View Full Version : Audie Murphy, John Wayne and My Dad

02-01-04, 07:40 AM
Audie Murphy, John Wayne and My Dad

By Christopher Pritchard

My father flew 57 combat missions in a B-26 during World War II. Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier in that war and won the Medal of Honor, John Wayne and Bob Hope never served a day in the military. Yet they all served their country.

Today liberals are trying to destroy the memory of John Wayne by calling him a draft dodger. The same way they impugn anyone who supports America’s War on Terrorism that did not serve in the military. Service to country does not only come in the form of a military uniform, many men and women have served their country in other ways in the last 228 years.

My dad would discuss many aspects of the military with me. Actually he spoke and I listened. He would point out that it took many men to put together a battle plan to win a war. It starts with the desk jockeys that plan every aspect of a mission down to the fine details of the needed equipment and supplies. Men to train troops, deliver supplies, maintain equipment, build facilities as well as supply spare parts, food, ammunition and gear to the front lines. His list went on and we haven’t even fired a shot yet. Everyone in the chain of command is important, yet not everyone is in harms way. Those that are deserve extra special gratitude. Everyone else that supports the effort can hold his or her head up high.

The Navy declared my dad 4-F; he managed to get in the Army by doing a 360-degree turn during the ear exam. John Wayne on the other hand first had a draft exemption because he had 4 children (A-3) and later in the war because it was in the National interest (A-2). He served his country by way of his war movies and on the USO tour. There is no denying that Bob Hope went above and beyond the call of duty in his support of the military men and women.

I have chosen to mention Audie Murphy because of his unrivaled record. He measured his success by the yard and lived on the front lines daily. Ernie Pyle wrote “as the airmen unblushingly admit, their life is paradise compared with the infantry” and “You approach death rather decently in the Air Forces. You die well-fed and clean-shaven, if that's any comfort.” Facing death is something that not everyone has to do. My fathers 57 combat missions heroic and dangerous, pale in written history when compared to “The Doolittle Raiders” or the Marines of Iwo Jima. All are equal in the fight for Freedom and Liberty.

The civilian farmer and factory worker as well as the Army or Navy mechanic that made sure the planes stayed in the air and the entertainers of Hollywood all served their country and should have the right to voice their opinion without the character assassination from the left and being called a chicken hawk. No civilian can compare their record to the likes of Audie Murphy or other great American war heroes and they shouldn’t have to.




benny rutledge
02-04-04, 10:44 AM
Drifter,A B-26 Marauder was NOT an easy Aircraft to fly,and even harder to land in one piece.Keep in mind all those Sorties your Dad flew were just as terrifying and dangerous as the one before it.Steven Ambrose before he died wrote of the Air war in Europe in Terrifying detail,James Bradley just released "Flyboys" about the Carrier pilots and the Ordeals they suffered on Chi Chi Jima.Give your Pop a Hug and a Handshake,He's another of the unsung Hero's.

02-04-04, 11:39 AM
Audie Murphy tried to enlist in the Marine Corps and the Recruiters told him to go home and grow up and then come back. John Wayne tried to enlist and like you said was turned down. Then as now, the Marine Corps were very selective as to who they would take. Can you picture a squad of Audie Murphy's hitting the beach from a LCM landing craft?