He was the most decorated combat soldier in World War II, and he made the transition to movies very easily. We are talking about Wanda Hendrix’ first husband and true love Audie Murphy (see yesterday’s Hendrix Quiz), a renowned World War II hero turned Hollywood star in the Fifties and Sixties.

He starred in some 50 films, mainly westerns, and proved to be a popular top-of-the-line star. He also wrote about his wartime experiences which was turned into a 1955 combat drama of the same title — starring himself. (Murphy was killed in a private plane crash in Virginia in 1971, at the age of 45.)

To Hell and Back

Regular reader Graham Hill picked up on this fact with some revealing information about Murphy and some thoughts about the always tangled interaction of Washington and classic Hollywood and the circumstances surrounding his fatal air crash. Here’s what Graham writes:

Murphy’s  ‘To Hell and Back’ life story is much more complex than what is reported to the public…Again, the connection between HOLLYWOOD and Washington has always been of mutual benefit.

Murphy was a totally genuine war hero, and it’s heroes that the military always needs to booster recruitment and morale. But unfortunately, heroes tend to be exploited. And being in uniform and under orders, that have no say in being paraded around and shown-off to the public just like those who raised the flag at Iwo Jima, particularly the native American Ira Hayes, who’s own tragic story was made into a film starring Tony Curtis, ‘The Outsider’, in 1961.

For Murphy the fame and attention were immense, and all the while he had to put on a brave act and smile for the cameras. He had to accepted a lot of medals and awards, he had to give a lot of speeches, and listen to a whole lot more. But privately like many veterans who have experienced the hell of battle, he was forever haunted by what he had seen and done.

After WWII, Murphy simply exchanged one branch of government service -the military… For another branch — HOLLYWOOD.

Ride a Crooked Trail

Indeed, it was a WIN/WIN for both branches, and neither one cared much for how Murphy really felt, but still he served both with dignity and pride. He was an iconic role model for those going to Korea, and later Vietnam.

The Quiet American

MURPHY still loved his country despite all the pain, and it is believed by a number of people that he was still serving it right up until his death in a private plane that crashed into a mountain in fog and rain.

But was Audie Murphy murdered? Was the plane crash set up?

Supposedly everyone on board the aircraft with the exception of Audie were Mafia connected, secondly, the altimeter in the aircraft was not functioning properly, thirdly, the pilot did not file a flight plan, and in checking his background, he was not rated for instrument flying and had had two accidents prior in his history of flying that the agency had blamed on him as pilot error and not a malfunction of the planes.

The other reasons why are (that) Audie had agreed to testify in a federal court in California against the mob for off-track betting over the telephone wires in September of 1971. When Audie had died in May of 1971, the case was not brought to court because the feds has lost their star witness, Audie.

That and the Jimmy Hoffa fiasco led me to believe that something was afloat and the feds had to back down because Audie had died.

Also, when the National Transportation Safety Board came on board to inspect the plane and the crash site, all the searchers who had found the plane, were told to step down from the crash site and they were kept away from the crash site until the NTSB had inspected it.

When the searchers were allowed to revisit the crash site to help with the bodies and the plane, a lot of the searchers then said that many things were missing from the crash site that they had originally seen before they were told to step down Like personal luggage, some instruments on the flight deck of the plane, and everyone knew Audie never went anywhere unless he was armed nor did the searchers ever find his personal gun he always carried. Very Unusual !!!!!

Also when Audie’s body was found, his and the pilot’s were the only two that were thrown from the plane, all the others were still in the plane but charred beyond visual recognition.

So that led agents to believe that Audie was up front near the cockpit probably trying to help the pilot out because he knew he was in trouble and Audie was a certified pilot.

When NTSB officials inspected the plane they noted in their reports that the plane was not equipped for flying by instrument, nor had it had add on instruments, which many private planes had at the time because they did not come from the factory that way like they do now days.

It has long been speculated that Audie probably was working undercover for the feds due to the fact that many times in his life he would ride along with various police agencies both in California, Texas, and Arizona trying to help them with the tremendous influx of drugs coming across the border. All of this volunteer work was kept pretty much on the QT. until after his demise. I strongly believe that maybe it was a set up, but sad to say that is something we will never know the truth on.

Thanks for the contributi0n, Graham. Much to chew over.

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