I imagine that there are only a few people living today who could name the American soldier who was also a movie star and had been awarded more medals for bravery than anyone else in history. Ronald Reagan? Clark Gable? Jimmy Stewart?
It's true that these three movie starts all participated in  World War II, but their service was most often through promotion and they were seldom in harms way.
Chances are, unless you lived through the WWII era, you would not recognize this hero's name.
Audie Murphy was born on June 20, 1924, the son of a Texas sharecropper. He had ten siblings.
When his father abandoned his family when Audie was 10, he took responsibility for helping to raise his brothers and sisters, so he quit school in the fifth grade, taking a job picking cotton at $1 a day.
After Pearl Harbor, Audie wanted to enlist in the Marines, but he was not old enough and he was also too short.  
He tried the paratroopers. They also turned him down. His sister signed an affidavit that said he was 21, even though he was only 16, and he finally was accepted by the army.
He served for three years on active duty during the war.
He must have found it rewarding because he began as a private, but quickly rose to the rank of staff sergeant and then won a battlefield commission to a 2nd lieutenant.
During his three year service he was wounded three times and fought in nine different campaigns.
He was awarded 37 medals, including every one that the American Military had, including the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, (with added oak leaf cluster), the Legion of Merit, and the French Croix de Guerre (with palm).
He also was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award of the American Military.
The action that brought this award was the one that ended his military career because he suffered a severe leg wound.
This occurred near the end of the war during a last desperate German tank attack.
Murphy climbed atop an abandoned tank destroyer and took control of its 50 caliber machine gun, killing 50 Germans and stopping their advance.
Even though he had been severely wounded, he kept fighting until he ran out of ammunition, then joined his men and continued fighting in a counter-attack until the Germans were driven from the village.
When the war ended, he was not yet 21 years old. He returned to the states as a hero and was soon invited to Hollywood by Jimmy Cagney, who had seen his picture on the cover of Life Magazine.
In 1950, he was awarded a film contract with Universal Studios. Although Murphy was very shy and unassuming and claimed that he had no talent, he acted in over 40 films, mostly westerns.
His biggest success was in the highly successful movie, “To Hell and Back,” where he played himself in the story about his war experiences.
He suffered PTSD and had become addicted to sleeping pills as a result.
He died in a plane crash at the age of 45 while on a business trip.
He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery just across from the Memorial Amphitheater, his grave marked by a simple white government issue tombstone that lists a few of his military accomplishments.
It is said that the stone, like its hero, is “too small.”