Audie Murphy's Medal of Honor Citation


Physical Description

Printed paper.

Specific History

This citation was awarded to Audie Murphy for “Conspicuous Gallantry and Intrepidity Involving Risk of Life Above and Beyond the Call of Duty In Action With the Enemy,” January 26, 1945. The citation reads:

2d Lt. Murphy commanded Company B, which was attacked by 6 tanks and waves of infantry. 2d Lt. Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to prepared positions 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, 1 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 3 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 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 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.

General History

Audie Murphy enlisted in the United States Army at age seventeen to make something of himself. By the end of World War II, Audie Murphy's exploits had earned him every medal his country could give. He was the war's most decorated soldier and a national hero. Four years later, as a struggling actor in Hollywood, he turned his wartime experiences into a best selling book, To Hell and Back. He later starred in the film version of his book. He died in an airplane crash in 1971 in Virginia while on a business trip.

His list of medals includes:

Medal of Honor

Distinguished Service Cross

Silver Star with First Oak Leaf Cluster

Legion of Merit

Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device and First Oak Leaf Cluster

Purple Heart with Second Oak Leaf Cluster

U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal

Good Conduct Medal

Distinguished Unit Emblem with First Oak Leaf Cluster

American Campaign Medal

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns), and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France)

World War II Victory Medal

Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp

Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Combat Infantry Badge

Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar

Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar

French Fourragère in Colors of the Croix de Guerre

French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier

French Croix de Guerre With Silver Star

French Croix de Guerre with Palm

Medal of Liberated France

Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 Palm

Date Awarded: 1945-04-23Date Referenced: 1945-01-26

Recipient: Murphy, Audie

Location: Currently not on view

Associated Place: United States

Subject: Medal of HonorRelated Event: World War IIThe Great Depression and World War II


See more items in: Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military, Military, ThinkFinity


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Charlene Barnes

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1985.0428.04Catalog Number: 1985.0428.04Accession Number: 1985.0428

Object Name: citation, Medal of Honorcertificate, medal of honorOther Terms: Certificate; citation, Medal of Honor; Army

Physical Description: paper (overall material)ink (part material)Measurements: average spatial: 27 cm x 42 cm; x 10 5/8 in x 16 9/16 in


Record Id: nmah_1062079

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