Medal of Honor Roll Call: Audie L. Murphy
Few states have the military traditions and affection for the military that you will find in Texas, our next stop in the our tour of Medal of Honor recipients from the 50 states. This week’s hero is–literally–one of the greatest of them all, Audie L. Murphy. This dog-faced soldier of the 3rd Infantry Division is one of the two or three most decorated soldiers in our history–depending on how you keep score.
The Army maintains the legacy of Murphy through its Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. New members in the society are admitted only after submitting to three boards at that battalion, brigade and division or corps echelons. Members have chapters all over the Army and they all follow Murphy’s edicts to “Lead from the front” and “Take care of soldiers.”
Make the most of your day!
Medal of Honor Orders
General Orders No. 65 WAR DEPARTMENT
Washington 25, D.C., 9 August 1945
MEDAL OF HONOR – Award Section 1 * * * * *
I. MEDAL OF HONOR. – By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved 9 July 1918 (WD Bul. 43, 1918), a Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty was awarded by the War Department in the name of Congress to the following-named officer:
Second Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy, 01692509, 15th Infantry, Army of the United States, on 26 January 1945, near Holtzwihr, France, commanded Company B, which was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. Lieutenant 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. It’s crew withdrew to the woods. Lieutenant Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, Lieutenant Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer which was in danger of blowing up any instant and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to the 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 eliminated Lieutenant 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 personally killed or wounded about 50. Lieutenant 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. * * * * *
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR: OFFICIAL:
EDWARD F. WITSELL Major General