On this day, Major Audie Murphy, MOH, died in a private plane crash in Catawba, VA.
He was 20 years old on May 26, 1945 when he fought beyond the call of duty in France. After ordering his troops to retreat, he alone remained to direct artillery fire against a large advancing Nazi force which included tanks.
Mounting a burning US tank destroyer, he single-handedly repelled enemy troops with its .50 caliber machine gun for about an hour even while wounded in the leg. Some dead Nazis were found 10 yards from his position. The US Army determined he killed or wounded 50 of the enemy before withdrawing having depleted his ammunition.
Murphy is the most highly decorated soldier in US military history.