Audie Murphy: More than a WWII Hero and Movie Star

H/T War History OnLine.

Audie Leon Murphy was a man’s man.

Undoubtedly, the Second World War has always been a favorite subject for movies. Many actors have played in war films, everyone from John Wayne to Tom Hanks.

During the war, many Hollywood actors served their country with distinction, at home and in combat, men like James Stewart, Clark Gable, and a host of others. But Audie Murphy was more than just a Hollywood star—he was one of the most decorated American soldiers of World War II.

Perhaps the best part of the story with Murphy is the fact that he was admittedly flawed in many ways just like the rest of us. His story is not one of a shooting star, but rather one of endeavoring through the highs and lows in life while rising to the occasion when needed.

Photo of Audie Murphy as Tom Smith from the television program Whispering Smith.

Audie Murphy’s Early Life

Audie Leon Murphy was born on June 20, 1924, son of poor Texas sharecroppers. The Depression hit the family hard, and Audie once recalled that the family lived in an “honest to goodness shack.” His father abandoned the family, and when Audie was 17 his mother died. That left him the sole support of 10 siblings. To supplement the family’s meager rations, Audie would hunt rabbits, using a slingshot when he couldn’t afford shells for his rifle.

Audie Murphy in World War II

Audie joined the army and became a member of the Third Infantry Division. He took part in some of the bloodiest and most decisive actions of the war. Murphy saw combat in Sicily in 1943 and later took part in the ill-fated Anzio operation.

US Army troops landing at Anzio in Operation Shingle — on 22 January 1944.

In 1944 the Third Division invaded southern France in support of the more famous D-Day Normandy invasion further north. There was much hard fighting, and Audie had risen to sergeant. Later, he was to get a battlefield commission as a Second Lieutenant.

Murphy’s most heroic moment occurred on January 26, 1945, in the so-called Colmar Pocket of eastern France. Suddenly, Murphy’s company was confronted with a massive German attack, spearheaded by six tanks. In spite of German heavy fire, Murphy stayed at his post as an artillery spotter, calling in enemy positions over a field telephone.

The Tunisia Press

The crisis of the fight was now at hand. An American tank was hit, the crew escaping as flames leaped up from its steel frame. As the Germans surged forward, Murphy jumped on the burning wreck and manned its .50 caliber machine gun. Murphy remained on the burning tank for nearly an hour, holding the Germans at bay in spite of a bad leg wound and heavy enemy fire. When the Germans finally broke off their assault, Murphy hobbled over to his men and led a counterattack.

Murphy was one of the most decorated American soldiers of the war. He was credited with killing over 240 of the enemy while wounding and capturing many others. He was honored with 33 medals and decorations, including 5 from France and Belgium. Murphy was also awarded the Medal of Honor.

Audie Murphy, Hollywood Movie Star

Photo of Guy Mitchell (left) and Audie Murphy from the television program Whispering Smith.

After the war, famed actor Jimmy Cagney spotted Murphy on the cover of Life Magazine and asked him to come to Hollywood. Cagney tried to help his career but the first few years in Hollywood were failures. He became disillusioned and ended up sleeping in a men’s gym.

But things picked up. In 1950 he starred in Bad Boy and got a contract from Universal-International Studios. Earlier, he had written a movie about his war exploits called To Hell and Back. Universal made it into a popular movie in 1955. Murphy starred in the film, though he was reluctant to do so.

Captain Audie Murphy is sworn in to the Texas National Guard by U. S. Army Major General H. Miller Ainsworth 14 July 1950

Over the next 20 years or so Audie made 26 Hollywood films, most of them westerns. Two examples are Red Badge of Courage (1951), directed by John Huston, and The Unforgiven (1960), with Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn. He was married twice, the first time to Hollywood actress Wanda Hendrix.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Murphy was a genuine hero, but fame came at a price. He suffered from insomnia and depression, had “flashbacks” of combat, and was often moody and dangerous. If you caught him during one of his “down” periods, he might confront you with a loaded gun. The actor was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

It was poorly understood at the time, and often covered up. Murphy courageously went public with his mental and emotional state, urging Congress to fund more research and help for war veterans who suffer from the condition.

Audie Murphy’s Last Years

Headstone over the grave of Audie Murphy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States. Photo: Tim1965
– CC BY-SA 3.0

Murphy owned a horse ranch and was a successful racehorse owner and breeder. He was a gambler, too, and won and lost several fortunes during his life. Audie wrote poetry and was a successful songwriter.

On Memorial Day, 1971 (May 28, 1971) Audie Murphy was killed at the age of 46. He was a passenger in a private plane that encountered fog and rain and crashed into a mountain. We should continue to remember Murphy not as a story of the “perfect” guy, but rather the guy who was a genuine personality and easy to like and who stepped up to the plate when called.

 

Gillibrand Calls to Disband ICE: It’s a ‘Deportation Force’

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

In Spite of what the left thinks ICE is a deportation force and not the welcome wagon for illegals.

 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) called Thursday night to disband U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

CNN host Chris Cuomo asked Gillibrand about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who beat incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D., N.Y.) in the 14th Congressional District primary, and her controversial position to disband the law enforcement agency.

“She’s also got some positions that are even to the left of Bernie Sanders. She wants to get rid of ICE,” Cuomo said. “Now, what are you going to do with your party if you do come into a majority and you have a significant number, or at least an influence of people who have that kind of a position?”

“Well, I agree with it. I don’t think ICE today is working as intended,” Gillibrand said.

“You think you should get rid of the agency?” Cuomo asked.

“I believe that it has become a deportation force and I think you should separate out the criminal justice from the immigration issues and I think you should reimagine ICE under a new agency with a very different mission and take those two missions out,” Gillibrand said.

She went on to argue the U.S. should replace ICE with “something that actually works.”

“So we believe that we should protect families that need our help and that is not what ICE is doing today,” Gillibrand said, “and that’s why I believe you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it, and build something that actually works.”

ICE is a component of the Department of Homeland Security and has been criticized by many liberals – particularly under the Trump administration – for managing the deportation of those who are ordered to leave the country. Rep. Mark Pocan (D., Wis.) announced Monday he was introducing a bill to abolish the agency.

Cynthia Nixon, another New York progressive who is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D., N.Y.) in his bid for re-election, recently referred to ICE as a “terrorist organization.”

 

Defining Deviancy Down

H/T Town Hall.

Society has spiraled down to the point if it is perverse it is acceptable but anything morale  is bad.

Robert De Niro, the actor, aimed the f-bomb at President Donald Trump in remarks to a large audience at the Tony Awards. Following an appreciative applause, he repeated it and got a standing ovation. Samantha Bee, the television comedian, used the even more vulgar c-word to describe the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

Well, they’re only words, some people say.

“The problem with Robert De Niro’s using the F-word against President Tump isn’t the word itself,” writes Christine Emba in the Washington Post, “it’s the absence of underlying content.” But the obscenities are the only “underlying content.” Bee’s audience, which gave her a rousing cheer, got the message loud and clear. It loved it.

Comedian Dennis Miller told an interviewer that when he watches De Niro splattering his public with political obscenities, he turns around, looks over his shoulder and mimics the actor’s psychopathic character in the movie “Taxi Driver,” saying: “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me?”

Many of us are asking that question now, extending it to the terrible things other people are doing and saying in these polarized and angry times. There’s a reach for rudeness, amplified by cellphones and everywhere else on social media.

Miller, a former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, may be an ironic person to critique the increasing vulgarity of the culture. But like growing numbers of the rest of us, both red and blue, he regards the vulgarity as a tragic state of affairs. Ugly words and ugly public behavior bombard the public consciousness, conspicuously in politics but in art and entertainment as well. It’s impossible to rise above the antagonistic and the disputatious, to escape the anger that begets blind hate and mindless rage. Can violence be far behind?But mindlessness requires mindfulness. Classes in mindfulness are proliferating because they teach how to focus on the intellectually important. That’s evermore difficult to do. There’re a new opera, new as in a revival of the old, entertaining audiences in the nation’s capital. It’s called “The Emperor of Atlantis, or Death Goes on Strike,” reprised for reflection and entertainment, in which it succeeds in part. But in revival it succumbs to the director’s conceit to compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. The opera was written in 1943 by Viktor Ullmann, a Czech Jew, when he was a prisoner at the Theresienstadt death camp, shortly before he was transferred to Auschwitz to be murdered by the Nazis. The opera has a heavy drumbeat meant to represent a brutalized environment. The director updates the central character, originally a parody of Hitler, to a dictator obsessed with his country’s borders, with jarring references to “fake news” and “You’re fired.” This reduces serious philosophical questions to social media cliches.

It’s popular in certain precincts to compare the president with Hitler and the Holocaust, and it’s what historian Jay Winik, writing in The Wall Street Journal, calls an “obscene lie.” When Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, compared immigrant detention centers to Auschwitz and tweeted the infamous photograph of the single-rail line into Auschwitz, civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz called out Hayden’s remarks as “Holocaust denial.” It was a cruel and stupid analogy to the place where more than a million Jews, including many children, were sent to “showers” of poison gas.

Former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan observed how there’s a limit to how much bad behavior can saturate a society before it lowers standards for everybody. He called it “defining deviancy down,” saying: “when you get too much, you begin to think that it’s not really that bad. Pretty soon you become accustomed to very destructive behavior.”

That’s where we are now, with a government official asked to leave a restaurant because the owner doesn’t like her boss and a member of Congress urging her constituents to organize a mob to harass conservatives — “And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station … you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Some Democrats are alarmed, not necessarily because such vigilante rhetoric is wrong but because it’s a risky political strategy with the midterm elections looming just ahead. They’re concerned that Rep. Maxine Waters is not the image of the party they want to project in the months leading to Nov. 6. “Confirmation bias” is insidiously at work, enabling Waters and her angry look-alikes to be that party image, no matter how outrageous and disabling.

Just the other day, a 21-year-old congressional intern to Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire sent an f-bomb sailing toward the president as he walked past her through the Capitol rotunda. She was suspended for only a week, and Sen. Hassan said she would keep her job. That’s what Daniel Patrick Moynihan called “defining deviancy down.”

Report: FBI Refusing to Give Congress Material That Alleges Loretta Lynch Interfered in Clinton Investigation

H/T Breitbarts Big Government.

Can Jeff Sessions as Attorney General order these files released?

Paul Sperry reports at RealClearInvestigations — the investigative reporting affiliate of trusted polling aggregator RealClearPolitics — that the FBI is refusing to allow members of Congress to review intelligence that alleges Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch interfered in the Hillary Clinton email investigation:

The FBI had little problem leaking “unverified” dirt from Russian sources on Donald Trump and his campaign aides – and even basing FISA wiretaps on it. But according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, the bureau is refusing to allow even members of Congress with top security clearance to see intercepted material alleging political interference by President Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

That material – which has been outlined in press reports – consists of unverified accounts intercepted from putative Russian sources in which the head of the Democratic National Committee allegedly implicates the Hillary Clinton campaign and Lynch in a secret deal to fix the Clinton email investigation.

It is remarkable how this Justice Department is protecting the corruption of the Obama Justice Department,” said Tom Fitton, president of Washington-based watchdog Judicial Watch, which is suing for the material.

Read the rest of the story at RealClearInvestigations.