Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy

Audie Leon Murphy, the seventh child of twelve, was born in Kingston, Texas, on 20th June 1925. His father was a sharecropper and the family was desperately poor. He had little schooling and joined the United States Army at the age of eighteen.

A member of the 3rd Infantry Division he took part in the campaigns in North Africa, Italy, France, Belgium, and Germany. He received 33 citations for bravery in action including the Medal of Honor and the Legion d'Honneur. This made him the most decorated Allied soldier of the Second World War.

After the war Murphy acted in 44 feature films. This included The Red Badge of Courage (1951) and in the film version of his autobiography, To Hell and Back (1955). Audie Murphy died in a plane crash on 28th May, 1971 and is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Primary Sources

(1) Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (1947)

Last spring the Germans had constructed huge tents in an open space in the Lager. For the whole of the good season each of them had catered for over 1,000 men: now the tents had been taken down, and an excess 2,000 guests crowded our huts. We old prisoners knew that the Germans did not like these irregularities and that something would soon happen to reduce our number.