|French Croix de Guerre|
with Palm and Silver Star
The French Croix de Guerre was presented twice to Audie Murphy on separate occasions. The two awards are properly worn together as shown in the lefthand graphic.
The initial award of the French Croix de Guerre was with Silver Star was presented by Brigadier General W. E. Collier, Chief of Staff for the 8th Service Command, to First Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy on September 19, 1945 in Dallas, Texas in a public ceremony. Murphy had only been in the United States less than a week since leaving his unit behind at Salzburg, Austria.
The silver star indicated that the award was made at division level. The award was approved by the French government on April 16, 1945 but was not immediately ready for presentation. It was one of France's highest medals of valor and was earned for "exceptional service rendered in the course of operations in the liberation of France" (Simpson, page 236).
The second award the French Croix de Guerre was awarded to Audie Murphy several years after the end of the war. This award was made at the Army level and was therefore affixed with a Palm Leaf indicating that it originated from a much higher level than the initial decoration.
The presentation of the second award was made on July, 1948. As France's honored guest, Lieutenant Murphy was invited to spend two weeks in the French Republic as part of the country's annual Bastille Day celebration.
After two weeks of touring the countryside visiting historical places and locations where he had fought, Lieutenant Murphy was presented with the French Croix de Guerre with Palm on July 19, 1948. The award was the second medal presented to him that day by General De Lattre de Tassigny during a public ceremony.
The during that ceremony the first medal Murphy was pinned with was the highest medal of valor France could award, the French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier. Later in the same ceremony, a third award was presented by the country of Belgium, the Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm (Simpson, page 410).