Category Archives: Army Athletes

They gave on Saturday afternoon.

Harry E Wilson

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Articles provided by Russ “Skip” Grimm, ’76

Kenneth E. Fields

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Gary Steele

ESPN – Gary Steele’s Lasting Impact

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Steele heading into Army Hall of Fame | Varsity845U.com

Sep 12, 2013 – Gary Steele still has every team picture from Army’s 1966, 1967 and 1968 football seasons. Steele stands out in the photos, not because of his 

2013 Army Sports Hall of Fame

Class of 1970
Football/Track and Field

Gary Steele starred in both football and track and field while at the Academy.

On the gridiron, Steele ranked as Army’s first African American to earn a varsity letter in the sport of football at West Point and garnered three in all. A second team Newspaper Enterprise Association All-American as a tight end, Steele was a 17th round draft choice of the National Football League’s Detroit Lions. Steele hauled in 25 passes for 346 yards and two scores during his first season at Army in 1966 and then registered 14 receptions for 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns the next year. His best season statistically was 1968 when he posted 27 catches for 496 yards and three touchdowns. During that year, he registered eight receptions for 156 yards against Penn State, shattering the single-game record previously held by the legendary “Lonely End,” Bill Carpenter.

Steele closed his career with 66 receptions for 1,111 yards and seven touchdowns. He helped Army to a pair of football victories over arch-rival Navy.

Steele also earned four varsity letters in track and field, two indoors and two outdoors. He established the Academy record in the high jump with a leap of 6-feet, 9-inches opposite Navy, a mark broken later that season.

 

Ray J Stecker


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1930

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Stecker’s memorable run for the lone TD – Army 6 – Navy 0

1930 Army Navy Football Game Stock Footage HD

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compiled from Pittsburgh Press, Dec 13, 1930 by grimmr22

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1931

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John K Waters

http://apps.westpointaog.org/Memorials/Article/9175/

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Duane Castro – RIP

Duane Stephen Castro
Date of Birth: August 4, 1954
Date of Death: April 28, 1980

I knew Duane well as I was a pilot in his unit at Ft. Bragg, NC when he was killed. Duane and I worked in the same office as he was the Supply Officer and I the Budget Officer. He and I flew many flights together as he enjoyed flying along on my OH-58A trips. At that time the OH-58’s were flown with one pilot so I took him along when I had an extra seat. He so loved flying and was a good pilot. I remember well the trip his accident occurred on as I had flown that same aircraft the day before on the same mission. The weather was so bad I cancelled the mission he was flying that day. There is no way I was going to slug my way back through that weather on the following day again. How he ended up flying that day I will never know. It was a sad day I remember well and he was so missed for all these years. I think of him often.
Eddie L. Hill

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Turk Griffith

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150 Tackle who wore low cuts. Army A Cow and firstie Year. Killed in Vietnam

Thurston A. Griffith Jr.
http://apps.westpointaog.org/Memorials/Article/24265/

Thurston Algee Griffith Jr.., was born in Sante Fe, New Mexico, on 17 March 1940. He and his family moved first to Raton, and then to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where he attended high school, was active in church and Sunday school work at the Methodist church, and was a member of the Boy Scouts of America.

At Los Alamos High School, “Turk’s” interests were varied. He participated in sports, stood 12th in his class scholastically, and was awarded the Junior Citizenship Award in 1958. He was a member of the National Honor Society; a delegate to Boy’s State; president of the senior class and the Los Alamos Student Council, as well as the North Central District Student Council. He was also a talented amateur photographer.

Athletics were important to Turk from the time he played little league baseball to the time he graduated from West Point. Swimming, ice skating, ice hockey, and fishing were all a major part of his extracurricular activities. He was co-captain of his high school football team and lettered in track, baseball, and football. At West Point he played football on the 150-pound team, and was named on the Eastern Intercollegiate All-League team for 1961 as a tackle.

When Turk was a junior in high school his father, Turk Griffith Sr., was killed in an accidental explosion, and Turk Jr., assumed responsibilities beyond his years. His friends and neighbors said that Turk was “born to be a leader,” and that his perseverance, integrity, and high moral standards would certainly help him in His ambition to go to West Point.

When Thurston A. ‘Turk” Griffith Jr., was elected the “outstanding senior boy” at Los Alamos High School, he was also voted the “most likely to succeed.” He did succeed in his desire to go to West Point, and when he graduated in June 1962, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Signal Corps. He then completed a series of training courses fitting him for the Army’s Special Forces arid an assignment to the Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, where he lost his life on 17 January 1965.

In Vietnam, Turk was greatly admired by his associates, both American and Vietnamese. After his death, which occurred while on a combat patrol for which he volunteered, the Republic of Vietnam awarded him the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm Leaf Cluster and the Vietnamese National Order Medal Fifth Class. Also awarded to Turk posthumously were the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor.

Turk’s many friends in Los Alamos petitioned the Los Alamos School Board to name the new high school gymnasium after him, and they were successful in their appeal. It is a fitting memorial for a fine young man. a New Mexican who gave his life in the war in Vietnam.

At Fort Gordon, Georgia, a multi-storied bachelor officers’ quarters building has been named Griffith Hall in honor of Turk. The building, scheduled for completion in mid-

1966, was dedicated to Lieutenant Griffith in memory of his tours of duty at that post and in recognition of his “outstanding service to the U.S. Army and the ultimate sacrifice of his life to his country in Vietnam. …”

First Lieutenant Thurston A. Griffith Jr., is remembered proudly by his mother, Mrs. W. O. Connor Jr., his brother, Dudley Griffith, and his host of friends.

Requiescat in pace.

A Friend”

Note – Jim Ellis asked Harry Hagerty to sign for Turk on the Class of ’62 listing in the ’62 Room – Arvn Gym.
(The Class listing is just under the pictorial of General MacArthur’s expectation of us – Duty Honor Country – May 1962) the 2d picture of the ’62 Room.

Shadow box and picture from Virtual Wall
http://www.virtualwall.org/dg/GriffithTA01a.htm

HS Gymnasium Dedication and program from Jim Heldman’s ’62 webpage
http://www.heldman.com/page9/page9.html

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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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.

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https://footballfoundation.org/news/2019/1/16/college-football-hall-of-famer-and-army-legend-arnold-tucker-passes-away.aspx

 

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Charles R Monk Meyer

Heisman Trophy runner-up 1935, College Football Hall Of Fame 1987

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1935

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1936

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“Pound for pound, there were few backs more threatening in a broken field than Army’s Monk Meyer.”

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From Go Army Sports:

Class of 1937
Football/Basketball/Lacrosse

Charles “Monk” Meyer earned a pair of varsity letters in football, three in basketball and one in lacrosse during a stellar athletic career at West Point. He finished second in the initial Heisman Trophy voting to Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago and retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of Brigadier General.

Meyer received the Silver Anniversary Award from Sports Illustrated in 1961 and collected the Gold Medal Award from the National Football Foundation 1987.

As a standout quarterback, Meyer helped Army to a 28-6 victory over Navy in 1935 at Philadelphia’s Franklin Field and played in the 1937 College All-Star Game. Among Meyer’s single-game highlights was a 172-yard passing performance during a 27-16 victory opposite Columbia and future National Football League Hall of Fame quarterback Sid Luckman in 1936.

Meyer helped Army to six wins in each of his two seasons.

On the hardwood, Meyer earned three varsity letters. He served as team captain in 1937 and contributed to squads that posted a combined 24-18 record, including a pair of wins opposite service academy rival Navy.

Meyer was also a member of Army’s lacrosse team and earned a varsity letter in 1937. The Black Knights finished 9-1 that season and ended the year with a 6-5 victory at Navy. Wins against Hobart, Yale, Syracuse, Penn State and Johns Hopkins also highlighted the campaign.

‘Monk’ Meyer: From Allentown and West Point gridiron to heroism on the battlefield
Allentown High alumnus led Army against Notre Dame 75 years ago this week.
November 16, 2010|By Evan Burian
Allentown Morning Call – Nov 16, 2010

When Army and Notre Dame meet for the 50th time on Saturday in the new Yankee Stadium in New York, all the history and lore that surround this colorful collegiate rivalry will spring to life.

“Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame” with the legendary George Gipp in 1919 and 1920. Notre Dame’s Four Horsemen of 1924 and Grantland Rice’s classic lead to his story on the game, “Outlined against a blue, gray, October sky the Four Horsemen rode again.” And Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne’s inspirational halftime “Win one for the Gipper” pep talk in 1928 that resulted in an upset Irish victory.

“On, Brave Old Army Team” with coach Earl “Red” Blaik’s powerful and undefeated war-time machine led by Doc Blanchard “Mr. Inside” and Glenn Davis “Mr. Outside” of 1944-46. It was when three All-Americans — halfbacks Pete Dawkins, Bob Anderson and Northampton’s Bob Novogratz at guard — led a Black Knight conquest in 1958.

And 75 years ago this year in the 1935 contest, it was Allentown’s Charles “Monk” Meyer of Army whose name was added to this golden honor roll.

Although small in stature at 5-9 and 150 pounds, and looking more like the team’s student manager, “Monk” Meyer was indeed a West Point football star. And like many other Army graduates, he went on to display heroism on the battlefield for his country.

Charles Robert “Monk” Meyer played football, basketball and baseball at Allentown High School for the nationally recognized coach, J. Birney Crum. As a single-wing halfback in 1930, Meyer was the club’s top scorer with 12 touchdowns as he helped the Canaries to a perfect 11-0 season.

The Canary and Blue juggernaut rolled up 338 points that season while giving up only 18. The Morning Call headlined Meyer’s exploits after the Thanksgiving Day triumph over Bethlehem as “Little, But Oh My!”

As the son of Lt. Col. Hermie Meyer and born at West Point, N.Y., on May 1, 1911, “Monk” was tagged by birth and tradition to serve his country with a career in the military.

Monk grew up at various Army bases throughout the nation and even in the Philippines as his father received assignments during his military career. The Meyer family relocated to the Lehigh Valley area in time for Monk to play football, basketball and baseball at Allentown High.

After leaving Allentown High, Meyer prepped at Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill Academy and entered West Point in 1933 as a player who could run, pass, kick and play defense. For two seasons, 1935 and 1936, the “150-pound Mighty Mite” was the big gun of the Army attack for coach Gar Davidson.

Touchdown pass

In 1935 against Notre Dame before a capacity crowd of 78,114 in Yankee Stadium, it was Meyer’s 41-yard first-quarter TD pass and stellar performance in a 6-6 tie that brought him into the limelight. The press recognition eventually led to his All-American mention and then to his being named runner-up to the University of Chicago’s Jay Berwanger in the first-ever Heisman Trophy vote that year.

However, Meyer’s fondest memory of the season was the stalemate with the Fighting Irish and what happened after the game. Meyer said he was resting by the locker-room door when someone started knocking on it. Opening the door, Meyer was startled to see Notre Dame head coach Elmer Layden, one of the immortal Four Horsemen, along with Irish players.

Layden said, “Hey kid, go get Monk Meyer, we want to congratulate him on the great game he played against us.”

When the stunned Meyer replied that he was Monk Meyer, Layden continued, “Look kid, we’re not fooling around, we want to talk to Monk Meyer.’ “

Meyer then called over some of his teammates to verify to Layden that he indeed was Monk Meyer.

All the astonished Layden could mutter while looking at the smallish Meyer was, “Gee whiz.”

In 1936, Monk had another big day in Yankee Stadium. This time the Army ace outdueled famed Columbia passer and future Chicago Bear Hall of Fame quarterback Sid Luckman as the Black Knights prevailed, 27-16, over the Lions.

A pair of football shoes

In the book, “Coach Birney Crum and Allentown High,” attorney Ray Brennen, Meyer’s Allentown High classmate and lifelong friend, said of him: “He almost didn’t have a football career at Army let alone the resulting fame and honors because he was just one of over a hundred players trying out for the team when he got to West Point and a little guy to boot.

“It was Birney who got Monk a pair of football shoes that fit him properly so he could show his running skills, and it was Birney, while watching practice, who told the Army coaches to take Monk off the fifth team and put him in with the first unit to show them that he could get the job done.”

Meyer graduated from West Point in 1937 and led troops in the Pacific Theater under the overall command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur during World War II and again in Korea, and was wounded twice.

Among the numerous decorations he received were two Silver Stars and, for “extraordinary heroism,” the Distinguished Service Cross. It is the second-highest decoration in the United States, just below the Medal of Honor.