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The induction and membership into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Cluib (SAMC) is a reward for Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) whose leadership achievements and performance merit special recognition. The SAMC is a means of recognizing those NCOs who have contributed significantly to the development of a professional NCO Corps and a combat ready Army.

 

Audie Murphy’s Biography

Audie Leon Murphy was a legend in his own time - a war hero, movie actor, writer of country and western songs and poet. His biography read more like fiction than fact. He lived only 46 years, but made a lasting impression on American history. Audie was born on a sharecropper’s farm in North Texas on June 20, 1924. As a boy, he chopped cotton for one dollar a day and was noted for his feats of derring-do and his accuracy with a weapon. He had only 5 years of schooling and was orphaned at age 16.

After being refused enlistment during World War II by both the Marines and Paratroopers for being too small (5’5") and underweight (110 lbs.), he enlisted in the U.S. Army a few days after his 18th birthday. After basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas, and advanced training at Fort Meade, Maryland, Audie was sent overseas. He was assigned to the famous 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division where he fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. He earned a battlefield commission for his courage and leadership ability, as well as citations and decorations including every medal for valor that America gives. He was also awarded one Belgian and three French medals. Lieutenant Audie Murphy is one of the most decorated Soldiers in American history.

Discharged from the Army on September 21, 1945, Audie went to Hollywood at the invitation of movie star James Cagney. He remained in California for the rest of his life and was closely associated with the movie industry, both as an actor and a producer. He acted in 44 films, starring in 39 of them. His best known film is "To Hell and Back", adopted from the best selling book of his war experiences. Most of his movies were westerns. In 1955, Audie Murphy was voted the Most Popular Western Actor in America by the Motion Picture Exhibitors.

Audie wrote the lyrics to 16 country and western songs, the most popular of which was "Shutters and Boards", written with Scott Turner in 1962. The song was recorded by over 30 pop singers, including Jerry Wallace, Dean Martin, and Porter Waggoner. He was an accomplished poet; unfortunately, only a few of his poems have survived.

In 1950 Audie joined the 36th Infantry Division ("T-Patchers") of the Texas National Guard and served with it until 1966. He was a Shriner (Mason) and belonged to several veterans’ organizations. Audie Murphy was killed in a plane crash on a mountaintop near Roanoke, Virginia on May 28, 1971. Fittingly, his body was recovered 2 days later on Memorial Day.  Audie could very well be the last American war hero. He was the greatest combat soldier in the 200 year plus history of the United States.


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