Friday, May 28, 2021

Audie Murphy 50 Years -- May 28, 2021

Audie Murphy's father abandoned the family when Audie was young. Audie's mother worked hard to hold her children together. Audie developed great skill at shooting by hunting to feed the family. His mother died when he was 16 and he took care of all of the children as well as he could. After Pearl Harbor, he tried to volunteer for the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps, but they all rejected him for being below minimum weight and age. He lied about his age and joined the Army. He took part in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, and Torch, the invasion of the south of France. He earned a battlefield commission and nearly every decoration that was out there up to the Medal of Honor.

His experiences left him with a bad case of PTSD, but he went to Hollywood and became an actor, starring in To Hell and Back, his own biography. He appeared in many westerns and in John Huston's adaption of The Red Badge of Courage. When I was young, San Francisco television stations did not play many westerns, so I did not become familiar with his work. 50 years ago today, on 28-May-1971, he died in a plane crash. I knew his name, but not a lot about him at that time.

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