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Murphy, Audie Leon

Date of birth:
June 20th, 1924 (Kingston/Texas, United States)
Date of death:
May 28th, 1971 (Brush Mountain near Roanoke/Virginia, United States - Airplane Crash)
Nationality:
American

Biography

Audie Murphy is the most highly decorated WW2 combat soldier and he played in several movies after the Second World War.
On June 7th 1971, Audie Murphy was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. His gravesite is the second most visited gravesite all year round. President Kennedy's grave is the most visited.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 15th, 1944
Purple Heart
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 26th, 1944
Purple Heart
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
January 25th, 1945
Purple Heart
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
2nd Lieutenant
Unit:
Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division "The Rock of the Marne", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
January 28th, 1945
Action:
"For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company B, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 15 August 1944, in the vicinity of Ramatuelle, France. Staff Sergeant Murphy landed near Ramatuelle, France, with the first wave of the assault infantry, at 0800 hours, 15 August 1944, until halted by intense machine gun and small arms fire from a boulder-covered hill to his front. Leaving his men in a covered position, he dashed forty yards through withering fire to a draw. Using this defiladed route, he went back toward the beaches, found a light machine gun squad and, returning up the rocky hill, placed the machine gun in position seventy-five yards in advance of his platoon. In the duel which ensued, Lieutenant Murphy silenced the enemy weapon, killed two of the crew and wounded a third. As he proceeded further up the draw, two Germans advanced toward him. Quickly destroying both of them, he dashed up the draw alone toward the enemy strongpoint, disregarding bullets which glanced off the rocks around him and hand grenades which exploded fifteen yards away. Closing in, he wounded two Germans with carbine fire, killed two more in a fierce, brief fire-fight, and forced the remaining five to surrender. His extraordinary heroism resulted in the capture of a fiercely contested enemy-held hill and the annihilation or capture of the entire enemy garrison. Staff Sergeant Murphy's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 3d Infantry Division, and the United States Army."
Details:
Headquarters, Seventh U.S. Army, General Orders No. 21
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Action:
"For gallantry in action against the enemy while serving with Company B, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. On the morning of 2 October 1944, near Cleurie Quarry, France, First Lieutenant Murphy inched his way over rugged, uneven terrain, toward an enemy machine gun which had surprised a group of officers on reconnaissance. Getting to within fifteen yards of the German gun, First Lieutenant Murphy stood up and, disregarding a burst of enemy fire delivered at such close range and which miraculously missed him, flung two hand grenades into the machine gun position, killing four Germans, wounding three more and destroying the position."
Details:
Headquarters, 3d Infantry Division, General Orders No. 66
Action:
"For gallantry in action against the enemy while serving with Company B, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. On the afternoon of 5 October 1944 near Le Tholy, France, First Lieutenant Murphy, carrying an SCR 536 radio, crawled fifty yards under severe enemy machine gun and rifle fire, to a point 200 yards from strongly entrenched enemy who had prevented further advance. Despite machine gun and rifle bullets that hit as close as a foot to him, First Lieutenant Murphy directed artillery fire upon enemy positions for an hour, killing fifteen Germans and inflicting approximately thirty-five additional casualties. His courage, audacity and accuracy enabled his company to advance and attain its objective."
Details:
Headquarters, 3d Infantry Division, General Orders No. 83
Action:
"Audie L. Murphy, 01 692 509, First Lieutenant (then Staff Sergeant), Infantry, Company "B", 15th Infantry Regiment. For valorous conduct in action against the enemy. On the night of 2 March 1944, on the ANZIO BEACHHEAD in Italy, First Lieutenant MURPHY crept 100 yards over flat, open terrain during a fire fight between his small patrol and a group of Germans, to a point 50 yards from a partly disabled enemy tank. Taking careful aim, he fired several rifle grenades at the tank, hitting and completely destroying it. Then, when a great many enemy machine guns in the sector opened up, he led his men through bullet swept area to safety. Residence: Greenville, Texas. "
Details:
General Order Nr. 84, 4 March 1945
Action:
Received version with "Palm".
Citation:
"Commander, B Company, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, an elite unit that fought without interruption for 169 days from the beaches of the Mediterranian to the banks of the Rhine. Placed under the command of the commanding general 1st French Army, at the time of the operations to reduce the Alsace pocket, it played a large part in the victorious battle of Colmar. On the night of 23-24 January 1945, it succeeded in crossing the Fecht then the Ill'l and to take the primary enemy position in spite of a snow storm and hazardous terrain. It gave no respite to the adversary, crossed the Colmar Canal to surround, then conquer, after a fierce fight, the village of Neuf-Brisach, cutting in this way one of the two lone avenues of retreat of the German troops. During the course of these actions more then 4000 prisoners were captured."

Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Unit:
Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division "The Rock of the Marne", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
April 16th, 1945
Action:
Decorated with "Silver Star".
Croix de Guerre (1939-1945)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
1st Lieutenant
Unit:
Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division "The Rock of the Marne", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
May 25th, 1945
Action:
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services in Italy and France, as Platoon Sergeant, Platoon Leader and Company Commander of Company B, 15th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division, from 22 January 1944 to 18 February 1945. First Lieutenant Murphy has always carried out his missions, no matter how hazardous, with marked ability. He often assumed leadership of his platoon in the absence of sufficient commissioned personnel and so intelligently and courageously led his men that he was commissioned an officer during the French campaign and commanded his company in a superior manner during the obliteration of the Colmar Pocket. First Lieutenant Murphy's personal bravery, his skill in imparting his own knowledge of enemy tactics to his men, and his voluntary assumption of hazardous patrols and missions have benefited his unit to an immeasurable degree."
Details:
Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, General Orders No. 100
Legion of Merit - US Military
Action:
"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 enemy's objective."
Details:
War Department, General Orders No. 65
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
1st Lieutenant
Unit:
Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division "The Rock of the Marne", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
December 11th, 1954
Action:
Citation:
"By direction of the President, under the provisions of Executive Order 9419, 4 February 1944, (Sec. II, WD Bul. 3, 1944), you have been awarded the Bronze Star Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster) for exemplary conduct in ground combat against the armed enemy while assigned to the 15th Infantry Regiment, on or about 8 May 1944, as Staff Sergeant, European Theater of Operations."
Details:
Letter of Order 11th December 1954. (Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster & Combat V device)
Bronze Star  Medal (BSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Action:
Decorated with Palm.
Croix de Guerre 1940

Sources