The Price of Valor: The Life of Audie Murphy, America's Most Decorated Hero of World War II (World War II Collection)

The Price of Valor: The Life of Audie Murphy, America's Most Decorated Hero of World War II (World War II Collection)

David A. Smith

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1621575845

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


When he was seventeen years old, Audie Murphy falsified his birth records so he could enlist in the Army and help defeat the Nazis. When he was nineteen, he single-handedly turned back the German Army at the Battle of Colmar Pocket by climbing on top of a tank with a machine gun, a moment immortalized in the classic film To Hell and Back, starring Audie himself. In the first biography covering his entire life—including his severe PTSD and his tragic death at age 45—the unusual story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated hero of WWII, is brought to life for a new generation.

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to Allied hopes, there was no swift breakout from the beaches at Anzio. It soon became yet another frustrating and bloody stalemate. The frontline trenches, the foxholes, the rear areas, the entire beachhead were all under constant bombardment from German artillery. Incoming fire hit hospitals, supply dumps, and mess halls equally. “Bakers and typewriter repairmen and clerks were not immune from shells and bombs,” said Ernie Pyle.17 Murphy’s commanding officers had come to depend on his uncanny

of life in rural Hunt County, Texas. Here in the Blackland Prairie, cotton was still king and there were just enough creeks and shade trees to provide cover for deer, rabbits, and squirrels. The entire population of the county was a little more than 50,000 people, about one third the size of Dallas in 1925. Greenville, the county seat, had the largest cottonseed oil mill in the South and there was big money to be made in the business, but for the families who tilled the fields, there was very

Hollywood. During those years he regularly received more than 600 fan letters a month and moviegoers ranked him among the top ten favorite actors year in and year out, putting him in the company of stars like Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rock Hudson. While some critics still labeled his performances as wooden or emotionally empty, in reality he was beginning to improve greatly as an actor and delivered solid if low-key and restrained work. Other critics, however, were coming to appreciate the

his airplane, and his ranches, and declared bankruptcy in 1968. He told Boetticher, however, that once he got his debts paid off, “I’ll be starting all over again.”19 That was not his only bad news. His temper continued to get him into trouble and cloud his once sterling reputation. In the summer of 1970, he stood trial on assault charges stemming from a messy altercation he had with a dog trainer. A girlfriend of Murphy’s named Marie D’Auria was unhappy with the job the trainer had done with

8.     “Celeste Awaits Return Lt. Murphy,” Greenville Morning Herald, July 11, 1945. 9.     “When Murphy Comes Home Farmersville to Celebrate,” Greenville Morning Herald, June 8, 1945. 10.   See “Audie is Home,” Saturday Evening Post, September 15, 1945. 11.   “I’m not sure,” in Foxhall, “Audie Murphy,” Dallas Morning News, June 6, 1971. 12.   “Texas’ Top Hero Blushes as 5000 Pay Him Tribute,” Waco News Tribune, June 16, 1945. 13.   See “Lt. Audie Murphy Visits Wounded,” Ft. Worth

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