26 Jan 1945–American Lt. Audie Murphy, is wounded in France. Born the son of Texas sharecroppers on June 20, 1924, Murphy served three years of active duty beginning as a private, rising to the rank of staff sergeant and finally earning a battlefield commission to 2nd lieutenant. He was wounded three times, fought in nine major campaigns across Europe, and was credited with killing 241 Germans. He was awarded 37 medals and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star (with oak leaf cluster), the Legion of Merit, and the Croix de Guerre (with palm). The battle in which Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor, and ended his active duty, occurred during the last stages of the Allied victory over the Germans in France. Murphy acted as cover for infantrymen during a last desperate German tank attack. Climbing atop an abandoned U.S. tank destroyer, he took control of its .50-cal. machine gun and killed 50 Germans, stopping the advance but suffering a leg wound in the process. Perhaps as interesting as his film career was his public admission that he suffered severe depression from post traumatic stress syndrome, then called battle fatigue, which had been a taboo subject for vets. Murphy died in a plane crash while on a business trip in 1971 at age 46.
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