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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard or read at sometime in the past that the M1 Carbine was a favorite weapon of WWII hero Audie Murphy. Can anyone confirm or document this. Thanks, riverrat
 

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“THE “WOUNDED” CARBINE

The story of Audie Murphy’s service during WWII has become legendary since then. Here was a young man, turned down by the Marines and the paratroopers as being physically unfit, who went on to receive every award for valor that our country could bestow, all before his 21st birthday. He was wounded four times, awarded two Silver Stars only five days apart, two Bronze Stars and ultimately the Medal of Honor. In 1967, during the course of an interview, Murphy recalled:

“Losses are inevitable, so you learn not to get too friendly with anybody … Every action is new people. One way or another, people come and go … You don’t remember the guys’ names. You remember that one-one-zero-eight-seven-eight-three (1108783) is the number of your rifle, but names are too personal. That’s really how it is.”

When this quote was noted in the 1990 book Hero – The Life and Death of Audie Murphy by Charles Whiting, an individual at the Center of Military History Clearinghouse at Anniston Army Depot searched that serial number through its computers. Surprisingly, a match turned up.

When the 3rd Division went into Southern France in August of 1944, Audie Murphy was there with the 15th Infantry Regiment. They pushed north to the vicinity of the Vosges Mountains, where at Genevreuville Murphy received his first wound after a year in combat. A mortar round exploded next to him. Murphy recalled: “When I come to, I am sitting beside a crater with a broken carbine in my hands. My head aches; my eyes burn; and I cannot hear.” After his injuries were taken care of, Murphy repaired the broken stock on his carbine with wire and continued to use it. He began referring to it as his “wounded carbine”.

In the following days Murphy’s “wounded carbine” became well-known in his unit and some felt that it might be a lucky charm for Murphy. However, on 25 October in the forests near Les Rouges Eaus, Murphy was wounded by a sniper. As he lay on the ground, he was able to discern the sniper’s location and quickly fired one round that killed the sniper instantly. When his fellow-soldiers came to his assistance, it was assumed from the nature of the wound that Murphy would be sent home. One NCO asked Murphy if he could have his “lucky” carbine, perhaps hoping that the battered weapon might bring him a measure of luck as well. It was not to be, as the sergeant, with most of his platoon, were wiped out the following day in a fire fight in the forest.

“In all probability, the carbine was salvaged from the battlefield and turned in, where it was refurbished and eventually placed into storage."
Thanks to Audie documenting the serial number of his weapon, we have been able to identify it today and preserve it as a tangible piece of the WWII history of the 15th Infantry Regiment, the 3rd Infantry Division, and the US Army.

This is all I have. Roger
 

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wow, great post! I would recommend reading his book "To Hell and Back" and seeing the movie of the same title. It is one of my favorites. He carries a garand and a thompson through most of the movie...I will have to rewatch to see if he is carrying a carbine near the end. :)
 

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His Winchester is now in the 3rd ID museum at Fort Stewert, Ga.
The 3rd ID is going back to Iraq for the second time in Feb. So I guess in twelve months since they left Iraq, after taking Baghdad, we have rotated through all our available forces.
 
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Excellent Roger!

As a sidebar, the Carbine didn't get a bad rap until Korea, where the soldiers tried to use it beyond it's effective range, and the lubricant the military supplied had a small amount of water in it. No surprise the actions froze up in the extreme cold of Korea. Don't forget, during WWII marksmanship was still taught to our troops, not the later "spray & pray" philosophy. We tried to fight the Korean war in the 50's with weapons designed in the teens, 20's and 30's. If not for our artillery, airpower and armor, we might have lost that war as it was woefully mismanaged from the get-go. Most soldiers in WWII liked the Carbine for its light weight and handiness. They knew it wasn't a Garand, and didn't try to make it perform like one. Funny how our military keeps going back to light, short rifles isn't it? :D
 

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From the accounts I've read, Murphy was absolutely deadly with his carbine.

In one instance, Murphy slipped and fell backward after being shot at, and still shot the German just before he hit the ground.

In another incident, Murphy saw several high ranking officers going up to "take a look".
Figuring they might get into trouble, Murphy followed just in time to find them pinned down and under heavy fire from a groups of Germans.

Maneuvering around to the side, Murphy tossed a grenade and opened up with his carbine, killing the entire group.

The American officer recommended Murphy's for one of his medals, and later said that Murphy wiped the Germans out to the last man, walked over to him, and started to kid around.

He was shocked that Murphy displayed no more interest in the Germans than kicking over an ant hill.

The best biography about Murphy is "No Name on the Bullet" by Don Graham.
According to Graham, Murphy was destroyed by the war, and had a bad case of what we now call post-stress disorder.

As one person said, "Forget the baby face, next time you watch one of his movies, take a GOOD look at his eyes. They look like a shark's eyes".
 

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[IMG=left]http://pic13.picturetrail.com/VOL488/1124764/2189969/50776694.jpg[/IMG]
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
More Audie Murphy Information

For those interested the Texas Heritage museum located on the Hill College campus at Hillsboro, Texas has an Audie Murphy display which includes his boyhood rifle and a WWII weapons collection including a nice carbine amoung other things. This museum contains over 5000 volumes on the civil war and some 3000 volumns on WWI and WWII. It has one of the finest weaponry libraries in the Southwest. Hillsboro is located on I-35 between Dallas and Austin. It is worth a visit if you happen to be down that way. Thanks to all, riverrat
 
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Well, that would be alot better than that so-called Kennedy assassination museum in Dallas! I had ten people trying to sell me stuff before I got in the door. From the left coast, I often have to go through Dallas and will check this one out, thanks riverrat. :D
Nice picture Faulkner. Mind if I "lift" a copy?
 

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Not at all . . . here's another.

[IMG=left]http://pic13.picturetrail.com/VOL488/1124764/2189969/50776701.jpg[/IMG]
 

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As a sidebar, the Carbine didn't get a bad rap until Korea, where the soldiers tried to use it beyond it's effective range, and the lubricant the military supplied had a small amount of water in it. No surprise the actions froze up in the extreme cold of Korea.
Wayne:

I spent some time in a Navy Hospital with some Marine frostbite cases from Korea. I don't know if it was true or not, but they said they started using "Vitalis" and "Lucky Tiger" hair tonics on the actions of their carbines and Garands to keep them from freezing up. Evidently those products contained alcohol and some type of lubricant that kept the weapons functioning. Could be truth or myth. :?:

Harvey
 
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That certainly sounds reasonable to me Harvey. From eye-witness accounts, the G.I.'s would stay in their underground shelters to try to keep warm, and only came out when the action began (except for lookouts of course). They would bring their weapons out into the extreme cold from the fairly warm "hooch", and instant freeze for the weapons!
The military learned later that a small amount of water was present in the lubricant they were using at the time. Because the Carbines used oil and no grease, they froze up the tightest of all, and were blamed for the problem. An interesting note is that this didn't seem to be a problem in Europe, so it must have been a newer lubricant.
Soldiers are seldom happy with the weapon assigned to them. Those with Garands wanted Tommy guns or a BAR, machine-gun crews wanted Garands or Carbines as their equipment was too heavy, etc. The M16 is universally disliked, yet the M14 was too heavy and hard to handle under full-auto. Go figure. :D
 

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Wayne:

My first issue weapon was the M-1, and I was never unhappy with it. Worked just fine for me, and since USMC no longer issued Carbines, I didn't have a lot of choices -- either the Garand or the BAR, and since I was over 6 feet tall, it was unlikely I would be made a BAR man. I was still in service when we transitioned to the M-14, and I liked it a lot, too. Never got to fire mine full-auto, as our selector switches were made inoperative. :cry:

Regarding the USMC use of the Carbine in Korea, the M-2s that were issued at the beginning of the war only had 15-rd magazines. It wasn't until later that the Marines were supplied with 30-rd magazines (or they swiped them from the Army in the in the interim).

Harvey
 

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wayneCP01 said:
Because the Carbines used oil and no grease, they froze up the tightest of all, and were blamed for the problem. An interesting note is that this didn't seem to be a problem in Europe, so it must have been a newer lubricant.
I've read that soldiers did have problems with the Garand freezing in wintertime in Europe's WW2. The solution then?
(WARNING; THE FOLLOWING IS R RATED): They peed on the action!!!!
Hey, IT WORKED. :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:
 
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