U.S. War Heroes: Audie Murphy Goes From Frail Farm Boy To America’s Most Decorated Soldier In World War II
Leading up to Memorial Day we’ll spend some time reflecting and celebrating the lives of some of the greatest war heroes in U.S. history. Today we honor Audie Murphy, legendary member of the United States Army who served during World War II.
Audie Murphy was born a poor farm boy from Kingston, Texas. However, before the age of 21, he would fight in crucial and punishing campaigns in Italy, France and Germany at the height of World War II. This young man left his mark on the deadliest conflict in human history and was said to have killed, captured, or wounded 240 Nazi Germans. From his humble beginnings, he rose through the ranks to become America’s most decorated soldiers, having been awarded 21 medals, including our highest military decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Audie was the seventh of 12 children. His father left when he was young, and Audie dropped out of school in 5th grade to support the family by picking cotton. His mother died in May of 1941 when he was 16, and he lived with his older sister while some of his siblings were sent to an orphanage.
Then on December 7, 1941, the United States was thrusted into World War II when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Murphy was compelled to enlist in the military to help defeat the Axis Powers, but he was underage, short and slim. He stood at only 5’5″ tall and 112 pounds due to a lack of food. Murphy had his sister write a letter alleging that he was a year older than he was and he was accepted into the U.S. Army.