The Feared and Brave Audie Murphy
Do you know who is Audie Murphy? Do you know about his act of bravery that he fought 500 tanks and German soldiers single-handedly? And, do you know that he was an actor, advocate, and singer? If you don’t know about this war legend, this write-up is for you.
Audie Murphy was the seventh of twelve children. The names of his parents were Emmett Berry Murphy (father) and Josie Bell Murphy (Mother). His family was of Irish, German, Scottish, and English descent. Everybody knew that he had an explosive temper. His family was very poor. His parents couldn’t afford to teach him. He dropped from the fifth grade and started working at a shoe store as a shoe polisher to earn for his bread and butter. His mother died when Audie was of sixteen years. Audie couldn’t afford money for the treatment and his mother passed away due to pneumonia.
Profession and Education
I was surprised to know that he was an actor, a songwriter, an advocate, and a cowboy. Despite inadequate education, he was an advocate of mental health! He was a prolific actor and singer in those days. He excelled at composing songs. And for leisure, he was a cowboy. He had a net worth of US$ 300,000.
Why and How he entered the War Scene
Audie joined the army in 1942, but since he was underage and underweight, he couldn’t enlist for the recruitment. His sister helped him to falsify his birth certificate as he was determined and struggled to enter the army. After his training, he was selected as a combat rifleman in the US Army and had the rank of rank of Private III, the most basic rank.
His Decorations during World War II
Audie Murphy served in the army at the post of Second Lieutenant. During the battle, he and his company were attacked by six waves of German soldiers, tanks, and airplanes, each wave consisting of over 20 German soldiers. The tank on the right side of Murphy was struck by an artillery bullet. The crew inside the tank fled into the woods. After a few seconds, Murphy jumped over the blazing tank and started firing at the German tanks, soldiers, and airplanes with 50-caliber machine-gun, killing the waves of the Germans. The tank was in such a condition that it could blast anytime. Murphy hesitated to leave the tank. His leg was wounded but ignored it. Post-war, Murphy captured German soldiers as prisoners.
After the war, because of his acts of bravery, Murphy received 33 medals which were as follows:
- Medal of Honor, the most prestigious award in the US Army.
- Distinguished Service Cross.
- Silver Star.
- Legion of Merit.
- Bronze Star.
- Purple Heart.
- Outstanding Civilian Service Medal.
- Good Conduct Medal.
- Distinguished Unit Emblem.
- American Campaign Medal.
- European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.
- World War II Victory Medal.
- Army of Occupation Medal.
- Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
- Combat Infantry Badge.
- Marksmanship Badge.
- Expert Marksmanship Badge.
- French Fourragere.
- French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier.
- French Croix de Guerre – Palm and Silver Star.
- Medal of Liberated France.
- Texas Legislative Medal of Honor.
- Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm.
Post-war, Murphy worked as a Hollywood actor. He struggled a lot for being in the lead role. Soon, he came under the eyes of the legendary director, Steven Spielberg. He played the lead role in a movie. Audie was in the industry for over 20 years and worked in 40+ films. His most popular film was To Hell and Back (1952). In this movie, Murphy found his talent as a singer. He was a die-hard fan of country music and then, he collaborated with several artists and his friend, Guy Mitchell, and with the great songwriter, Steven Turner. His famous songs where ‘When the wind blows in Chicago’ and ‘Shutters and Boards.’
Despite his ups and downs, Murphy became educated and a legend in the American army during World War II. His bravery has left a mark on our generation. I have tremendous respect for him. We should learn his qualities such as his determination, dedication, bravery, and leadership skills.
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