Undoubtedly, World War II produced many heroes who shifted the boundaries of human bravery and durability. Some remained uncredited and forgotten, while others received the highest honors and awards. One of those is the Medal of Honor recipient, Charles Murray, who for his heroic actions during WWII received the United States military’s highest decoration.
After the attack, a sergeant from his platoon counted 50 dead German soldiers. Charles Murray and his company managed to capture ten enemy soldiers, while the eleventh soldier approached the commander with his arms raised and his helmet off.
Pretending that he was surrendering, the soldier threw a grenade towards Charles, knocking him to the ground and wounding his leg. Charles was back on his feet in no time and had forbidden his men to kill the soldier. Even wounded, he wouldn’t leave the battlefield until he made sure his men were safe and everything is in order. Charles then passed command to another officer and went to the battalion aid station. He was then hospitalized for a while and on 28th December 1944 rejoined his men on the same hill where he left them.
As per the army policy, he was removed from combat and sent to Salzburg. On 1st August 1945, he was awarded the highest military award in the United States Army: the Medal of Honor. Charles found out about his Medal of Honor award when his wife sent him a piece of the local newspaper with the news. He received the award in Salzburg, surrounded by the entire 3rd Division. One month later, he was sent home in Wilmington, where he was given a hero’s welcome.
Charles soon returned to Europe. He served another four years in Salzburg, where he became the head of U.S. intelligence. Later, he participated in the Korean and the Vietnam wars, rising to the ranks of colonel. In 1970, he was transferred to Fort Jackson in South California. In 1973, Charles officially retired from the army. After the army, he worked as a civilian for the South Carolina Department of Corrections. He lived in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife Anne until his death. The hero died from congestive heart failure on 12th August 2011.