Skip to main content

An American Hero Not Forgotten

"For three hours,
he lay in a shallow
ditch as wave
after wave of
German infantry
surged toward him,
at times to within
five yards of his position."

Today, all of America should be celebrating Murl Conner Day. But, sadly, the majority of americans do not know who Murl Conner is. He should be the most decorated war hero of all wars, but unfortunately he is yet to receive the honor he is most worthy of.

Conner, who was born on this date, was a sergeant then later a lieutenant with the 7th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. He served on the front lines for over 800 days in eight major campaigns and was wounded a total of seven times. After each wound, Conner would return to combat and continue to fight on the front lines. During his last wound, Conner actually snuck away from the medical facility and went rushing back to the front line, just in time to volunteer for his toughest mission yet.


The date was January 24,1945 near Houssen, France. Conner left the hospital on his own, and when rushed into his commanding officers tent to report back to duty, he overheard talk of needing someone to run some wire to enhance his unit's communication capabilities. He volunteered. At 0800 hours, Conner grabbed the role of wire and charged 400 yards through the impact area of an intense concentration of enemy artillery fire to direct friendly artillery on a force of six Mark VI tanks and tank destroyers, followed by 600 fanatical German infantrymen, which was assaulting in full fury the spearhead position held by his battalion. As he unreeled the spool of wire, Lt. Conner disregarded shells which exploded 25 yards from him and set up an observation post. Then, for three hours, he lay in a shallow ditch as wave after wave of German infantry surged toward him, at times to within five yards of his position. In a kill or be killed act, the Lieutenant ordered his men along the front lines to fire at his position, and they did. Lt. Conner was individually credited with stopping more than 150 Germans, destroying all the tanks and completely disintegrating the powerful enemy assault force and preventing heavy loss of life in his own outfit.

For his act on that cold January day in 1945, Conner was awarded a citation for the Distinguished Service Cross. His commanding officer notified headquarters that he had a soldier who was due the Medal of Honor, but the process was interrupted due to the heat of the battle they were in, and, because of an oversight, the paperwork was never completed until after Conner's death. Still, Conner has never received the his Medal of Honor.
During his eight major campaigns on active duty, Conner received the Bronze Star with three oak leaf clusters, Silver Star and three oak leaf clusters, and the nation’s second-highest award, the Distinguished Service Cross. On June 20, 1945, he was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the French Medal of Honor, that was also awarded to Sergeant Alvin C. York, America's most decorated World War I soldier.


Lt. Conner served in the same division as Audie Murphy, America's most decorated hero of all wars. But, Conner was awarded more silver stars for acts of valor, fought in more campaigns, served on the front lines longer, and was wounded more times than Murphy. If Lt. Conner were to receive the Medal Of Honor, it would mean he would have one more medal than Audie Murphy, which would make Conner the most decorated war hero of all wars.

After the war, Audie Murphy went to Hollywood, and Murl Conner went home to his farm.



Popular posts from this blog

The Tornado at Beaty Swamps

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, May 10, 1933, Beatty Swamps, TN ( also known as Bethsaida), a small rural community located in Overton County, Tennessee, approximately 6.7 miles from Livingston, was struck by an F4 tornado that completely devastated the community. The funnel, anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide, destroyed every home in the community, and killed or injured virtually every single resident. Much of the area was swept clean of debris. This is the second deadliest tornado ever to strike Middle Tennessee.

There have been tornadoes that have gained greater notoriety, such as the Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974, but never has a tornado affected a community as completely as the one that struck Beatty Swamps.

According to the National Weather Service, it had been a humid evening in the rural Cumberland Plateau community. In nearby Allardt, the temperature that Tuesday afternoon had climaxed at 82 degrees, a warmer-than-normal reading for early May. …

Ode To A Mule

James Arness died today. Gunsmoke was every one's favorite TV show back when I was a kid. For years, at my house, we watched every single episode that came on the TV. There's isn't any need to explain the show because I am sure that most of you have seen an episode of Gunsmoke at one time or another.

When I heard that Mr. Arness has passed away, I went online, because I wanted to read some quotes from the TV show - more specifically, I wanted to read some dialogue between Festus, played by singer Ken Curtis (Sons of the Pioneers), and the rest of the cast. Festus had a way of speaking, but he always spoke the truth and what he said always made sense, well in a Festus-sort-of way, I guess.

So, I went online to do that, and well, one click led to another click, and then another and another, and before I knew it, I found myself on YouTube, and that's when I heard, for the first time in many years, this beautiful story that I want to share with you.

If you paid close atte…

Long Live The Goat Man

(This photo was made in the 1950's as the Goat Man passed through my town)
Charles McCartney was born on July 6, 1901. In 1915, at age 14, he ran away from his family's Iowa farm. He eventually wound up in New York, and was soon married to a Spanish knife-thrower. When she got pregnant they tried to make it as farmers, but bad weather and the Great Depression wiped them out. About the same time, he experienced a religious awakening. A man on a mission, he hitched up his team of goats to a wagon and took to the open road with his wife and son. His wife made goatskin clothes for him and his son to wear as a gimmick during their travels, but she quickly grew tired of the road and returned to Iowa, taking their son with her.

Charles McCartney looked like a goat. He smelled like one, too because he rarely took a bath. You take a fellow who looks like a goat, travels around with goats, eats with goats, lies down among goats and smells like a goat and it won't be long before peop…