One of our greatest combat soldiers from World War II was Audie Murphy
. He was the most decorated soldier from that war and went on to become a movie star and successful business man. He earned the highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor for combat. If you are not familiar with him, go to http://www.warfoto.com/AudieMurphy.htm and you can find out everything there is to know about this hero. The following is from his citation from his Medal of Honor:
"I.. MEDAL OF HONOR. - By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved 9 July 1918 (WD Bul. 43, 1918), a Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty was awarded by the War Department in the name of Congress to the following-named officer:
Second Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy, 01692509, 15th Infantry, Army of the United States, on 26 January 1945, near Holtzwihr, France, commanded Company B, which was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. Lieutenant Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to a prepared position 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 one of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to the woods. Lieutenant Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry.
With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, Lieutenant Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer which was in danger of blowing up any instant and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to German fire from three 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 Lieutenant 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. Be 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 personally killed or wounded about 50. Lieutenant 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."
His marker is located just across from the amphitheater of the tomb of the unknown soldier. It is the second most visited grave-site other than the Kennedy area. The pennies left on top of his marker is a tradition from the Jewish faith showing that one has visited his site.
He was one incredible person.
As a bonus shot, I'm adding this shot of the entrance to Arlington. I just love the how the clouds turned out. Hope you like it too...