Five Key Facts About Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy was a household name in the years after World War II. He was the most decorated Army soldier of the War and he went on to a long acting career in Hollywood. He are the five key facts that you need to know about this extraordinary leader and true American hero.

1. Murphy was rejected by the Marine Corps and Navy before his sister helped him enlist in the Army.

When the War broke out, Murphy was only sixteen years old. The age of enlistment was seventeen at the time, so the Marine Corps and Navy both rejected him when he tried to enlist.

Murphy, who grew up in desperate poverty in Texas, had always wanted to be a soldier, His older sister signed an affidavit stating that he was a year older than he was and the Army finally let him enlist in 1942.


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2. He received every combat award for valor possible.

Murphy received the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Star Medals, the Legion of Merit
the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", and three Purple Hearts.

He received the Medal of Honor for actions in January 1945 in which he fought and defeated an entire company of Germans.


3. He was small.

Murphy was only 5’5” tall and weighed only 110 pounds. He is a great example of tenacity and grit


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4. Murphy was a poet and songwriter who starred in over forty movies.

Murphy's battlefield actions led to fame in the United States after the War. A famous actor, Jimmy Cagney, recruited Murphy and helped set him up in Hollywood, where he starred in mostly "B" westerns. He has two notable successes, The Red Badge of Courage and To Hell And Back. The latter was based on his own wartime experiences.

On the side, Murphy also wrote poetry, some of which was turned in country music. His most famous poem is Freedom Flies In Your Heart Like An Eagle. 

"Freedom flies in your heart like an eagle.
Let it soar with the winds high above
Among the Spirits of soldiers now sleeping.
Guard with care and with love."


5. His gravesite is the second most visited at Arlington, after John F Kennedy’s.


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