In speaking to a friend of mine today he said “did you know that on each side of the Unknown Soldier’s tombstone is former world heavyweight champion Joe Louis Barrow and on the other side World War Two Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy?
Well, I hadn’t so I decided to look into it. The closest thing I got is they are beside the Unknown Soldier tombstone at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Unknown Soldier are the remains of a Viet-Nam casualty. Audie Murphy starred in the movie “To Hell and Back” based on his autobiography of 27 months fighting in Europe and 43 other films.
My friend told me Murphy quit school in the fifth grade. When he was old enough at 17 he tried joining the Marines but was told “you are too short (5’4″?)” so he joined the Army. He not only won the Medal of Honor but 28 or 32 medals, ribbons and citations that included 3 or 5 from France and 1 from Belgium by two different accounts. After once single-handedly battling and killing 50 Germans after one hour using a machine gun from a burning tank, he simply said “they were killing my friends.”
Getting back to possibly the greatest heavyweight of all time Joe Louis was named Joe Louis Barrow born in Lexington or LaFayette, Alabama and moving onto Detroit, MI. His 25 title defenses are still tops in his division and as far as this writer knows now behind Germany’s Regina Halmich 44, Omar Narvaez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. both with 27.
Louis spent most of his military time fighting exhibitions for his fellow troops. He would eventually become a Sergeant. After serving in the Army from 1942 to 1946 he returned to the ring. He was 53-1 when he entered the service and ended his career at 66-3 with 52 knockouts.