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Audie Murphy: To Hell and Back

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Seventy years ago today, on 26 January 1945, Audie Murphy risked his life and went above and beyond the call of duty on a battlefield near Holtzwhir in northeastern France. He killed or wounded fifty German soldiers and held his position for hours, refusing to cede ground to the enemy. The citation for the Medal of Honor that Murphy received due to these heroic actions seventy years ago is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution and can be viewed in their exhibit Price of Freedom: Americans at War.

Murphy would become the war’s most decorated soldier. He would turn his story into a bestselling book. To Hell and Back, and eventually a film, in which he would star. Murphy died in a plane crash on May 28, 1971.

Murphy autographed his copy of the shooting script for the 1955 film on his life to his godson, who donated the copy to the Museum in 2012.


Gift of the Dr. Donald Hart Family,  2012.205.001

 Post by Curator Kimberly Guise.



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