|Audie L. Murphy|
June 20, 1925|
Kingston, Hunt County, Texas, U.S.
|Died||May 28, 1971
Brush Mountain near Catawba or Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.
|Buried at||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Years of service||
|Other work||Actor; songwriter|
|Website||Audie L. Murphy|
Audie Leon Murphy (June 20, 1925 – May 28, 1971) was one of the most famous and decorated American combat soldiers of World War II. He served in the Mediterranean and European Theater of Operations where he was presented the Medal of Honor and several other decorations for heroism in combat including decorations from France and Belgium. He was born into poverty on a farm in northeast Texas and was named for two family friends who kept the Murphys from starving. Murphy lied about his age to enlist in the military and follow his dream of becoming a soldier. He was only 19 years old when he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Murphy always maintained that the medals belonged to his entire military unit. His postwar stress caused him to sleep with a loaded gun under his pillow, looking for solace in addictive sleeping pills. Murphy drew public attention to what would in later wars be labeled post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio is named for him.
In his postwar civilian life, Murphy enjoyed a two-decade career as actor. He played himself in the 1955 autobiographical To Hell and Back based on his 1949 memoir of the same name. Most of his 44 films were Westerns. He made guest appearances on celebrity television shows and starred in the television series Whispering Smith. As a song writer, he penned the successful "Shutters and Boards". He bred quarter horses in California and Arizona, and became a regular participant in horse racing. In the last few years of his life, his film career took a downturn and he found himself plagued with money problems. But he remained aware of his role model influence and refused offers for alcohol and cigarette commercials. Murphy died in a plane crash in Virginia in 1971, just 23 days before what would have been his 46th birthday. He was interred, with full military honors, in Arlington National Cemetery. His widow Pamela devoted the rest of her life to the needs of veterans at a Veterans Administration hospital in Los Angeles.
Early life 
Murphy was born one of twelve children to Emmett Berry Murphy and Josie Bell Killian on June 20, 1925, in Kingston, Hunt County, Texas. The Murphys were sharecroppers of Irish descent. Emmett Murphy had a tendency to drift in and out of his family's life. Audie Leon Murphy was named after two local men who saved the family from starvation. When Josie was pregnant with Audie and caring for the couple's three living children, Emmett deserted the family and left her to fend for herself. The family was saved by the kindness of Audie B. Evans Sr., who lived 15 miles away. He made sure the family had food and basic supplies. A second neighbor named Audie West worked the Murphy garden so Josie could stay off her feet. Audie West also assisted in the birth of the baby named for himself and for Audie B. Evans Sr. Emmett abandoned the family for good in 1936. Josie died in 1941. The loss of his mother stayed with Audie throughout his life.
She died when I was sixteen. She had the most beautiful hair I've ever seen. It reached almost to the floor. She rarely talked; and always seemed to be searching for something. What it was I don't know. We didn't discuss our feelings. But when she passed away, she took something of me with her. It seems I've been searching for it ever since.—Audie Murphy
Murphy grew up on farms in the Farmersville and Greenville areas, and near Celeste, where he attended elementary school. He dropped out of school in the fifth grade when his father deserted the family, and to help support his family he picked cotton for $1 a day. He became very skilled with a rifle, hunting small game to help feed the family. A self-confessed loner, Murphy would later say that even in his youth he had an explosive temper and was subject to mood swings. Murphy had wanted to be a soldier all his youth and dreamed about combat. After his mother died, he worked at a combination general store, garage and gas station in Greenville. He also worked in a radio repair shop. Hunt County authorities placed his three youngest siblings in Boles Children's Home, a Christian orphanage in Quinlan. In 1946, he bought a two-story home in Farmersville to accommodate his family.
Military service 
The death of Murphy's mother added even more impetus to his ambition to become a soldier. Murphy tried to enlist, but was declined by both the Marines and Army paratroopers because of weight requirements. The Navy also turned him down for being underweight. He was finally accepted in the infantry by the Army. He was inducted at Greenville and on June 30, 1942 was sent to Camp Wolters, Texas, for basic training. During basic training he earned his Marksman Badge with Rifle Component Bar and Expert Badge with Bayonet Component Bar. He envisioned himself becoming a glider pilot. During a session of close-order drill, he passed out and was nicknamed "Baby". His company commander tried to have him transferred to a cook and bakers' school, but Murphy insisted on becoming a combat soldier. After 13 weeks of basic training, he was sent to Fort Meade, Maryland for advanced infantry training.
Mediterranean Theater 
North Africa 
On February 20, 1943, he arrived at Casablanca, Morocco in North Africa as one of the replacements for 3rd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. At Kenitra, then known as Port Lyautey, on March 7, the division came under the command of Major General Lucian Truscott and underwent rigorous training at Arzew, Algeria for an amphibious landing at Sicily. Private Murphy participated with his division in 30 mile (48 km) marches in a time frame of 8 hours. The pace became known as the "Truscott Trot". For the first hour, the men marched at a pace of 5 mph (8.0 km/h), and slowed to 4 mph (6.4 km/h) for the second hour, taking the final 21 miles (34 km) at a pace of 3.5 mph (5.6 km/h). They also underwent bayonet, land mine, obstacle course and other exercises. In Algeria, Murphy was promoted to private first class on May 7. After the surrender of the German Afrika Corps, the division was put in charge of the prisoners at Tunisia. They returned to Algeria on May 15 for final training for the assault landing in Sicily, including a full rehearsal named "Operation Copycat". On July 7, the division embarked for Sicily.
Sicily and the Italian mainland 
His youthful dreams of the glory of being a soldier were quickly tempered by the reality. He abhorred what he believed to be the look of fear in a fellow soldier's eyes. His combat initiation finally came when he took part in the invasion of Sicily, on July 10, 1943. After killing two Italian officers, Murphy's response to a fellow soldier's shocked reaction was, "it is not easy to shed the idea that human life is sacred ... we have been put into the field to deal out death." Combat had replaced his emotions with "a weary indifference that will follow me throughout the war." He was briefly transferred to headquarters as a runner, away from the front lines. Murphy kept slipping out to go on scouting missions. He received his promotion to corporal on July 15, 1943 and was sent back out to the front lines. What he witnessed on the battlefield in Sicily altered his perception, "I have seen war as it actually is, and I do not like it." They arrived in Palermo on July 20, 1943. Murphy's battalion was charged with protecting a machine-gun emplacement, rather than engaging in combat.
After Sicily was secured from Axis forces, the 3rd Infantry Division invaded the Italian mainland, landing at Battipaglia near Salerno in September 1943. Murphy and Lattie Tipton killed five enemy combatants after they witnessed the enemy gun down one of their men. While leading a night patrol near Mignano Monte Lungo Hill 193, Murphy and his men ran into German soldiers, but fought their way out of an ambush, taking cover in a quarry. The German command sent a squad of soldiers in, but they were stopped by intense machine gun and rifle fire. Three German soldiers were killed and four others captured. The 3rd Infantry Division suffered heavy casualties: 683 deaths with 170 missing, and 2,412 wounded. Murphy and his unit were sent for additional training near Naples. He noted the contradictions of the Army's "no looting" regulations regarding a stray chicken killed for food, and the carcass immediately hidden: "In combat, we can destroy whole towns and be patted on the back for our efforts. But here in the rear, the theft of a chicken is a serious offense."
Murphy was promoted to sergeant on December 13, 1943. The unit underwent rehearsals for the January 1944 storming of Anzio beachhead, the beginning of the liberation of Rome. Private Joe Sieja (referred to as "Little Mike Novak" in Murphy's book To Hell and Back) died in the initial landing. Sieja was one of two people, the other being Lattie Tipton, to whom Murphy's book was dedicated. Murphy was hospitalized in Naples with malaria and missed being part of the initial landing. On January 13, 1944, Murphy was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant. Upon release from the hospital, he became part of the replacement troops and joined his unit. After spending time in foxholes during reconnaissance, his unit became part of a major beachhead expansion assault. He repressed his battlefield panic: "Fear is right here beside you. This time will I be the one who gets it?"  His unit was ordered to advance with the tanks, retreat and advance again. His platoon's commanding officer was taken out by an injury, and Murphy was put in charge. One of his men was killed by friendly fire from within his own platoon while the unit was holding the line. Murphy was forced to report one of his men for desertion, and the soldier received a sentence of 20 years in prison. On March 2, 1944, his men killed the crew of a German tank. Murphy then crawled out alone close enough to destroy the tank with rifle grenades. For this action, he received his first Bronze Star. Murphy was out of action for a week with a recurrence of malaria.
In April, the 3rd Infantry Division was deployed for more training. On May 8, 1944, sixty-one infantry officers and enlisted men of Company B, 15th Infantry, including Murphy, were awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, which according to army regulations after the war, entitled each of them to an award of the Bronze Star Medal. Murphy was awarded his second Bronze Star Medal (oak leaf cluster) in 1954,"... for exemplary conduct in ground combat against the armed enemy while assigned to the 15th Infantry Regiment, on or about May 8, 1944, as staff sergeant, European Theater of Operations". By May, the troops began to advance. They engaged in heavy combat on the march towards Rome which was liberated on June 4. Once in Rome, Murphy began to feel worn: "there is no joy within me. We can have no hope until the war is ended."
European Theater 
Southern and southeastern France 
Company B was deployed for more training and not told it was for the 3rd Infantry Division landing in Southern France on August 15, 1944 as part of Operation Dragoon. Murphy's company landed on Yellow Beach near Ramatuelle (southeastern France)  with the first wave of the assault. Murphy's company began to move inland. During the landing, one of the light machine squads got detached, and he backtracked until he found the lost squad and rejoined them with the main group. Murphy ran alone for approximately 40 yards and then backtracked toward the beach and stole a German machine gun, placing the machine gun 75 yards ahead of his platoon. Private Lattie Tipton (referred to as "Brandon" in Murphy's book To Hell and Back), the second person to whom Murphy's book was dedicated, joined him and was killed by a German soldier in a machine gun nest who was waving a white flag. Murphy went into a rage and single-handedly took out the German soldier and the machine gun crew. Murphy then used those German's machine gun and his grenades to destroy several other nearby enemy positions. In the space of one hour, he engaged the enemy in a fire fight, killed 8 enemy combatants and took 11 prisoners. "I go back down the hill and find Brandon. Then I sit by his side and bawl like a baby." For these actions, Murphy was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Murphy and his platoon found other German soldiers on a hillside and took them as prisoners.
Montelimar, France 
His unit participated in the fighting in Montélimar and helped secure Besançon. In the area of the Vosges mountains, Murphy was hospitalized with a heel wound on September 15, 1944, earning his Purple Heart. By this point, all but one of Murphy's original group had either been killed or taken off the lines with wounds. The one remaining was identified in To Hell and Back as Sergeant Emmet J. Kerrigan (Murphy claimed to have used fictitious names in his book). Kerrigan was shortly thereafter permanently taken off the battlefield by a mortar-shell fragmentation. The 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its action at Montelimar from August 27–29, 1944.
Northeastern France 
While trying to take a quarry near Cleurie on October 2, 1944, Murphy followed to the rear of one of his patrols headed for the quarry. The enemy opened fire on the men, and Murphy made himself visible to draw the fire of the enemy. They missed Murphy, and he wiped out the group. Murphy was awarded the Silver Star for this action. On October 5, in the same location, he crawled 50 yards alone to reach the enemy, and killed 15 enemy combatants and wounded 35. On this day, he earned another Silver Star with an oak leaf cluster. He earned first oak leaf cluster for his Purple Heart on October 26, when a sniper's bullet hit him in the hip. He was hospitalized at Aix-en-Provence for several weeks with a battlefield hip wound that became infected with gangrene.The injury subsequently caused partial loss of his hip muscle in removing the infection. Murphy was awarded a battlefield commission to 2nd Lieutenant on October 14, 1944, which elevated him to platoon leader.
Holtzwihr, France 
Murphy rejoined Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry on January 14, 1945 (he became the commander of Company B when the company participated in the battle at Holtzwihr, France on January 26. Murphy's unit was deployed to the area near Guémar to eliminate the Colmar Pocket. While awaiting the completion of a bridge over the Ill river, Company B stood watch. On January 25, Murphy shared a foxhole with two others, and his hair froze to the ground when he dozed off. A mortar shell struck leaving the other two men dead and Murphy with superficial wounds to his legs, getting him his 2nd Purple Heart oak leaf cluster. Three M10 tank destroyers accompanied them in their assault on German troops. One of the tank destroyers immediately became stuck in a ditch and abandoned. Murphy reported an oncoming force of "six tanks ... and maybe a couple hundred foot soldiers." He ordered his men to withdraw, and remained alone with a telephone at his post beneath a tree, directing his men. Of the seven officers who began with the assault, Murphy was the lone remaining officer at the end of the action. 128 men began with Murphy, but only an estimated 40 remained. German tanks advanced launching heavy machine gun fire, pistols and rifles directly at his position.
Another tank destroyer loaded with gasoline and ammunition had been hit by enemy fire and abandoned by its crew who expected it to immediately explode. Murphy kept in contact by land-line telephone and continued to fire his M1 carbine until the last of his ammunition was spent. Murphy climbed aboard the abandoned, burning tank destroyer and used its .50 caliber machine gun to cut down the German infantry.
It was like standing on top of a time bomb ... he was standing on the TD chassis, exposed to enemy fire from his ankles to his head and silhouetted against the trees and the snow behind him.—Eyewitness account of Pvt. Anthony V. Abramski
He wiped out one full enemy squad who had crawled in a ditch within 100 feet (30 m) of his position. Murphy was surrounded by enemy infantry fire, and he stood in the midst of rising smoke and flames, his clothing ripped by artillery aimed directly at him. He sustained a leg wound, "bleeding profusely", and he continued to spin the machine gun around killing the enemy combatants. Murphy's hour-long, single-handed battle came to a halt when his telephone line to the artillery fire direction center was cut by enemy artillery. He wandered in a complete daze to an outpost:
..during his indomitable one-man struggle, Lieutenant Murphy broke the entire attack of the Germans and held hard-won ground that it would have been disastrous to lose.—Eyewitness account of Sergeant Elmer C. Brawley
Murphy located his men and immediately led them back out to battle, with complete disregard for his own wounds. Reinforcements joined them for "the big attack". He stopped thinking of his men as people and viewed them only as part of the larger whole. They crossed the north bank of the Embranchement de Colmar at night. After a unit of war-weary Germans surrendered to them, Murphy and his men used the prisoners' helmets to disguise themselves from passing German tanks. The allies took Neuf-Brisach, and Murphy's unit was ordered a respite from battle. He was promoted to first lieutenant on February 16, 1945. Murphy was removed from the front lines to Regimental Headquarters and made a liaison officer. As he learned of his former unit nearing the Siegfried Line, he armed himself with a carbine and went back out on the lines to rejoin and help his men. During seven weeks of fighting in the campaign, Murphy's division suffered 4,500 casualties. The 3rd Infantry Division (Murphy) was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its actions at Colmar and Neuf Brisach during the period of January 22 to February 6, 1945. Murphy was on authorized leave when he was informed of the surrender of Germany on May 7, 1945.
Medal of Honor 
General R. B. Lovett and Lt. Col. Hallet D. Edson recommended Murphy for the Medal of Honor. On June 2, 1945, near Salzburg, Austria, Lt. Gen. Alexander Patch, commander of the U.S. Seventh Army, presented Murphy with the Medal of Honor and Legion of Merit for his actions at Holtzwihr. When asked after the war why he had seized the machine gun and taken on an entire company of German infantry, he replied simply, "They were killing my friends."
Medal of Honor citation 
The official U.S. Army citation for Murphy's Medal of Honor reads:
Second Lt. Murphy commanded Company B, which was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. 2d Lt. 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. 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 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 2d Lt. Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad that 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 his single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way back 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.
Postwar military service 
He was highly recommended by the Commanding General of the 3rd Infantry Division to be a candidate for the United States Military Academy. He was not admitted on two criteria: (1) Not enough time to prepare for that current year's entrance examinations; (2) Murphy did not meet the age limit for war veterans to enter the Academy.
On June 10, 1945, Murphy left Paris and arrived in San Antonio, Texas, to a hero's welcome. He was feted with parades, banquets, and speeches. He appeared on the cover of the July 16 issue of Life magazine as the "most decorated soldier". He received a belated Good Conduct Medal on August 21, 1945. Murphy was discharged from active duty with the U.S. Army with the rank of first lieutenant, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio on August 17, 1945, and discharged on 50% Disability from the U.S. Army on September 21, 1945.
Hoping to serve in the Korean War after it broke out on June 25, 1950, Murphy joined the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas National Guard. However, the 36th division was not called to service. The Officer Efficiency Report of his first year in the Guard concluded, "The mental, physical and moral qualifications of this officer are superior." During his service, he granted the Guard permission to use his name and image in recruiting materials. Murphy was promoted to the rank of major by the National Guard and, in 1966, transferred to inactive status with the Guard.
Postwar trauma 
Murphy was reportedly plagued by insomnia and bouts of depression, related to his military service. He slept with a loaded pistol under his pillow. His first wife, Wanda Hendrix, stated that he once held her at gunpoint. A post-service medical examination on June 17, 1947 revealed symptoms of headaches, vomiting, and nightmares about war. The medical record shows that sleeping pills helped prevent the nightmares. His first wife Wanda Hendrix remembered an incident in which Murphy was moved to tears at seeing footage of German war orphans. Murphy found a creative stress outlet in the poems he wrote (and often discarded) during the period between the end of his active military duty and the onset of his movie career. His poem "The Crosses Grow on Anzio" appeared in his book To Hell and Back, but was attributed to the fictitiously named Kerrigan. For a time during the mid-1960s, he became dependent on prescribed sleeping pills called Placidyl. When he recognized that he had become addicted to the drug, he locked himself in a motel room where he took himself off the pills, going through withdrawal for a week. Post-traumatic stress levels exacerbated what Murphy himself had admitted was his innate moodiness and explosive personality, and surfaced in episodes that friends and co-workers found alarming.
In an effort to draw attention to the problems of returning Korean War and Vietnam War veterans, Murphy spoke out candidly about his own problems with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), known then and during World War II as "battle fatigue". He called on the government to give increased consideration and study to the emotional impact that combat experiences have on veterans, and to extend health care benefits to address PTSD and other mental-health problems suffered by returning war veterans. On October 13, 1971, U.S. Congressman Olin Teague introduced legislation to name a new veterans hospital in San Antonio after Murphy. The Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio was dedicated in 1973 and is now a part of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.
After the war, they took Army dogs and rehabilitated them for civilian life. But they turned soldiers into civilians immediately, and let 'em sink or swim.—Audie Murphy
Autobiography To Hell and Back 
To Hell and Back was Murphy's 1949 memoir of his World War II combat experiences, and was written in collaboration with his friend David "Spec" McClure. The book has had multiple printings and been translated into the languages of Dutch, Italian, French, Norwegian and Slovene. McClure had previously been in the employ of Louella Parsons, and at the time he met Murphy was working for Hedda Hopper. A veteran of the Army Signal Corps and a 1932 graduate of the University of North Carolina, McClure was intrigued by Murphy's cover photo on Life magazine and arranged to meet him. At the time, Murphy was still sleeping at Terry Hunt's Athletic Club. McClure found Murphy to be a moody personality, but was drawn to him and wanted to help him get a foothold in the movie industry. He began to act as Murphy's unpaid agent, and got the war hero a $500-bit part in Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven. By the time Murphy got a contract for the book he also had his own apartment in Hollywood, and that became the workplace where he and McClure put the book together. As Murphy related his experiences, McClure took notes and wrote most of the prose. They worked with reference materials to trigger Murphy's memories. When shown a map of a given area, Murphy would recall the battles in detail. Murphy did write a small portion of the book himself, most notably part of the section dealing with the Colmar Pocket. The book's narrative style of the reader being privy to conversations between the soldiers was Murphy's directive. He wanted the reader to have the perspective of the men who fought the battles. For his efforts, McClure's take from the book's royalties was 40%.
Film career 
Audie Murphy starred in 44 films throughout his career. During the 1950s and 1960s, he was cast primarily in Westerns. Murphy helped publicize his 1949 World War II memoir To Hell and Back with a radio appearance on This Is Your Life. In 1955, he played himself in the film 'To Hell and Back'. The film was the biggest hit Universal Studios had in its history. That record remained unbroken until 1975, when Steven Spielberg's Jaws became a higher-grossing film. Murphy performed in a handful of television productions, and was the star of the Whispering Smith television series.
His film career path started in 1945 when actor James Cagney sent him to school at the Actor's Lab in Hollywood while he was a guest in Cagney's home. When his acting career did not immediately take off, Murphy began sleeping on the floor at Terry Hunt's Athletic Club where he became a friend and boxing partner of director Budd Boetticher. The friends would eventually make two films together, in 1951 The Cimarron Kid, Boetticher's first Western, and Murphy's last film in 1969, A Time for Dying. The latter vehicle cast Murphy as aging outlaw Jesse James, but was a financially troubled production that had a limited release in France in 1971, and did not show in the U.S. until 1982. Two other planned Murphy-Boettcher projects—A Horse for Mr Barnum and When There's Sumpthin' to Do—were never started.
Murphy won small roles in the 1948 films Beyond Glory and Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven. Bad Boy in 1949 was his first leading role. When he was cast as outlaw Billy the Kid in the 1950 film The Kid from Texas, it was a financial success and earned him a 7-year contract with Universal. His next film Sierra is notable because his love interest in the movie was played by his wife Wanda Hendrix, who received top billing over him. By 1951, they would be divorced. He was lent to MGM to appear in the critically acclaimed The Red Badge of Courage, directed by John Huston. This was not a box office success. Universal continuously cast Murphy in Westerns in the 1950s, including director George Marshall's 1954 Destry, based on a character created by author Max Brand. Murphy took a brief break from hero roles when he appeared in No Name on the Bullet, a movie that cast him as a gun for hire who strikes fear into the hearts of townspeople.
Murphy appeared in a variety of non-Westerns that included Joe Butterfly and the boxing drama World in My Corner. In 1958, he co-starred with Michael Redgrave in the Cold War drama The Quiet American. He was the narrator of the 1962 Korean War drama War Is Hell, the movie Lee Harvey Oswald was watching at the Texas Theater in Dallas when he was captured after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Through the 1960s, Murphy continued to act in mostly Westerns. Arizona Raiders in 1965 was a remake of the George Montgomery 1951 movie The Texas Rangers. When his contract with Universal expired, Murphy left the studio to work for other producers. In 1966, he made Trunk to Cairo in Israel. Murphy's last starring lead in a Western was 40 Guns to Apache Pass in 1967.
In addition to acting, Murphy also became successful as a country music songwriter. He teamed up with musicians and composers including Guy Mitchell, Jimmy Bryant, Scott Turner, Coy Ziegler, Ray and Terri Eddlemon. Murphy's songs were recorded and released by well-known artists including Dean Martin, Eddy Arnold, Charley Pride, Jimmy Bryant, Porter Waggoner, Jerry Wallace, Roy Clark, and Harry Nilsson. His two biggest hits were "Shutters and Boards" and "When the Wind Blows in Chicago".
Audie Murphy and his co-writers produced seventeen songs:
|1962||"Shutters and Boards"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner]]||Numerous artists, including Jerry Wallace, Dean Martin, Porter Waggoner, Jimmy Dean, Johnny Mann Singers, and Teresa Brewer|
|1962||"When the Wind Blows in Chicago"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner||Bobby Bare, Roy Clark, Eddy Arnold and Jerry Wallace|
|1962||"Please Mr. Music Man Play a Song for Me"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner||Harry Nilsson and Dick Contino|
|1962||"Foolish Clock"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner||Harry Nilsson|
|1962||"Leave the Weeping to the Willow Tree"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner||Bonnie Guitar|
|1962||"The Only Light I Ever Need is You"||Audie Murphy, Guy Mitchell, and Scott Turner||Jerry Wallace and Harry Nilsson|
|1963||"Go On and Break My Heart"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner||Wilton and Welcon|
|1963||"Willie the Hummer"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner||Jerry Wallace|
|1963||"My Lonesome Room"||Audie Murphy, Guy Mitchell, and Scott Turner||Roy Clark|
|1963||"If There is a Short Cut to Nowhere (I'll Take It)"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner||Dorsey Burnette (unreleased)|
|1964||"Pedro's Guitar"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner||Jimmy Bryant|
|1964||"Big, Big Day Tomorrow"||Audie Murphy, Coy Ziegler, and Scott Turner||Jerry Wallace (unreleased)|
|1964||"Elena, Goodbye"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner||Jimmy Bryant|
|1965||"Round and Round She Goes"||Audie Murphy, Coy Ziegler, and Scott Turner||Jerry Wallace|
|1966||"Rattle Dance"||Audie Murphy, Scott Turner and Ivan J. Bryant||Jimmy Bryant|
|1969||"Dusty Old Helmet"||Audie Murphy and Scott Turner||unrecorded|
|1970||"Was It All Worth Losing You"||Audie Murphy||Terry Eddleman, Charlie Pride|
Personal life 
In August 1945, Murphy bought a house in Farmersville, Texas, for his oldest sister Corrine, her husband Poland Burns and their three children. Murphy also arranged that his siblings Nadine, Billie, and Joe stay at Poland and Corrine's home. However, six children proved too difficult for Corrine and Poland, and Murphy took his three siblings to live with him.
He married actress Wanda Hendrix in 1949, and they were divorced in 1951. He remarried to former airline stewardess Pamela Archer, and they had two children: Terrance Michael "Terry" Murphy (born 1952) and James Shannon "Skipper" Murphy (born 1954). They were named for two of his most respected friends, Terry Hunt and James "Skipper" Cherry, respectively. Hunt was the owner of Terry Hunt's Athletic Club, where Murphy slept before his film career gained momentum.
After her husband died, Pamela Murphy was obligated to pay his debts. She moved into a small apartment and got a clerk position at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Los Angeles, where she remained employed for 35 years, until she was 87. She unofficially adopted all the veterans who passed through the doors, and devoted her life to their care. She died in 2010.
Attempted carjacking 
In December 1946, Murphy gave a ride to hitchhiker John Thomas Daniels in McKinney County, Texas. The 25-year-old, who outweighed Murphy by over 50 pounds (23 kg) and was several inches taller, struck Murphy and demanded his car. According to Murphy, "We fought all over the place for about 10 minutes." Murphy broke free and called the police. The police and Murphy apprehended the suspect who by then was trying to rob a local woman.
Murphy bred quarter horses at the Audie Murphy Ranch in Perris, California, and Murphy Ranch in Pima County, Arizona. He loved racing his horses at the Del Mar Racetrack and invested large sums of money in the hobby.
Murphy earned a great deal of money in his life as an actor, but also had a major gambling habit which meant his finances were in a poor state for the last years of his life. One friend estimated Murphy lost $3 million through gambling. In 1968 his film career had dried up, and he declared bankruptcy. When he filed for bankruptcy, he stated that he lost $260,000 in an Algerian oil deal and was dealing with Internal Revenue Service over unpaid taxes. In spite of his financial difficulties, Murphy refused to do commercials for alcohol and cigarettes, mindful of the influence he would have on the youth market.
Legal issues 
In May 18, 1970, an attempt to mediate a service overcharge between a female friend of Murphy's and her dog trainer David Gofstein led to Murphy's arrest. The unnamed friend of Murphy allegedly telephoned him after she was unable to resolve the issue herself. Golfstein said that Murphy arrived with the client and a boxer who was never named. The alleged victim said he had been beaten and shot at, and that his wife had been roughed up. He also said Murphy stuck a gun in his stomach and tried to abduct him. Golfstein said he broke free, and Murphy shot at him. Murphy was arrested ten days later by police in Burbank, California, and charged with suspicion of assault and attempt to commit murder. When Murphy came to trial in October 1970, he entered a plea of innocent to possession of a blackjack, in addition to battery and assault.
Death and commemorations 
On May 28, 1971, Murphy was killed when the private plane in which he was a passenger crashed into Brush Mountain, near Catawba, Virginia, 20 miles west of Roanoke in conditions of rain, clouds, fog and zero visibility. The pilot and four other passengers were also killed. The aircraft was a twin-engine Aero Commander 680 flown by a pilot who had a private-pilot license and a reported 8,000 hours of flying time, but who held no instrument rating. The aircraft was recovered on May 31, 1971. In 1975, a court awarded Murphy's widow and two children $2.5 million in damages due to the accident.
On June 7, 1971, Murphy was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. The official U.S. representative at the ceremony was decorated World War II veteran and future President George H.W. Bush. Murphy's grave site is in Section 46, headstone number 46-366-11, located across Memorial Drive from the Amphitheater. A special flagstone walkway was later constructed to accommodate the large number of people who visit to pay their respects. It is the second most-visited grave site, after that of President John F. Kennedy.
The headstones of Medal of Honor recipients buried at Arlington National Cemetery are normally decorated in gold leaf. Murphy previously requested that his stone remain plain and inconspicuous, like that of an ordinary soldier. The 100th United States Congress, as part of its military funding appropriations Public Law 100-456, passed legislation authorizing a monument honoring the entire Third Infantry Division to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery. The legislation was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on September 29, 1988. The 9-ton 3rd Infantry Division Monument obelisk sits to the north of Audie Murphy's grave.
In 1974, a large granite marker was erected at at 3,100' elevation, near the crash site.
Honors and awards 
Murphy received every U.S. military award for valor available from the U.S. Army except the Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device (Army Commendation Ribbon). He received the Medal of Honor. On November 10, 1964, Murphy requested his name be added to the United States Army's "Medal of Honor Roll", and that he receive $100 per month pension money. He was not only one of the most decorated soldiers in American history, but he was also the recipient of civilian honors both during his lifetime and posthumously. For overall war-time service, he was awarded the American Campaign Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with arrowhead device and nine service stars. He received the Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp, and the World War II Victory Medal for a period that covered his entire World War II service dates.
In basic training at Camp Wolters, he earned a Marksman Badge with Rifle Component Bar and Expert Badge with Bayonet Component Bar. Murphy received his first military promotion to Private First Class while serving in Algeria.May 7, 1943. In Italy, he was promoted to Corporal on July 15, 1943, to Sergeant on December 13, 1943, and to Staff Sergeant on January 13, 1944. During action in Italy, Murphy received his first Bronze Star Medal (Bronze Star), with "V" Device, his Bronze Star Medal oak leaf cluster, and his Combat Infantry Man Badge.
In France, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and platoon leader on October 14, 1944, and to 1st Lieutenant on February 16, 1945. Most of his military honors were earned in France, the majority of which were for action at the Colmar Pocket that culminated in his Medal of Honor actions at Holtzwihr. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for action near Ramatuelle on August 15, 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters during action in France: Purple Heart on September 15, 1944, first oak leaf cluster on October 26, 1944, and second oak leaf cluster on January 25, 1945. His Silver Star with oak leaf cluster were awarded for action on October 2, and October 5, 1944. Murphy was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster for being a member of the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment and the 3rd Infantry Division that were cited. The Legion of Merit was given to him for meritorious service in France from January 22 to February 18, 1945 with the 3rd Infantry Division.
France awarded him the French Legion of Honor – Grade of Chevalier (Knight), the French Croix de guerre with Silver Star and two Palms, the French Fourragère in Colors of the Croix de guerre, and the French Liberation Medal (see June 1948, eligibility ). Belgium awarded him the Belgian Croix de guerre with 1940 Palm.
The Good Conduct Medal was presented to him on August 21, 1945. During the Korean War, he served as Captain, later promoted to Major, in the Texas National Guard. For his service in the Texas National Guard during the Korean War, he received the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
Among his movie career recognitions was a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. The United States Army gave him one more military medal in 1961, the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for his cooperation in starring in its documentary The Broken Bridge. An oil painting of Murphy is displayed in the Texas State Capitol Building. The United States Postal Service honored Murphy with a 33 cent stamp in 2000.
- "Kingston, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas Historical Commission.
- "C.A.R.O. form signed by Corrine Burns June 26, 1942". "Audie Murphy enlistment record ARC Identifier 299774". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. June 30, 1942. Murphy's date of birth has been given as both 1925 and 1924, by Murphy himself. He seemed to go back and forth on the dates for the rest of his life. His sister Corrine Burns as his "nearest living kin", signed a notarized document that he was born June 20, 1924, to accompany his enlistment application
- "Texas Legislative Medal of Honor". 82nd Texas Legislature. State of Texas. He later said his mother, who died in 1941, died when he was 16, which would put his birth year at 1925. His date of birth on military records, and on his tombstone at Arlington National Cemetery, is listed as 1924. The 82nd Texas Legislature referenced a 1925 birth date and said the 1924 date was a misrepresentation by Murphy.
- "Application to join N. Hollywood Freemasons". AudieMurphy.com. When he applied for membership in the North Hollywood Freemason Lodge 542 in 1954, he gave his date of birth as 1924.
- "California driver's license for Audie Murphy". Audie L. Murphy Memorial Website. His California driver's license showed a birth date of 1925.
- Simpson, Harold B. "Audie Leon Murphy". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association.
- "Biographical Sketch of Audie Leon Murphy, June 20, 1925 – May 28, 1971". Audie Murphy Research Foundation.
- "Newsletter number 6". Audie L. Murphy Memorial Website.
- Murphy 2002, p. 143.
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- Graham 1989, p. 29.
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- Graham 1989, pp. 34–35.
- Graham 1989, p. 36.
- Champagne 2008, p. 41.
- Murphy 2002, pp. 8,9.
- Champagne 2008, p. 42.
- Champagne 2008, p. 43.
- Graham 1989, p. 37.
- Champagne 2008, p. 45.
- Champagne 2008, pp. 45–47.
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- "Historical Information – Audie Murphy". Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- Murphy 2002, p. 11.
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- "Hall of Valor". Military Times. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
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- "Special Order No. 39, by Order of Colonel Thomas, Combat Infantry Badge". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. May 8, 1944.
- "Memo to Captain Audie L. Murphy, NOUS, signed by Verne L. Bowers". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. December 11, 1954.
- This Bronze Star Medal (w/o "V" Device) is based on award of the CIB. Army Regulation 600-8-22, December 11, 2006: Bronze Star Medal, Chapter 3-14, d., (2), p. 40 
- Murphy 2002, p. 150.
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- Jeffers, H. P (2003). The 100 Greatest Heroes. Citadel. pp. 96–98. ISBN 978-0-8065-2476-4.
- "Statement given by Staff Sergeant Norman Hollen, Company B, Fifteenth Infantry to First Lieutenant Abraham Weiner, Fifteenth Infantry, describing the actions Sergeant Audie L. Murphy took to singlehandedly clean out an entire enemy position on August 15, 1944., 12/1944 ARC Identifier 299779". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
- Murphy 2002, p. 171.
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- Graham 1989, pp. 68,69.
- Murphy 2002, pp. 176–178.
- "General Order No. 21, Award for the Distinguished Service Cross ARC Identifier 299774". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. January 28, 1945.
- Murphy 2002, p. 178.
- Graham, Don (June 1989). "The Story of Audie Murphy". Texas Monthly 17 (6): 107, 108, 132, 149, 150, 151.
- Fisch, Arnold G; Hogan, David W; Wright, Robert K (2006). The Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps: The Backbone of the Army. Dept of the Army. p. 333. ISBN 978-0-16-067868-4.
- Murphy 2002, pp. 182–183.
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- Graham 1989, p. 72.
- "General Orders No. 71, Award of Purple Heart and Oak Leaf Cluster to 2dn Lt. Audie Murphy, signed by Captain J.W. Polkinghorn". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. December 22, 1944.
- Murphy 2002, pp. 47,193.
- Murphy 2002, p. 202.
- "Murphy's Awards". Retrieved March 29, 2013.
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- "Audie L. Murphy Officer Request to the Adjutant General's Office for appear before a retirement board ARC Identifier 299774". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. 1946.
- "War Board's response to Murphy's request to appear before an Army Retiring Board, signed by Adjutant General Robert H. Dunlap Jr. ARC Identifier 299774". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. January 17, 1947.
- Murphy 2002, p. 220.
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- "Medal of Honor recipients". World War II (M–S). United States Army Center of Military History. June 27, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Murphy 2002, p. 228.
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- "Detailed statement of Sergeant Elmer C. Brawley describing how on January 26, 1945, Second Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy, exposed himself to enemy fire to hold off an advancing enemy, which "broke the entire attack of the Germans and held hard-won ground that it would have been disastrous to lose.", 03/01/1945 ARC Identifier 299776". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
- Murphy 2002, p. 238,239.
- "Statement given by Private First Class Anthony V. Abramski, Company "B," Fifteenth Infantry, to First Lieutenant Charles C. Blossom, Jr., describing Second Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy's actions on January 26, 1945, as "the greastest display of guts and courage I have ever seen.", 02/27/1945 - 02/27/1945, ARC Identifier 299775". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
- "Statement by First Lieutenant Walter W. Weispfenning, 39th Field Artillery Battalion, who witnessed the actions taken by Lieutenant Murphy on January 26, 1945, near Holtzwihr, France. Weispfenning's account attributes Murphy's actions as "enabling his regiment to hold ground that was won at a heavy cost in blood. ARC Identifier 299785". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
- "Kenneth L. Ware's statement directly attributing Audie L. Murphy's actions on January 26, 1945, as "primarily responsible for repelling this ferocious counterattack." ARC Identifier 299784". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
- Murphy 2002, p. 240.
- Murphy 2002, p. 242.
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- War Department, Washington, D.C., June 6, 1945, General Orders No. 44, 3d Infantry Division with attached Units (named)
- Murphy 2002, p. 270.
- Graham 1989, p. 99.
- "Recommendation from Brigadier General R.B. Lovett, to Lieutenant General A.M. Patch, for Audie L. Murphy to be awarded the Medal of Honor and General Patch's approval., 03/26/1945 - 04/11/1945 ARC Identifier 299783". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
- "Recommendation from Lt. Colonel Hallet D. Edson, 15th Infantry, to Award of Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy., 07/19/1948 ARC Identifier 299777". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
- Willbanks, James H (2011). America's heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients from the Civil War to Afghanistan. ABC-CLIO. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-59884-394-1.
- ""War" excerpt about Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta's actions". Stars and Stripes. September 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
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- "Classified message from the Commanding General of the 3rd Infantry Division to the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces, Main, Versailles, France ARC Identifier 299774". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. May 24, 1945.
- "Disposition Form signed by Colonel R.R. Coursey, stating it was "inadvisable" to appoint Murphy to USMA". United States War Department. June 1, 1945.
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- "Letter from Audie Murphy to CO of Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, attesting that he had never received the Good Conduct Medal, as his service record indicated he was entitled. Captain M.D. Conklin attested that the medal was awarded to Murphy the date of his request by Colonel H. Miller Ainsworth". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. August 21, 1945.
- "Letter from Audie L. Murphy to the Veterans Administration, regarding Claim C5024030 ARC Identifier 299774". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. October 31, 1955.
- "Officer Efficiency Report on Audie L. Murphy for the period October 1, 1950 to September 30, 1951. Rated by Major General H. Miller Ainsworth. Endorsed by Major General K. L. Berry ARC Identifier 299774". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. February 2, 1952.
- "Letter from Major General Edgar C. Erickson requesting Murphy's permission to use his name and image in a recruitment brochure ARC Identifier 299774". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. April 11, 1957.
- Whiting, Charles (1999). America's forgotten army: the story of the U.S. Seventh. Sarpedon. ISBN 978-1-8851-1960-5.
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- "Songs". Audie L. Murphy Memorial Website.
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- "Was It All Worth Losing You". allmusic.com.
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- "Audie Murphy Goes on Trial". The Pittsburg Press. October 5, 1970. p. 6.
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- NTSB Accident Report from Aviation Accident Database
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- Obituary Variety, June 2, 1971, p. 55.
- "Third Infantry Division Memorial". Public Law 100-456, 100th Congress. United States Government. p. 202.
- "3rd Infantry Division Monument". Arlington National Cemetery.
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- "Audie L. Murphy to Stephen Atlas, Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon, requesting his name be added to the Medal of Honor Roll ARC Identifier 299774". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. November 10, 1964.
- "Executive Order 9265--American, European-African-Middle Eastern and Asiatic-Pacific campaign medals". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- "Memo from Major General Kenneth G. Wickham, listing Murphy's awards and decorations". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. October 20, 1966.
- "Audie Murphy's Medal of Honor Citation (also includes a list of all other military awards)". The Price of Freedom:Americans at War. Smithsonian Natural Museum of American History.
- Graham 1989, pp. 61,62.
- War Department, Washington, D.C., March 30, 1945, General Orders No. 21, 1st Battalion, 15th infantry, August 27–29.
- "Award of the "Au Grade De Chevalier" for Murphy's exceptional services rendered during operations to liberate France., 07/19/1948, ARC Identifier 299781". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
- "Award of the De La Croix De Guerre, 04/16/1945 Arc Identifier 299782". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
- "Audie Murphy Oath of Office as Major of the National Guard of the United States, Form No. 337 ARC Identifier 299774|". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. February 14, 1956.
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- "Publication 528, Veterans and the Military on Stamps". USPS. p. 23.
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- "Super GI", Life Magazine. World War II Special Issue; Vol 8, number 6, Spring–Summer 1985, 28.
Media related to Audie Murphy at Wikimedia Commons
- "Medal of Honor recipients on film". Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- "Audie Murphy: One-Man Stand at Holtzwihr". Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- "Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Regulation 600-14, "TRADOC Sergeant Audie Murphy Club"". Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- Audie Murphy at the Internet Movie Database
- "Third Division photos and Murphy bio". Archived from the original on October 5, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- "Dallas Scottish Rite: Medals located at Dallas Scottish Rite Museum". Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- The short film Big Picture: Broken Bridge is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- The short film Big Picture: The Third Division in Korea is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- Audie Murphy profile at TCM
- Audie Murphy at Find a Grave