Arnold Tucker

From: Chuck Profilet <>
Date: Tuesday, June 15, 1999
Subject: Memorial Day – 1999
MEMORIAL DAY FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA MAY 31, 1999 By Charles W. Profilet, E-1, 58

Of particular interest to 58 is the guest speaker at the luncheon. Lt. Col. Arnold Tucker, USAF Retired, USMA 47, was the speaker. Dedicated fans of Army football recognize the name of “Young Arnold Tucker” as the All-American quarterback of the 44, 45, and 46 undefeated Army football teams with Blanchard and Davis as running backs. Some of the class in 1st Regiment remembers him as Company Tactical Officer for Co. F-1 during our plebe and yearling years. Col. Tucker spoke from the heart with stories from his cadet days, his Air Force career, and duty at West Point. Four short stories among many are worthy of sharing with you.

Col. Tucker’s high school classmate went on to attend the Naval Academy and ended up as Captain of the Navy Team for the 1946 Army-Navy game. At some point in the game he and his friend, Bruce Smith, collided. Tucker helped his friend up, spoke to him and proceeded back to the huddle. During film review, Col. Blaik made note of Tucker assisting the Navy. They remain today life long friends.

Arnold Tucker

After graduation and flying training Tucker was assigned to a transport squadron in Japan. Soon selected as aide-de-camp for the commanding general, MG Edward H. White, USMA 24, he was notified that the Air Force had agreed with an Army request, unknown to Tucker, to return him to West Point for the football season as an assistant backfield coach. He objected and asked to stay in Japan with his wife and mother-in-law. Finally the Army Athletic Association informed him that the Association would pay all expenses for his family, if he would return to help the Army team. He finally accepted the assignment with the agreement of General White to return to Japan after the season. With a smile he noted that the assignment as assistant backfield coach was a “piece of cake”. Why? The backfield coach was Vince Lombardi.

Following two years as a Company Tactical Officer, he was assigned to the Commandant’s staff and given an assignment to oversee updating the Blue Book. One of many changes he made was to place Flirtation Walk on limits at night. He asked the cadets present if Flirty was still on limits. A weak “yes sir” suggested that today’s cadets might not see Flirtation Walk in the same light as those classes who were restricted to West Point most of the four years.

Col. Tucker ended on a sad but proud note. In 1967 he was stationed at Cape Kennedy, when a fire aboard the Apollo capsule killed three NASA Astronauts. LTC Edward H. White, II, USMA 52, son of COL Tucker’s commander in Japan, and the first man to walk in space perished in the fire. At the request of the family, Col. Tucker accompanied Ed White’s remains to West Point for burial.

2 Army A’s in Football

Football’s Greatest Decade – – by Bernie Mcarty – – – see page 5

This writer believes West Point 1945 is the greatest team of all time. The 1944 Army team may actually deserve that title, but it was never tested. Army was also undefeated in 1946, 1948 and 1949.

Army’s top stars during 1945-1949 were the effulgent “Touchdown Twins”, Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard, Arnold Tucker, Arnold Galiffa, Rip Rowan, Bobby Jack Stuart and Gil Stephenson in the back-field, and up front” Joe Steffy”, Art Gerometta, Jack Green, “Bill Yoemans”, Joe Henry “Tex” Coulter,Al Nemetz, and the sterling end duo of Hank Foldberg and Barney Poole.

In 1945 the Newspaper Enterprise Assoc. simply picked the entire Army team as its All-American team, stating no group of All-Americans could beat the Cadets. Only a world war could have brought together such a collection of players to one institution. But it took the coaching genius of Col. Earl Blaik to mold the players into a cohesive unit. In truth, Navy personnel was equal to Army’s on an individual basis. The Middies never jelled as a team, however.

The 1951 Army outfit might have been as good as the 1945 Cadets, but the infamous cribbing scandal wiped out the team.

tucker as cadet



Lt Colonel Retired Young Arnold Tucker of Palmetto Bay, Florida, passed away on January 10, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Born January 05, 1924 in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, Arnold or “Tuck” as he was known, was a loving and dedicated husband to his wife of 51 years, Patricia (Small) Tucker, and father to his two children, Tom and Patty. He was well known in Miami in the 1940’s for his academic and athletic excellence. He attended Citrus Grove Junior High School where he was an Honour student and a recipient of the American Legion Award for athletic leadership and good citizenship.

At Miami Senior High School, he was a member of the National Honour Society and the Key Club, Captain of the basketball team, and selected “All State” basketball player for two years. In football he was the “Running Tailback” on the team which won the Southern High School Championship, was selected as a member of the “All State” and “All Southern” football teams and received the Miami High Sigma Nu Trophy as outstanding athlete for the years 42-43. He was later inducted into the Miami High School Hall of Fame.

Tuck enlisted in the US Navy V-12 Program in June of 1943. As a Naval Assignee he attended the University of Florida and transferred to the University of Miami. As a freshman, he was a member of the varsity basketball and football teams and was awarded the “Iron Man Trophy” for exceptional football participation.

He was discharged from the Navy in July of 1944 in order to attend The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He graduated from the USMA and was commissioned a second lieutenant in June of 1947. While a Cadet at West Point, he was Captain of the basketball team and Quarterback on the undefeated National Championship football team for three years. He was designated an “All-American” football player in 1946. He was awarded the James E. Sullivan trophy by the National Amateur Athletic Union as the United States Amateur Athlete for 1946. He was known as “Mr. Topside” in the same backfield with “Mr. Inside” and “Mr. Outside,” Doc Blanchard and Glen Davis.

After graduating from Army Air Corps pilot training, he served as a Bomber Pilot of the B29 with the 307th Bomb Wing at Mac Dill AFB Tampa, Florida as well as a Line Pilot with Military Airlift Command Tokyo, Japan. He also had assignments as Aide De Camp to the Commanding General and was Commanding Officer of the Headquarters Squadron and served as an Operations Officer.

Tuck was assigned as an assistant football coach to Coach Vince Lombardi at West Point while also serving a 4-year tour from 1953-1957 as a tactical officer in the Commandant of Cadets Office.

He graduated from the Air Force Command and Staff College and served a four-year tour of duty at Headquarters US Air Forces, Pentagon Building, Washington D.C. He received an MBA degree from George Washington University in 1963 and then served a four-year tour of duty as Chief of the Telemetry Division of the Airforce Eastern Test Range, Cocoa Beach, Florida from 1963 to 1967. In 1967 he was stationed at Cape Kennedy, when a fire aboard the Apollo capsule killed three NASA Astronauts. LTC Edward H. White, II, USMA 52, son of COL Tucker’s commander in Japan, and the first man to walk in space perished in the fire. At the request of the family, Col. Tucker accompanied Ed White’s remains to West Point for burial.

Tuck served four years in direct support of the Vietnamese War as Director of Airlift, 5th Air Force Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan, as Commander of the C130 Gunship Squadron, Ubon, Thailand and as Chief Special Operations Division, 7th Air Force, Saigon Vietnam.

His last active duty military assignment was from 1971-1974 as the Professor of Aerospace Studies (AFROTC), University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. He retired after 31 years of continuous active duty at Homestead AFB, Florida in June 1974.

After Military Retirement he was employed by the University of Miami for two years as the Assistant Director of Athletics for Sales and Promotions.

He received many medals and accommodations, just to name a few: The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Bronze Star Medal, The Meritorious Service Medal, NCAAF College Football Hall of Fame, United States Military Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, and North Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.

Tuck was predeceased by his wife Patricia (Small) Tucker, one brother Dick Allen Tucker (1920-1943) who was shot down in Europe while serving as a fighter pilot in WW2. 1st Lt. Dick Allen Tucker is buried at Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial Coton, South Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England.

Also preceded by his mother, Sara Victoria (Callahan) Tucker, his father, Floyd Allen Tucker (1893-1970), one sister, Sylvia Victoria Tucker, and his son, Thomas Tucker. He is survived by one daughter, Patricia Nugent, son-in-law, Patrick Nugent, two grandsons, Zachary Cooke and Patrick Nugent II, all of Miami, Florida, and one daughter-in-law, Tina Tucker of Holiday, Florida.




One Comment

  1. Dave Smith
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Young Arnold Tucker died January 10th, 2019 in Miami, Florida

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