Audie Murphy, who had his sister falsify an affidavit about his age when he was turned down from the army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, was one of the most decorated soldiers of WWII and actually received the Medal of Honor at the very young age of 19. He held off an entire company of 200 German soldiers with only 40 men and virtually by himself on a tank when he had his men retreat to the safety of the woods. He held his position for an hour even though he was shot in the leg. He only stopped when he ran out of ammo. Wow. That was pretty amazing and a miracle.
He was decorated for bravery not only by the United States but by the French and the Belgians. He suffered from Shell Shock (which we now call post traumatic stress disorder) and had insomnia for a lot of his life. When he did sleep, he did with a pistol under his pillow. His bravery came at a cost, for sure.
Mr. Murphy wrote a book called To Hell and Back and it was made into a movie. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. It’s a really good one. He acted in a number of movies in his lifetime, playing himself in this one. Most of them were westerns which is interesting as he was born in Texas.
Sadly, this man died in a plane crash on this day in May in 1971. He was only 45. It was a private plane and all on board were killed in the weather conditions that caused the crash: zero visibility, fog and rain.