Audie Murphy was born on June 20, 1925, in Kingston, Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 30, 1942, and completed basic training at the Infantry Replacement Center at Camp Wolters, Texas, in July 1942. Private Murphy next attended infantry training with Company D of the 59th Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Wolters from July to October 1942, followed by service with Company K, 385th Infantry Regiment of the 76th Infantry Division at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, from October 1942 to January 1943. He deployed to North Africa in February 1943, where he served with Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division from March 1943 to March 1945. During this time he participated with his unit in the amphibious assault landings on Sicily in July 1943, near Salerno, Italy, in September 1943, and in the amphibious assault landings in Southern France in August 1944. He was promoted to Corporal in July 1943, to Sergeant in December 1943, to Staff Sergeant in January 1944, and he received a battlefield commission to 2d Lt on October 14, 1944. Lt Murphy served as a Platoon Leader with his unit from October 1944 to January 1945, and as Company Commander of his unit from January to March 1945. His next assignment was with Headquarters, 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division in France and Germany from March to May 1945, followed by service back with Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany from May 1945 until he returned to the United States in June 1945. Lt Murphy served at Headquarters, Army Ground and Service Forces Redistribution Station at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, from June 1945 until he left active duty on September 21, 1945. He was commissioned a Captain of Infantry in the Texas Army National Guard on July 14, 1950, and served with the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard from July 1950 to October 1951, and from July 1955 to June 1957. The rest of his time in the Texas National Guard between 1950 and 1966 was on inactive status. Major Murphy entered the U.S. Army Reserve on inactive status on February 8, 1966, and he retired from the U.S. Army on May 21, 1969. Audie Murphy became a successful actor, rancher, and businessman following World War II, and was killed in a plane crash on May 28, 1971. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His Medal of Honor Citation 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.