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Thread: Audie Murphy's Carbine Number

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  1. #51
    Member audiesdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveHH View Post
    He said that he was obviously a heavy drinker and looked it. He had his medals in a light box in his home. These guys like Murphy and David Hackworth were just people who's number wasn't up. It's all luck; if the other guy is aiming at you and he's a good shot, that's it. Physical fitness can add about 10% to the equation, but in the end it's fortune (fortune favors the prepared). Murphy drank himself to death.
    Now again I agree with user BHP I'm not sure where your buddy got his info but I can tell you Murphy neither smoked nor drank. The most Murph was known to drink was an occasional glass of wine.
    I have known people (many) through my research that served with him during the war, knew him as a kid, and worked with him in Hollywood.
    He was not a drinker or smoker. There is no documentaion or evidence to support that vicious rumor.
    I think of his 43 films there are only in which he purportes to having a drink. In virtually every role he orders from the bar milk or coffee. He later stated that it was not proper for kids who idolized him to see him ordering a drink.
    He was however a heavy gambler and lost fortunes at the tracks and the craps tables.
    Here is a short quote from someone who knew Murphy well and worked with him in Hollywood, Denver Pyle ("Dukes of Hazzard").
    This is a quote from Pyle, not about any issues raised here but just in general.

    "Audie...you could look him in the eye and know that he would think nothing about killing you. It’s the look that people get or have. It’s nothin' threatening, but you just know that he’d kill you and think nothing of it. And he was the first person that I was ever around that had that look. And he used it — you can see it in his work. He didn’t need any acting lessons. Not for that. He was deadly. Deadly."

    Here is another reference Audie and his drinking as well as showing he was a Man who could take care of himself. This story was told by Jack Elam of Western movies fame.

    "He had a shorter fuse than anybody I’ve known. And he didn’t like bullies. I saw him jerk a guy off a horse one time, you know. When the guy got smart with a lady — he didn’t like that at all. He wasn’t afraid of anybody.
    One time we were up in Idyllwild on some show. It’d have to be "RIDE CLEAR OF DIABLO", I guess. Audie was the star of the picture so he had his own car, and he said, “Jack, ride in to town with me tonight.” Cause I had to ride in a station wagon with three other guys. So he said, “Come on with me, Jack.” Anyway, we came down off the hill from Idyllwild and we hit Hemet, a little town at the foot of the hills. Because it was a western, I had a week’s growth of Beardicon and the long hair, which today would be short. Anyway, we stopped at a bar for a drink. Audie didn’t drink. But I said “Gimme a straight shot of Cutty Sark.” and Audie ordered a straight shot of Cutty Sark and a Coke chaser.
    We were sitting at the bar and that way he could just slip me his drink. It would look like he was drinking so he didn’t have to explain to the bartender, “I only want a Coke.” Anyway, some guy came down from a table at the end and walked behind me. And I had this hair, you know. And the guy got a hold of the back of my hair and squeezed it and said, “You need a haircut, buddy.”
    And he touched the back of my head. And Audie spun around and hit him and never said a friggin’ word. Just hit him. And he went flat.
    And the guy was with two other guys at a table down at the other end of the room. And the guys got up and they looked at Audie — and you know Audie was short — and these guys were big guys. He just looked at `em. Not a word. They picked their friend up — he was kind of coming together —and they left the bar.
    We figured we might be meeting them after we finished my drinks, on the way to the car. But there was no sign of `em. They were
    gone. I mean, they knew they don’t mess with Audie at that point. They could tell.
    He had that attitude about him of “Don’t tread on me.” You had to know Audie. The guy I knew early on is the same guy that I knew at the very end of our relationship after we’d done pictures together. There was no change in him.
    Not even the slightest, from before he’d ever done pictures, before he became a star. Not even the tiniest change in his personality. Because he was what he was. He was Audie Murphy. It had nothing to do with whether he was a movie star or a horse player. There was only one Audie Murphy and there will never be another."

    As to your statement about luck. In Murphy's case it wasn't about luck at all. Murphy was mythological, and had the gifts from God that kept him alive in the war.
    That may sound corny but over and over there are statements about Audie from people who knew or served with him, such as this one from Kirk Douglas, "He had the god damnest eyes of any man I have ever known. He could see things no one else could see." Murphy's vision was uncanny and often his vision as well as his keen sense of surroundings were keys to him staying alive.
    He is another from his old Battalion Commander during the war. It is an excerpt from his Eulogy.

    "Audie's acts of bravery are legendary. Never foolhardy. He cooly and calmly calculated planned each move. He had a sixth sense of impending danger and what had to be done to succeed. He had the ability to make a decision automatically and almost instantaniously, and to devise means of overcoming any obstacle."

    Don (last name intentionally withheld) who served with Audie and is the last known living eye-witness to the Medal of Honor event offered this insight and assessment about Murphy in a letter to me,

    "He was always keenly aware of the situation around him. He led us with knowledge, courage, wisdom, and by example. He hated the Germans when in action against them, but would do anything to protect them once they were prisoners. When challenged he would ask no quarter and give none in return. He was a skilled marksman and his exploits are that of legend, but true. He was often the target of snipers because he led from the front, but he always seemed to sense where they were and his reflexes were so good he could hit them while firing off the hip. He was a natural hunter and stealthy and could walk long distances tirelessly. When you heard his voice it was the voice of authority. His eyes were constantly searching and they never missed anything. His whole being radiated confidence."
    "Lt. Murphy had terrific vision and could spot a small change in the area around him. It could be shrubs or trees that just weren't quite normal, that might conceal a sniper or a MG nest. He was quick to identify movement that might be out of place".
    "I recall one event when he noticed a single Germanicon standing behind a large tree about 50 yards ahead of us. There was only a small swatch of cloth protruding from the Kraut overcoat but Murphy caught sight of it. Murphy, without warning to us, fired a single shot from the hip with his carbine at face level that struck the very edge of the tree. The German instictively fliched backward just a bit, and in the milli second, Lt. Murphy fired a second round off the hip, taking him down"."He was an imaginative, creative soldier and a terrific shot. His reflexes and eyesight were uncanny. He was more accurate with a carbine from the hip than most GI's were firing from the shoulder. He could also fire a Tommy Gun or a MG from the hip and was deadly with either. If a German exposed any part of himself to Murphy, he would spot them and it was game over. He was blessed with extreme skills and could move through the terrain at night like an Indian. He was just as skilled with a knife or bayonet as he was with a rifle. Legends were made of his patrols and ventures and they are true. The night before he earned the Medal of Honor he led several of us on a Patrol from our positions in the woods up to the village at Holtzwihr to observe German troop movement and equipment. Murphy felt fear, but he let his courage and his natural instincts take over. The day he earned the Medal of Honor he was in fear. He feared for the safety of his men and ordered us when the German got so close into the woods and he stayed on that Tank. When the Germans retreated he climbed down and calmly walked back to us. He was exhausted".
    "The character of Lt. Murphy is hard to explain. He lost many friends and he was reluctant to make new ones. Most of us who served with him loved and respected us but he didn't befriend us because of the pain of losing us."
    "What do I remember most about Lt. Murphy? He treated us with respect, he was in control and never asked us to do anything that he could not or would not do himself. He was a leader and never a follower. He liked being on the offensive. Most of the time he would simply say "Follow me."
    He was always aware of the needs of his men, dry socks, hot chow, and better footgear was high on his list of priorities. He was a great person and a great soldier. My only claim to fame is to had the priveledge to serve under Audie Murphy".

    As to the case of Medals, yes Murphy's wife Pam had placed about 12 of them into a shadow box. This was the fourth or fifth set that he had reissued by the government as he was constantly misplacing or losing them.
    His original set he had given away to local kids immediatley after the war (the minor campaign and service ones) and according to his Nephew shortly after he came home he was driving with the nephew on some country road, took them from the seat of the car (they were in a shoe box) and tossed them out the window into the dirt.
    In his last interview in his home with Thomas Morgan of "Esquire" in 1967, the reporter noticed the Medals in the shadow box. This is a direct quote about the Medals from Morgan, " On a table in the corner was a small unkempt glass case containing about a dozen of Murphy's medals. I noticed that the Medal of Honor looked awry and tacky. Murphy's first Purple Heart had slipped down to the bottom of the case and turned over on its face."

    Murphy was a very humble man and hated the term "Most Decorated Soldier."

    Final point 614 men were assigned to B Company from the time they sailed from the U.S. in 1943 until they returned in 1945. That is counting all killed, wounded so badly they were evacuated and could not rejoin the Company, POW's, MIA's etc..
    Of the 614 Murphy and the Supply Sergeant were the only 2 who sailed to Europe with the Company and returned in one-piece at the end of the war.

    What a burden to bear!

    Last edited by audiesdad; 01-12-2010 at 03:01 PM.
    "I believe in all the men who stood up against the enemy, taking their beatings without whimper and their triumphs without boasting. The men who went and would go again to hell and back to preserve what our country thinks right and decent." Audie Murphy, 1949

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  4. #52
    Contributing Member DaveHH's Avatar
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    Thanks for your information

    I am very close friends with this guy and he was in Audie's house for several hours. That's what he told me. I don't know how close you were to him, and there are a lot of people who are drinkers and hide it. I also found out that he was killed in a plane crash, so who really knows. I am a great admirer of Lt Murphy.

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  6. #53
    Member satan52k's Avatar
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    Not to burst any bubbles but Winchester made an M1icon Rifle AND an M1 Carbine that bore serial number 1,108,783: the rifle in MAY '42 and the carbine about a year later. I believe the "serial number" quote occurred several years after the war, and that of all people, Murphy would know the difference between a rifle and carbine. Further bad news to some: I saw and held the "wounded" carbine back in the early 60's while attending a meeting of Outpost 7 (Wash. DC) of The Society of the Third Infantry Division and it was a Sagainaw NOT a Winchester and was told by Murphy's BN Commander (among others) that it was the real thing. It sure looked like it had been to hell and back; broken stock w/wire wrapped pistol grip, worn finish, end of operating rod handle and front sight ears deeply gouged.

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