Arnold Tucker


From: Chuck Profilet <profilet@mediaone.net>
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 – http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/CFHSN/CFHSNv01/CFHSNv01n1b – – 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.

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