Bob Fuellhart

80 – End — Fall of 59

Bobby became first team All-American at close defense and won the Schmeisser Award as the outstanding defense man of 1962.

Former Classic Stars in Action

The list of ex-Army Players grows: Pete-Dawkins To Blanda, Bill Carpenter, Dick Eckert, Glenn Blumhard, Monk Hilliard, all in Viet Nam And there was Bob Fuellhart. Maybe not all the buffs among the 102,000 will remember the name quickly, although he came three times to Broad St. pageant. He was a lean-jawed, solid kid who grew up at Tionesta, a village in the bear and deer country of Western Pennsylvania. He had been a hurdler and broad jumper at Kiski Prep before going to West Point.

Because of his fine speed, Fuellhart played the “Lonesome End” behind Bill Carpenter his first season at Army, It was ironic. Carpenter an advisor in Viet Nam for 13 months when few people could even find the Mekong Delta on a map, was wounded twice. He is now an instructor at Fort Knox, KY. and wears the Bronze and Silver star.

Fuellhart’s trips to Philadelphia were not cheerful ones. His teams lost three times to Navy. The last one was in 1961, a day memorable because Of John Kennedy’s halftime promenade across a blustery, cold field without a topcoat. Navy took that one, 13-7, although cramped by injuries, was a rangy, bitter figure on defense.

That’s how they later remembered him in Viet Nam. His Vietnamese troops called Fuellhart “The Long One,” and not only because his six-foot height towered over the 100-Pound natives. With a long cigar and the red beret of the 44th Ranger Battalion, Fuellhart was not hard to spot and he astonished the Vietnamese by standing up in battle to direct air strikes.

Large Target, Big Courage

He did it at least twice. Once he climbed out of a water-filled ditch to Point out Viet Cong targets for striking fighters. He was a large target, and Viet Cong fire shattered a banana tree over him showering leaves and debris. “It took a lot of courage ” ,said an American captain who recommended the Bronze Star, “especially for an officer in his first combat.”

On Aug. 12 Fuellhart’s jungle fighting unit ran into strong Viet Cong fire near a hamlet of thatched shacks called Phung Heip. The Viet Cong had armored carriers and an American machine gun, and it was taking a toll.

“Not as much fire at my end,” Fuellhart radioed to Capt. Jerry Devlin. “Maybe we can move in.” “Wait for another air strike”, said Devlin. Fuellhart, standing up in the mud with the radio strapped to his back, was talking to the helicopters as they hit the tree line. He went to his knees, struck by a bullet. He died a n hour before his wife, Jan, home in Tionesta, gave birth to a girl. Rabble – 1965 By Tom Sargeant, Staff Writer

The ties that bind Army Athletes

In 1952, Cadet Joe Austin of the U.S. Military Academy Lacrosse Team used a six foot stick while playing crease attack. Joe made an all-time West Point record of ten goals in one game and had a career total of eighty goals for three years of play which (when the story was told) was still a school record. He was selected 1st team All-American at attack.

In 1962, the then Captain Joe Austin of the United States Air Force, was an assistant coach of the Army Lacrosse Team. Bob Fuellhart ’62, the second Lonely End, (following Bill Carpenter) on the Football Team, was playing on the Army Lacrosse Team as a defense man. Bob became very distressed when his favorite stick was broken in scrimmage. Assistant Coach Joe Austin, who had treasured his six foot high scoring attack stick for ten years generously loaned it to Fuellhart.

The head of the stick was much narrower than we liked for defensive use in those days but Bob felt that it helped his throwing and catching. (Today almost every defense stick has a head of this size which put Bobby much ahead of his time.) Appropriately, Fuellhart became first team All-American at close defense and won the Schmeisser Award as the outstanding defense man of 1962. Bill Carpenter was recipient of the Schmeisser Award in 1960.

This would seem to be quite a rarity for two players Joe and Bob, in two opposite positions, ten years apart, utilizing the same stick to become outstanding players of their times. Both Joe Austin and Bob Fuellhart were killed in the Vietnam War in the mid 1960’s.

Joe Austin, awarded 2 Silver Stars, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Purple Heart was first declared missing 19 March 1969, and confirmed Killed In Action 25 May 79.

Bill Carpenter was nominated for the Medal of Honor received the Distinguished Service Cross.

Bob Fuellhart, awarded a Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars (V), and Purple Heart, was Killed in Action 12 Aug 65, the day his daughter was born.

A Half Century of Lacrosse by William H. (Dinty) Moore III, the long-time Lacrosse Coach at Navy. It was told to Moore by Army Coach Jim (Ace) Adams. Edited by Butch Darrell Captain 1962 Lacrosse Team

Pa. Team Members 1959

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s