This article is about the military and civilian honors of Audie Murphy. For details on his life and military career, see Audie Murphy.
Audie Murphy in full dress U. S. Army uniform
Murphy's award for the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor
Audie Murphy (20 June 1925 – 28 May 1971) was one of the most decorated United States Army combat soldiers of World War II, serving from 1942 to 1945. He received every American combat award for valor available at the time of his service,[ALM 1] including the Medal of Honor. He also received recognitions from France and Belgium. After his war service ended, Murphy became an advocate of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. The Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital in San Antonio and the Sergeant Audie Murphy Clubs (SAMC) on military bases honor his contributions. He joined the Texas National Guard in 1950, transferring to reserve status in 1956 and remaining in the Guard until 1969. He also had a civilian career as a film actor and songwriter. Recognitions he received both during his lifetime and posthumously are listed below.
Murphy participated in campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany, as denoted by his European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver battle star (denoting five campaigns), four bronze battle stars, plus a bronze arrowhead representing his two amphibious assault landings at Sicily and southern France. On 25 February 1945 and 3 March 1945, he received two Silver Stars for further heroic actions. The French government awarded Murphy its Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and two Croix de guerre medals. He received the Croix de guerre 1940 Palm from Belgium. The military assisted him with replacement medals after he gave away the originals.[ALM 2] Duplicates of his Medal of Honor and other medals can be viewed at Dallas Scottish Rite Temple museum.
First award for action on 2 October 1944, Headquarters, 3d Infantry Division, General Orders No. 66 (25 February 1945). Second award for action on 5 October 1944, Headquarters, 3d Infantry Division, General Orders No. 83 (3 March 1945).
Murphy attested at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, on 21 August 1945 that he had never received the Good Conduct Medal. He was awarded the medal the same day by Lieutenant Colonel H. Miller Ainsworth.
For his service in the U.S. Army Officers' Reserve Corps and in the Texas National Guard. The medal was created by Executive Order10163, signed by President Harry Truman on 25 September 1950. It is awarded for ten years service in the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces.
Decoration conferred by Royal Order 4282 on 10 December 1955. The award and documentation were forwarded to the State Department to be held until the United States Congress authorized the acceptance and wearing of it. Murphy was notified by the Army on 14 March 1968, that he was allowed to accept the award.
U.S. Soldiers reenactment of Audie Murphy military biography, SAMC, Fort Gordon, Ga., 12 Dec 2009
In September 1986, the Command Sergeant Major George L. Horvath III, III Corps Commander Lieutenant GeneralCrosbie E. Saint and several others established the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club at Fort Hood, Texas. The official club crest was designed by club co-founder Don Moore. Since 1994, other units of the U.S. Army have established chapters of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club (SAMC) as exclusive clubs to honor noncommissioned officers (Corporal E-4 through Sergeant First Class E-7) who have acted in a manner consistent with the actions of Audie Murphy. In 2012 a bronze bust created by Mark and Jenelle Byrd for display in the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club Room in Snow Hall was unveiled at Fort Sill, Oklahoma .
U.S. government, military and veterans organizations
1972 – Audie Murphy Gym dedicated at Fort Benning, Georgia. Its 2009 renovation included a name change to the Audie Murphy Athletic Performance Center.
30 May 1996 – Texas Congressman Ralph Hall commemorated the 25th anniversary of Murphy's death by reading "In Memory of Major Audie L. Murphy" and Murphy's poems, "Alone and Far Removed" and "Freedom Flies in Your Heart Like an Eagle" into the Congressional Record.
1971 – Audie Murphy Patriotism Award. When Murphy's death on 28 May 1971, aborted his scheduled appearance at that year's 4 July Spirit of America Festival in Decatur, Alabama, the festival created the annual award in his memory.
9 June 2013 – Second free-standing commemorative plaque depicting Murphy firing the .50 caliber machine gun atop the tank unveiled at Holtzwihr by local authorities, the U.S. Consul General in Strasbourg, and representatives from American social organizations based in the Alsace region.
2014 – The Swedish power metal group Sabaton released a tribute song on their album Heroes titled "To Hell And Back" about his fighting at Anzio and the posttraumatic stress disorder he developed later as a consequence of the time on the front. A large portion of the lyrics were taken directly from Murphy's own poem "The Crosses Grow on Anzio" as it appears in his book, To Hell and Back.
In November 2000, Murphy was posthumously awarded the Scottish Rite Masonry 33rd Degree in Long Beach, California, presented to his widow Pamela. From 1955 until his death, Murphy was a member of numerous Scottish Rite lodges in California and Texas. The Murat Shriners of Indianapolis, Indiana provided the below timeline of Murphy's degrees and lodge associations.[ALM 10]
14 February – Entered Apprentice degree, North Hollywood Lodge No. 542
4 April – Fellowcraft degree
27 June – Master Mason degree
1956 – Second North Hollywood membership, Magnolia Park No. 618
11–14 November – degree work and 32nd degree Scottish Rite Temple in Dallas
Thomas B. Hunter Memorial Class vice president
15 November – Hella Temple, Dallas shriner
14 November – Master of the Royal Secret, Valley of Dallas, Orient of Texas
11–1 December, 965 Knight Commander of the Court of Honor KCCH
^Murphy's war service was combat-related. Therefore, he did not receive the non-combat Soldier's Medal. Act of Congress (Public Law 446–69th Congress, 2 July 1926 (44 Stat. 780)) established the Soldier's Medal for heroism "as defined in 10 USC 101(d), at the time of the heroic act who distinguished himself or herself by heroism not involving actual combat with the enemy." At the end of his World War II service, Murphy became known as America's most decorated soldier.
^During a 1955 appearance on the Colgate Comedy Hour, uploaded on YouTube as Audie Murphy Attends Beverly Hilton Grand Opening 1955, Murphy appears at 28:48 and briefly talks with Hedda Hopper about how he once gave his medals away but had them replaced by the U.S. Army.
^Recommended by Lt. Colonel Hallet D. Edson and Brigadier General R.B. Lovett.
^Eye witness account given by Staff Sergeant Norman Hollen.
^Murphy received no monetary compensation for his services on the documentary.
^Not available for presentation until months after approval by the government of France.
^Army regulations dictate that U.S. state level awards follow all U.S. federal level and non-United States awards in order of precedence. The actual award was presented by Governor Rick Perry to Murphy's family on 29 October 2013, at a ceremony in Farmersville, Texas.
^Conflicting information exists as to Murphy's date and place of enlistment. The Audie L. Murphy Memorial website has scanned documents from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration that include Corrinne Burns' statement and Murphy's "Induction Record", which shows him "Enlisted at Dallas, Texas" on 30 June 1942, and the line above it says "Accepted for service at Greenville, Texas". The National Register of Historic Places Listing added the Greenville post office as historic site number 74002081 in 1974, citing it as Murphy's place of enlistment, possibly referring to the act the military termed "Accepted for service". The NRHP also shows his enlistment date as 20 June 1942 which might be the date he was accepted for service.
^ In 1998, seven portraits were created by St. Louis, Missouri artist Richard Krause and later donated to the Audie Murphy Research Foundation. The portraits are now on display at the museum. In 2012, the museum became the repository of memorabilia which had been on display at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio.
^Murat Shriners of Indianapolis, Indiana credits their information sources as the Grand Lodge of Texas and the book Audie Murphy, American Soldier by Harold Simpson.