About Audie L. Murphy


"You lead from the front." - Audie L. Murphy


Audie Leon Murphy was a legend in his own time. A war hero, movie actor, writer of country and western songs, and poet. His biography read more like fiction than fact. He lived only 46 years, but made a lasting impression on American history.

Audie was born on a sharecropper's farm in North Texas on June 20, 1924. As a boy, he chopped cotton for one dollar a day and was noted for his feats of derring-do and his accuracy with a gun. He had only 5 years of schooling and was orphaned at age 16. After being refused enlistment during World War II in both the Marines and Paratroopers for being too small (5'5") and underweight (110 lbs.), he enlisted in the U.S. Army a few days after his 18th birthday. After basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas, and advanced training at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, Audie was sent overseas. He was assigned to the famous 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division where he fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. He earned a battlefield commission for his courage and leadership ability, as well as, citations and decorations including every medal for valor that America gives. He was also awarded one Belgian and three French medals.

Lieutenant Audie Murphy is the highest decorated Soldier in American history. Discharged from the Army on September 21, 1945, Audie went to Hollywood at the invitation of movie star James Cagney. He remained in California for the rest of his life and was closely associated with the movie industry, both as an actor and a producer. He acted in 44 films starring in 39 of them. His best known film is "To Hell and Back", adapted from the best selling book of his war experiences by the same name. Most of his movies were westerns. In 1955, Audie Murphy was voted the Most Popular Western Actor in America by the Motion Picture Exhibitors. Audie wrote the lyrics to 16 country and western songs, the most popular of which was "Shutters and Boards", written with Scott Turner in 1962. The song was recorded by over 30 pop singers, including Jerry Wallace, Dean Martin, and Porter Waggoner. He was an accomplished poet; unfortunately, only a few of his poems have survived.

In 1950 Audie joined the 36th Infantry Division ("T-Patchers") of the Texas National Guard and served with it until 1966. He was a Mason and a Shriner and belonged to several veterans’ organizations. Audie Murphy was killed in a plane crash on a mountaintop near Roanoke, Virginia on May 28, 1971. Fittingly, his body was recovered 2 days later on Memorial Day. Audie could very well be the last American war hero. He was the greatest combat Soldier in the 200 year plus history of the United States.

Audie Murphy's Awards
Service Number 01 692 509

  • 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 Fourragere 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

Songs Written by Audie Murphy

  • Shutters And Boards (Recorded by: Teresa Brewer, Jimmy Dean, Dean Martin, Porter Waggoner, Jerry Wallace, Johnny Mann Singers, and many others), 1962
  • When The Wind Blows In Chicago, 1962
  • Please Mr. Music Man Play A Song For Me, 1962
  • Foolish Clock, 1962
  • Leave The Weeping To The Willow Tree, 1962
  • The Only Light I Ever Need Is You, 1962
  • Go On And Break My Heart, 1963
  • Willie The Hummer. 1963
  • My Lonesome Room, 1963
  • Elena, Goodbye, 1964
  • Big, Big Day Tomorrow. 1964
  • If There Is A Short Cut To Nowhere (I'll Take It), 1964
  • Pedro's Guitar, 1964
  • Round And Round She Goes, 1965
  • Rattle Dance, 1966
  • Dusty Old Helmet, 1969
  • Was It All Worth Losing You, 1970

Movies Audie Murphy Played In

  • Beyond Glory
  • Texas, Heaven and Brooklyn
  • Bad Boy
  • The Kid from Texas
  • Sierra
  • Kansas Raiders
  • The Red Badge of Courage
  • The Cimarron Kid
  • The Duel at Silver Creek
  • Gunsmoke
  • Column South
  • Tumbleweed
  • Ride Clear of Diablo
  • Drums Across the River
  • Destry
  • To Hell and Back
  • World in My Corner
  • Walk the Proud Land
  • Joe Butterfly
  • The Guns of Fort Petticoat
  • Night Passage
  • The Quiet American
  • Ride a Crooked Trail
  • The Gun Runners
  • No Name on the Bullet
  • The Wild and the Innocent
  • Cast a Long Shadow
  • The Unforgiven
  • Hell Bent for Leather
  • Seven Ways from Sundown
  • Posse from Hell
  • Battle at Bloody Beach
  • Six Black Horses
  • Showdown
  • Gunfight at Comanche Creek
  • The Quick Gun
  • Bullet for a Badman
  • Apache Rifles
  • Arizona Raiders
  • Gunpoint
  • The Texican
  • Trunk to Cairo
  • 40 Guns to Apache Pass
  • A Time for Dying


Sergeant Audie Murphy Association
Fort Knox Chapter

Telephone: 502-624-5681

Vice President
Telephone: 502-613-5285

Telephone: 502-613-5753

Telephone: 502-613-4034

Public Affairs
Telephone: 502-626-2337

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Updated 11 March 2016