|French Legion of Honor |
Grade of Chevalier
The French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier, France's most important medal of valor, was awarded to Audie Murphy several years after the end of the war.
In June of 1948, the French Government, through their consul at Los Angeles, invited Murphy to be their guest for two weeks in France which would end with a medal award presentation during the republic's annual Bastille Day Celebration.
Lieutenant Murphy return visit to France began on July 5, 1948, when he arrived at Paris, France. He was accompanied by his press agent, David "Spec" McClure.
Lieutenant Murphy toured the French countryside where many of his comrades had died just a few years earlier and where he had also earned most of his medals of valor.
Included on his itenerary was a visit to the location where he earned the Medal of Honor near Holzwihr, France. At Riedwihr, France he was "enthusiastically greeted" by the entire town. Murphy was visibly moved to tears (Simpson, page 410).
After visiting other locations, including Ramatuelle, France where his best friend Lattie Tipton was killed, Lieutenant Murphy returned to Paris. On July 19, 1948, he was presented the Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier, and the Croix de Guerre with Palm, by General De Lattre de Tassigny. During the same ceremony, he was also presented with the Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm (Simpson, page 410).
On the same day after the ceremony's conclusion, Lieutenant Murphy returned to the United States.