Audie Murphy, from Texas, served as a infantryman in WW-2 was the MOST highly decorated soldier in US Army history.
He also won several medals from different countries.
According to the Total Army Personnel Command in Alexandria, VA, Matt Urban of Michigan was awarded 29 medals, as many as Audie Murphy, for his service in WW2.Urban's Medal of Honor recommendation was somehow lost in the shuffle, so he did not receive his MOH until the late 70s. His other medals included: 7 Purple Hearts, Legion of Merit, Croix de Guerre with a Silver Star, Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster. Perhaps if Urban received the MOH when he should have, he would be as famous as Audie Murphy.
Although COL David Hackworth earned over 100 medals, he was embarrassed to wear them all. General Douglas MacArthur is considered by many to be America's most decorated soldier.
He was the only soldier to be a general officer in three different wars, WWI,WWII and Korea. He was the youngest Chief of Staff and the only American General to become Field Marshal of a foreign country, the Philippines. He was nominated for 3 Medals of Honor and awarded one. His records at West Point were not broken until Pete Dawkins exceeded them in the late 50s. Fifty years of service gave him an extensive collection of recognition.
The question is who is the most HIGHLY decorated, not the most decorated. The automatic answer of Audie Murphy, or even the lesser known Matt Urban really can not do justice to the question. So many lesser known but equal or greater names are out there to be explored. A few who spring to mind are Eugene Fluckey, MOH and 4 awards of the Navy Cross, Samuel Dealey, MOH and 4 awards of the Navy Cross. Everyone knows that 5 awards of this caliber is a lot more impressive than 29 medals which count purple hearts, campaign medals and good conduct medals, in other words 27 of the medals rank below the decorations for valor.
What are the criteria for "most HIGHLY" decorated? Major General Smedley Butler of USMC was awarded not one, but two Medals of Honor. Has anyone else been awared the Medal of Honor twice or more?
Actually, 19 soldiers have been awarded the medal of honor twice
Real answer is Captain Joe Ronnie Hooper, one Medal of Honor, 2 Silver stars, 6 Bronze stars and 8 Purple hearts. Look him up.
ANSWER COL Robert L Howard
Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross (2 awards)
Silver Star, Bronze Star for Valor, 3rd Oak Leaf Cluster (4 awards)
Purple Heart 7th Oak Leaf Cluster (8 awards)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit 3rd Oak Leaf Cluster (4 awards)
Air Medal for Valor, 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster (3 awards)
Army Commendation Medal for Valor, 3rd Oak Leaf Cluster (4 award) there are more, but these are just a few. I would say that he has got them all beat. Look at the fact that he was recommended for the medal of honor on three separate occasions but they were downgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross due to the secret nature of his missions at that time. As for MG Smedley Butler not to take away from him because he is a damn fine American and a hero. The US Congress in 1917 ruled that no one could receive more than one Medal of honor so later Soldiers and Marines may have done things to win them but they could only get one. Its like comparing apples to oranges its just not the same. So far I have looked them all up and I think that if you are talking highest decorations for valor then COL Howard has them all hands down. If any one can show me someone with more then please do. The other amazing fact is that Col Howard is still alive and visits Soldiers in current War Zones that is very impressive to me. He is a true warrior and hero.
Lt. Gen. Lewis B. (Chesty) Puller
As was stated above it is very difficult to truly say who is the most decorated soldier of all time. Standards change over time, and with each branch having their own standards we can never say who truly is THE MOST DECORATED.
Now having said that we must take a serious look a Gen. Chesty Puller. He was the recipient of the nations 2nd highest award six times. Speculation was always that if he had been more politically correct he would have surely been awarded the MoH. Along with 5 Navy Crosses and the Distinguished Service Cross he also has the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and two Legion of Merit awards along with 43 other awards.
See the Related Links for "Home of Heroes" and "Audie Murphy" to the left for additional information.
The most decorated soldier per month served in combat area has got to be John Kerry. He received 5 medals in four months of service in Vietnam, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts. Some nagging questions persist about their attainment.
Like others, I don't know how you decide who was "Most" decorated. I do know that my friend MSGT Roy P. Benavidez, a Special Forces Medic, had over 25 medals, including several Purple Hearts; and his citation for the Medal of Honor was the longest one ever written. He was wounded a total of over 50 times the day he earned the MOH including schrapnel, three bullets and one bayonet wound to his left forearm. He also saved 19 wounded soldiers - including three of the enemy.
When President Ronald Reagan read the citation at the White House ceremony for the MOH, Reagan cried and hugged Roy instead of saluting him. Roy is certainly my greatest hero. I am also surprised nobody mentioned Alvin York in this discussion.
General James "Jimmy" Doolittle
Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Distinguished Flying Cross (3)
Air Medal (4)
And.. The Medal of Freedom. The ONLY person to receive both.
see : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Doolittle
The World War I Soldier interred at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers
This soldier, "known but to God," has been awarded every citation from every branch of the service. Plus the Victoria Cross (Great Britain's "Medal of Honor"), the Croix d Guerre (France's "Medal of Honor"), and numerous other foreign medals. If you have never been there, I urge you to see it. There is an enormous display of just the medals and awards presented to the soldier.
I think it would be impossible to say matter of factly who the most highly decorated soldier ever was but think of it like this: regardless of how many medals for valor a person has, what is the highest: the medal of honor. Being an enlisted man in the Army, the thought of having generals salute me is quite outstanding; the salute being rendered to enlisted soldier by an officer being something that comes with the MOH. That being said, I would rather have ONE medal of honor, than 5 Navy Crosses and a Distinnguished Service Cross (that would be LG "Chesty" Puller, of the USMC). So, I would IMMEDIATELY disqualify ANYONE who does not possess this award. The next thing I would look at is the number of MOHs possessed by the individual. So, since no one has ever been awarded the MOH three times, we narrow the list to 19. But I think we should take into account that 5 of these 19 received BOTH of their MOHs for the same action; they were awarded the Navy and Army MOH due to their relation to both services. 7 of the remaining 14 received at least one of these awards for peacetime action. An example of which is Robert Sweeney who received BOTH of his MOHs for jumping overboard to rescue a fellow sailor. Today, he would have been merely awarded a Soldier's Medal, which is trumped by 8 medals. So, that leaves us with 7 people I would count in the running for the most highly decorated soldier (I am obviously including, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen as well).
So, of the remaining 7 men who has more secondary decorations? My vote would HAVE to go to MG Smedley Butler. He is one of 19 men to reciecve the MOH twice. He is one of 14 men to receive the MOH twice for two separate actions. He is one of 7 men to receive the MOH twice for two separate actions, both of which were for combat actions. He is one of 23 men to receive the Marine Corps Brevit Medal, which is similar to the Navy Cross. He is one of three men to receive the MOH and the MCBM. He is the ONLY person to receive the MOH twice AND a MCBM. He has been awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, which is trumped by only three medals. The Army Distinguished Service Medal, which is the Army equivalent to the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. MG Butler is lacking the lower medals that many other well decorated soldiers have been awarded i.e. LTG Puller, 1LT Murphy, or GEN Doolittle; however, I would rather his top five medals, and those alone, than the entire set of awards than any other soldier has ever held.
The mere mention that a soldier who has never received the MOH is the most decorated soldier of all time is laughable. Fear not Marines. Though I believe your over-rated Chesty is not even close to being the most decorated soldier ever, I still have no doubt that a Marine still holds this honor.
Now, all this being said, I am not trying to take anything away from any of these men. Well, that's not completely true. I am a little more than upset about Robert Sweeney being given ONE MOH, let alone both of them. And the five men who received the award twice for the same action. Also, I think Albert Weisbogel, Louis Williams, John King, John Cooper, John Lafferty, and Patrick Mullen should not have been awarded MOHs for peacetime actions. But I do believe that all of these men have shown bravery beyond what most are capable of showing.
Five Star General Henry H. Arnold, check him..
US Army Colonel Ruby Bradley is believed to be the most decorated female for her service during WWII and Korea.
Lt Audie Murphy
Master Sergeant Robert Rainville, who was also the second most highly decorated soldier. He had been decorated with at least one award of every decoration the military can bestow, except for the Medal of Honor. And he'd been put in for that--it was downgraded, though.
Captain noel chivasse RAMC
The most highly decorated "American" in the Vietnam War was British. ---------------------------------------------------- However please note that the British were not combatants in the Vietnam War, there were no British troops sent by Britian to fight in that war.
They were from Texas
the highest decorated solider was William Kingston of the 3rd brigade. he was followed by an American general scoot f. williamson.
Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse was the most highly decorated soldier of world war 1. He was one of only three people who received the Victoria Cross twice. He was credited with saving the lives of 20 gravely wounded men and died from injuries gotten while doing so.
The most decorated American soldier of WW1 is generally considered to be George Lawson Keene. cmf3225
The most decorated French soldier of World War 1 was Audie Murphy. He was decorated with the Croix de guerre ribbon which was a French Legion of Honor.
The most decorated US soldier of WWI was Colonel William J. Donovan .
Michael Phelps is the most highly decorated Olympian of all time, with 22 medals. He also holds the record for gold medals (18).
Ernst Junger, google him
Aníbal Augusto Milhais
Audie Murphy .