Two area post offices will soon carry the names of distinguished North Texas individuals.
A United States Post Office in Rockwall County will be named after the area’s long-serving congressman, while a post office in downtown Greenville will be named after a Hunt County native and the most decorated American soldier of World War II.
Former U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe and Sen. John Cornyn introduced a pair of bills in February 2020 to honor the legacies of two distinguished constituents from the 4th District of Texas, Audie Murphy and former Rep. Ralph Hall.
The bills had been approved by both the Senate and House of Representatives and were signed into law on Dec. 30 by President Donald Trump.
Ratcliffe voted to rename the U.S. Postal Service facility at 909 W. Holiday Drive in Fate as the “Ralph Hall Post Office Building.”
Hall was born on May 3, 1923, in Fate and was a lifelong resident of the 4th District of Texas. He graduated from Rockwall High School in 1941 before joining the U.S. Navy in December 1942, where he flew Hellcat fighters during World War II. After the war, Hall served as the Rockwall County judge from 1950 to 1962. He then went on to be elected to the Texas State Senate, where he served until 1972.
In 1980, Hall was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the 4th District of Texas. Serving 34 years in the House, Hall held high-ranking positions on the House Energy, and the Commerce Committee and the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, where he served as chairman.
Hall passed away on March 7, 2019, in Rockwall.
“From beginning to end, Ralph Hall lived one of the most extraordinary and remarkable lives of anyone ever to serve in Congress, and Audie Murphy rose to become one of the most decorated American war heroes of all time,” Ratcliffe said.
Ratcliffe voted to rename the U.S. Postal Service facility at 2600 Wesley St. in Greenville as the “Audie Murphy Post Office Building.”
Murphy was born on June 20, 1925, in Kingston. Murphy enlisted in the Army in 1942 at the Greenville post office (now the Landmark on Lee Street) then deployed to North Africa in preparation to invade Sicily, Italy.
During his three years of active service, Murphy received every decoration of valor that the U.S. had to offer, some of them more than once, including five decorations by France and Belgium. Among his 33 awards and decorations is the Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery that can be given to any individual in the United States of America.
On Jan. 26, 1945, near the village of Holtzwihr in eastern France, Murphy's forward positions came under German attack. Facing six Panzer tanks, Murphy ordered his men to fall back to better their defenses as he mounted an abandoned, burning tank destroyer. With a single machine gun, Murphy fought against the advance for almost an hour, despite being wounded in the leg. Murphy later led his troops on a counterattack which succeeded in driving the Germans from Holtzwihr.
After the war, actor James Cagney saw Murphy’s photo on the cover of Life Magazine and invited him to Hollywood. Over the next 25 years, Murphy made 44 feature films, including his autobiography, “To Hell And Back.”
“The people of the 4th District of Texas are proud of the impact these accomplished Northeast Texans have made in our own community and beyond, and the post offices renamed on their behalf will commemorate their great legacies for years to come.” Ratcliffe said.
Ratcliffe was later tapped by Trump to be Intelligence Director.