave me self-respect."
was proud of being a tough soldier."
never moved into combat without having the feeling of a cold hand
reaching into my guts and twisting them both into knots."
Orders No. 65 WAR DEPARTMENT
Washington 25, D. C., 9
MEDAL OF HONOR – Award
* * * *
I.. MEDAL OF HONOR. - By direction of the President,
under the provisions of the act of Congress approved 9 July 1918 (WD Bul.
43, 1918), a Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at
the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty was awarded by the
War Department in the name of Congress to the following-named officer:
Second Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy, 01692509, 15th
Infantry, Army of the United States, on 26 January 1945, near Holtzwihr,
France, commanded Company B, which was attacked by six tanks and waves
of infantry. Lieutenant 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.
Lieutenant Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed large
numbers of the advancing enemy infantry.
With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, Lieutenant
Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer which was in danger of
blowing up any instant 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
For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to
eliminate 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 10 yards only to be mowed down by his
fire. Be 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 personally killed or wounded about 50. Lieutenant 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.
* * * *
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:
EDWARD F. WITSELL G. C. MARSHALL
Major General Chief of
Acting The Adjutant General
Lieutenant Audie Murphy of B Company, 15th Regiment,
Third Division. Murphy received the Medal of Honor and the Legion of Merit
on June 2, 1945 in front of his entire division in Salzburg, Austria.
Murphy became known as the most decorated soldier in the U.S. Army and
went on to be a major American film star until his death in 1971. Courtesy of Stan Smith
Dusty Old Helmet
Dusty old helmet, rusty old gun,
They sit in the corner and wait –
Two souvenirs of the Second World War
That have withstood the time, and the hate.
Many times I’ve wanted to ask them –
And now that we’re here all alone,
Relics all three of a long ago war –
Where has freedom gone?
Mute witness to a time of much trouble,
Where kill or be killed was the law –
Were these implements used with high honor?
What was the glory they saw?
Freedom flies in your heart like an eagle.
Let it soar with the winds high above
Among the spirits of soldiers now sleeping,
Guard it with care and with love.
salute my old friends in the corner.
agree with all they have said –
And if the moment of truth comes tomorrow,
I’ll be free, or By God, I’ll be dead!
On June 2, 1945 The entire Third Division assembled
to witness the Medal of Honor ceremony for 15th Regiment Lieutenant Audie
Murphy in Salzburg, Austria. Murphy rebuffed a grave threat to his company
atop a crippled tank destroyer in the Colmar Pocket near Holtzwihr.
Seventh Army Commander Alexander Patch presented the honors.
Photo courtesy of Denis Toomey
Liaison Officer for the 15th Regiment Lt. John J.
Tominac congratulates Lieutenant Audie Murphy after the June 2, 1945 Medal
of Honor ceremony in Salzburg. Murphy became a movie star after the war
making 44 films and wrote an autobiography "To Hell and Back." Photo courtesy of Denis Toomey
Only Photo of Hero Getting
Medal Published First Time
BY JAMES BACON
HOLLYWOOD, June 2, 1955 (AP) - Ten
years ago Thursday on an Austrian airstrip, a general pinned the Medal of
Honor on a Texas boy so young that he couldn't even grow a mustache.
The ceremony climaxed one of the most amazing fighting careers in American
military history and made 2nd Lt. Audie Murphy the most decorated hero of
World War II.
Yet there was no official photograph made that day - but a Red Cross
doughnut girl snapped a picture with a box camera. It was in her scrapbook
until Murphy, now a movie star, went on location near Yakima, Wash., for
the filming of his own exploits in "To Hell and Back." She had a reunion
there with Murphy and gave him the snapshot.
to Stan Smith for this photo and story.
March 9, 2001: The 3rd Infantry Division
Mechanized dedicated a facility, The Audie Murphy Inn, at Eagle Base,
Tuzla, in Bosnia-Herzegovina to the memory and accomplishments of Audie
Murphy. This is a two story, 4,700 square foot, 27 room, guest house for
visitors to stay while they visit the hard working soldiers of the
Multinational Division (North).
My Fellow Citizen:
My name is Dave Phillips, and I
am a former Marine.
As I am sure you are well aware
Audie Murphy is an American
legend. He remains America's
Most Decorated Soldier of World
War Two, as well as having been
a best-selling author, movie
star, poet, songwriter,
businessman, but above all
patriot and a hero for all
Audie Murphy has been my role
model my entire life. He was the
perfect role model for the youth
of my generation and remains a
role model for the youth of
today. Unfortunately, many of
the youth of today have never
heard of him.
Some years ago, a Petition
effort was launched to honor
Audie Murphy with a U.S. Postage
Stamp. Americans just like
yourself banded together and
through teamwork and the
combined efforts of thousands of
your fellow citizens Audie
Murphy was finally honored in
2000 with the release of a
commemorative U.S. postage
It is my desire to see Audie
Murphy presented posthumously
with the Presidential Medal of
Freedom, for his dedication to
America's freedom and his
lifelong devotion to country.
I have prepared an online
Petition to President Obama
requesting that Audie Murphy be
posthumously awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Petition can be found by
clicking on the link below:
Medal of Freedom Petition for
Audie Leon Murphy
I would be most appreciative if
you could once again stand with
your fellow citizens and sign
the Petition requesting that
America's Most Decorated
Soldier, Audie Murphy, be
bestowed posthumously the
Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Thank you for your time,
patience, and consideration in
Sincerely, Dave Phillips
Fort Stewart Names Soldier Center for War Hero
2nd Lt. Audie Murphy
July 11, 2007- Soldiers at Fort Stewart are
honoring one of their own. 2nd Lt. Audie Murphy was the Army's most
decorated war hero and a member of the Third Infantry Division. Now,
the Third ID is making sure his names lives on at a center designed
to help soldiers.
Third Infantry Division soldiers proudly stood in front the 2nd Lt.
Audie Murphy Soldier Support Center. Murphy, a Medal of Honor
recipient, single handedly, atop a burning tank, protected his men
against the enemy during World War Two. He killed dozens of Germans,
forcing them to withdraw. His name now graces Fort Stewart's Soldier
Support Center, a place where soldiers, families and civilians
arriving, leaving or transferring within the army can take care of
all their paperwork.
"He'd love it," said Murphy's best friend Scott Turner. "He would
Audie Murphy went on to more great things, like acting and a
successful song writing career with Turner. The two would compose
more than 80 songs, including the gold record country hit, "Shutters
and Boards;" however, Turner said, this would mean more to him.
"This to Audie," he said, "a building named for Audie with the Third
Army, I mean, that was his life."
The 2nd Lt. Audie Murphy Soldier Support Center is just one of
several buildings dedicated for Medal of Honor recipients. The Third
ID hopes when soldiers and military families walk these halls,
they'll be inspired by the men these buildings are named after. "We
want them to know, one what this division means," said Garrison
Commander Colonel Todd Buchs. "And that it had heroes like Audie
Murphy and they, too, are heroes."
Murphy never lived to see this honor. He died in a plane crash in
1971 at the age of 46. He was buried with full military honors at
Arlington National Cemetery.
Scott Turner is planning a concert series with the songs the two men
wrote. He said he'll donate the proceeds to the Fisher House, a home
away from home that allows military families to be near their
injured loved ones.
Here's a photo of Audie Murphy's Carbine
(After re-furbishing after the war)
Würzburg, Germany, June 17, 1960: If Sp4
Kenneth Coward, left, seemed a little nervous as he talked about his
M1 rifle with a visitor to the base, it was understandable. The
civilian was America's most-decorated soldier of World War II, Audie
Murphy, who was making a documentary film about missiles used by the
Army. Murphy was in Germany for the first time since the war, when
his exploits earned him the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service
Cross, two Silver Stars, three Purple Hearts and many other awards. Courtesy of Stan Smith
Audie Murphy's second monument grows
stone by stone - Roanoke Times, Roanoke,VA
Monday was Memorial Day, as you know, but you may have missed the
significance of last Sunday.
World War II hero Audie Murphy died in a plane crash May 28, 1971, at the
top of Brush Mountain.
The out-of-the-way location of his death makes visiting the site a bit of
an undertaking. It's a goodly drive from Blacksburg out Mount Tabor Road
to a bumpy forest service road that takes you to a littered parking area.
From there it's a 0.7-mile walk to the monument. But this location
has actually led to a moving tribute from an unlikely source. The site is
just off the Appalachian Trail, where it may get more visits from hikers
than from anyone else. The monument is topped by little piles of stones.
Many more stones are piled on the ground next to it.
Two through-hikers I saw there recently -- Rush Hour and Firefly were
their trail names -- understood what to do, and each added their own
stone. It's simple, but certainly one of the most sincere ways of honoring
a veteran that I've ever seen. The many small tokens of appreciation added
up to a second monument of sorts.
The original monument itself is quite nice and explains that Murphy was
the most-decorated American soldier of all the men who fought in World War
II. But what's missing is a photo of Murphy. The two hikers I saw seemed
genuinely interested and spent longer looking at the monument than I would
have expected. But I imagine that seeing his photo would have helped them
realize that the man behind the many medals was a fellow about their age
when he earned those decorations.
Bottom line: Through a strange fluke of geography, Audie Murphy's monument
is visited by young folks who might not normally visit a military
monument. I can't help but think that Murphy would be mighty pleased.
Suggested viewing: "To Hell and Back," starring Audie Murphy as Audie
Murphy in the true story of his World War II heroics.
Directions: The monument is right on the border between Craig and Roanoke
counties, but is easily found when driving from Blacksburg. Take North
Main Street to Mount Tabor Road, which will twist and turn and offer at
least one unexpected stop sign. After crossing into Roanoke County, look
for a sign pointing to a forest service road. Take this to the top of the
mountain and turn right. Follow this road to a parking area. Another sign
here guides you to the trail that soon meets up with the Appalachian
Trail. When the path splits, take the left fork up to the monument.
Audie’s grave is located
in Section 46, marker 366-11
Audie Murphy's gravesite at the
Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. DC is the second most visited
gravesite behind the J. F. Kennedy section.
Audie's headstone is the same as the ordinary GI, as was his request. Most
of the elite have gold inlays on the headstone.
The pebbles and coins on the top of
the headstone, denote people visiting and leaving a stone or coin is
an old Jewish tradition to show that the gravesite has been visited.
Audie Murphy Buried With Military Rites
By Ken Ringle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Audie Murphy was buried
yesterday beneath a white oak tree in Arlington National Cemetery in a
ceremony that briefly brought together Murphy's disparate worlds as most
decorated soldier and undistinguished cowboy actor.
A horse-drawn caisson, trailing
the muffled drums and soft hymns of the Army band, bore the walnut casket
of the baby-faced World War II hero through a crowd of 400. The mourners
ranged from Gen. William Westmoreland - in full uniform - to Marty Benson
- a goateed race horse handler and pallbearer dressed in an orange knit
Tributes came through the media
from President Nixon - who said Murphy "came to epitomize the gallantry .
. . of America's fighting men" and in person from Murphy's old division
mates, who told anyone who would listen that the sharecropper's son from
Kingston, Texas, "was one good boy."
The old soldiers drifted among
the headstones of Arlington, following the caisson to the grave site
beside Memorial amphitheater, just west of the Tomb of the Unknown
There, while the band played
"All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" and "America the Beautiful," Murphy
was laid to rest next to Allan David Gardner, a 31-year-old Special Forces
captain killed last year in Vietnam.
In addition to Westmoreland,
the White House was represented by Lt. Col. Vernon Coffee, the President's
military aide, and George Bush, ambassador at large to the United
Shimmering in the warm morning
sun at graveside was a presidential wreath of red, white and blue
carnations and - from the 3rd Infantry Division Association - a
square of blue and white carnations grouped in the diagonal stripes of the
division shoulder patch.
Murphy, who died May 28 in a
plane crash near Roanoke, Va., at the age of 46, had served in the
division from 1942 to 1945 in North Africa, Italy and France.
Though originally turned down
for enlistment because, as one officer recalled, at 17 "he looked like a
little boy", Murphy won more medals for valor, including the Medal of
Honor, than any man in World War II.
In the postwar years he carved
out a shaky career as a cowboy actor and producer in forgettable,
low-budget westerns and ultimately went bankrupt. When he died, he was on
a business trip, pursuing one of the investment interests that
increasingly occupied his time.
One of his pallbearers was
another highly decorated soldier - 1st Lt. Joseph Hooper - who
won the Medal of Honor in Vietnam and had been scheduled to meet Murphy on
a television show in a few weeks. But the other eight pallbearers were
mostly close personal friends chosen from outside the service. They
included John Toole, 38, a 6 foot-7, 270 pound mustachioed former prize
fighter who arrived in a tuxedo and black brogans.
From the Stars and
Audie L. Murphy, of Farmersville, Tex., shares with Capt. Maurice
("Footsie") Britt, also of the 3rd Inf. Div., the distinction as this
war's most decorated soldier. His latest award was the Medal of Honor for
beating off 250 Nazi infantrymen, supported by six tanks, during the
Colmar campaign. During his 30 months' combat duty in the 3rd Div., he
rose from private to company commander. company commander.
-INS PHOTO Contributed by Stan Smith
was scared before every battle. That old instinct of self-preservation
is a pretty basic thing, but while the action was going on some part of
my mind shut off and my training and discipline took over. I did what I
had to do."
Project Audie Murphy
continue my research and assist other researchers from my massive data
base. My main purpose is to help young people do book reports,
speeches and to give them the motivation to stay interested in Audie.
For it will be in their resolute hands that the name and
memory of Audie Murphy be perpetuated.
Project Audie Murphy
The Audie Murphy National Fan Club Senders please state in the subject line:
This is the
original version of the 3rd Infantry Division song,' The Dogface Soldier'. It is featured
in the movie, "To Hell and Back", the story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated
soldier of World War II. This translation from World War II is not politically correct,
however if this rendition is uncomfortable for you, go to the Ft.
Stewart website version with current lyrics:
For Medal of Honor Recipient
MURPHY, AUDIE L.
Rank and organization:
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Holtzwihr France,
26 January 1945.
Entered service at: Dallas, Tex. Birth: Hunt County, near Kingston, Tex. G.O. No.65, 9 August 1945.
CITATION: 2d Lt. Murphy
commanded Company B, which was attacked by 6 tanks and waves of infantry. 2d 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. 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 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 2d 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
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.
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
He was America's greatest World War II hero, at one
point single-handedly holding off 250 German soldiers and six tanks. But despite winning acclaim and
stardom, he could never escape the pain and trauma of the conflict that made him a hero.
Through clips from his films, newsreel footage and the
memories of those who knew him including his sister the heroic but tragic tale of Audie Murphy comes to
Audie Leon Murphy, son of poor Texas sharecroppers,
rose to national fame as the most decorated U.S. combat soldier of World War II. Among his
33 awards and decorations was the Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery
that can be given to any individual in the United States of America, for "conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty."
He also received every
decoration for valor that his country had to offer, some of them more than once, including
5 decorations by France and Belgium. Credited with either killing over 240 of the enemy
while wounding and capturing many others, he became a legend within the 3rd Infantry
Beginning his service as an
Army Private, Audie quickly rose to the enlisted rank of Staff Sergeant, was given a
"battle field" commission as 2nd Lieutenant, was wounded three times, fought in
9 major campaigns across the European Theater, and survived the war.
During Murphy's 3 years active service as a combat soldier in World War II, Audie
became one of the best fighting combat soldiers of this or any other century. What Audie
accomplished during this period is most significant and probably will never be repeated by
another soldier, given today's high-tech warfare. The U.S. Army has always declared that
there will never be another Audie Murphy.
On 21 September, 1945, Audie was released from the Army as an active member and reassigned
to inactive status. During this same time, actor James Cagney invited Murphy to Hollywood
in September 1945, when he saw Murphy's photo on the cover of Life Magazine.
The next couple of years in
California were hard times for Audie Murphy. Struggling and becoming disillusioned from
lack of work while sleeping in a local gymnasium, he finally received token acting parts
in his first two films.
His first starring role came in a 1949 released film by Allied Artists called, Bad Boy. In
1950 Murphy eventually got a contract with Universal-International (later called
Universal) where he starred in 26 films, 23 of them westerns over the next 15 years.
Despite his success in Hollywood, Audie never forgot his rural Texas roots. He
returned frequently to the Dallas area where he owned a small ranch for a while. He also
had ranches in Perris, California and near Tucson, Arizona. He was a successful
Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racehorse owner and breeder, having interests in such great
horses as "Depth Charge."
His films earned him
close to 3 million dollars in 23 years as an actor. Audie loved to gamble, and he bet on
horses and different sporting events. He was also a great poker player. In his role as a
prodigious gambler, he won and lost fortunes.
Audie Murphy wrote some poetry and was quite successful as a songwriter. He usually teamed
up with talented artists and composers such as Guy Mitchell, Jimmy Bryant, Scott Turner,
Coy Ziegler, or Terri Eddleman. Dozens of Audie Murphy's songs were recorded and released
by such great performers as Dean Martin, Eddy Arnold, Charley Pride, Jimmy Bryant, Porter
Waggoner, Jerry Wallace, Roy Clark, Harry Nilsson and many, many others.
His two biggest hits were
Shutters and Boards and When the Wind Blows in Chicago. Eddy Arnold recorded When the Wind
Blows in Chicago for his 1993 album Last of the Love Song Singers which is currently in
release by RCA.
is now known as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTS) and was plagued by insomnia and
depression. During the mid-60's he became dependent for a time on doctor prescribed
sleeping pills called Placidyl. When he recognized that he had become addicted to this
prescription drug, he locked himself in a motel room, stopped taking the sleeping pills
and went through withdrawal symptoms for a week.
Always an advocate for the
needs of veterans, he broke the taboo about discussing war related mental problems after
this experience. In a effort to draw attention to the problems of returning Korean and
Vietnam War veterans, Audie Murphy spoke-out candidly about his personal problems with
PTS, then known as "Battle Fatigue". He publicly called for United States
government to give more consideration and study to the emotional impact war has on
veterans and to extend health care benefits to address PTS and other mental health
problems of returning war vets.
While on a business trip on May 28, 1971, (Memorial Day Weekend) he was killed at the age
of 46. A private plane flying in fog and rain crashed in the side of a mountain near
Roanoke, Virginia. Five others including the pilot were also killed. Although Audie owned
and flew his own plane earlier in his career at Hollywood, he was among the passengers
that tragic day.
On June 7th, Audie Murphy was
buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. His gravesite,
near the Amphitheater, is second most visited gravesite year round. President
Kennedy's grave is the most visited.
In 1996 the Texas Legislature officially
designated his birthday, June 20th, as Audie Murphy Day. Audie
Murphy is a part of history that can be learned through many subjects, even
film studies. Students that study
History, Law, and Business receive great background education about all
important eras in American History. You may think that other studies do not get
the same in depth education about wars such as WWII. Students striving to
achieve their masters in health
administration also gain knowledge of the war. Many medical practices can be
seen used during the war. Even deeper studies such as a
masters in criminal justice also have in
depth courses explaining history and politics. Education is important so that
future generations always learn about the
sacrifices made during American past.