On January 26. 1945, during World War II, an American officer named Audie Murphy earned the highest award for bravery.
This award for bravery is The Medal of Honor. The medal is given to those soldiers whose actions were “above and beyond the call of duty.”
Lieutenant Murphy won the highest military honor on that cold January day in 1945 in France. He and his small company of soldiers found themselves facing six German tanks. As Murphy looked around, he was surprised to see two American tanks rolling up to give his company some added protection. One of the two American tanks slipped into a ditch. The other tank was hit by a German shell and started to burn. Murphy ordered his men to leave the area. He was now alone. Audie Murphy ran to the burning tank and jumped aboard. He began to fire the machine gun that was mounted on the tank. Every few minutes, Murphy would call for other American tanks to fire on the German tanks. Of course, when they fired on the German tanks, they were also firing in the direction of Lieutenant Murphy. Finally, the German tanks had had enough. They turned and headed in the other direction. As the German tanks rolled away, Murphy slid off the tank just as it blew up.
For his actions Lieutenant Murphy was awarded the highest military medal that the United States gives. He received 24 medals from the U.S. government and four medals from other countries.
Audie Murphy later became a motion-picture actor. He died in 1971 in an airplane crash.