Tag Archives: 1953

Jerry Hagan


Jerry Hagan hands off to Freddie Attaya opening drive against Duke, October 17, 1953.

Army’s Return to Glory

Selected Items for framing

1. Col Blaik leaving the field

2. Bob Mischak’s Tackle

3. Team photo with player signatures

4. Page 5 Sports Section of the Philadelphia Sunday Bulletin Nov 29, 1953 – 1st Touchdown – Bell, Lodge, Uebel, Vann, Chesnauskas, and Sisson – identifiable. 5 photos showing all blocks executed correctly. It will be 14 x 21 – nearly the entire page is devoted to the Game. A photo of Bob Mischak pushing Navy’s Perkins out at the 9 (after a 51 yard run down) – a play which occurred later in the 1st quarter will be inserted into a blank space of the page.

5. New York Daily News – Sunday October 28, 1953 – Duke Game with photo of Jerry Barger in the arms of Mike Zeigler and Ralph Chesnauskas while Don Holleder closes for a punishing hit. 2nd photo of article is of Mike Zeigler breaking up a pass to Joe Hands.

6. The Corps swarming the field, lifting team members up after the Duke Game. After much discussion with the Associated Press, (they could not find the photo) a License was purchased allowing the Thayer to display the photo. It was a must for Room 405.

7. Cheerleader, Tumbler, and Mule Rider, Billy, and Cadet & Middie before game with Stadium Crowd in background photos will be on the wall above the head of the bed.

8. The Roster will be printed and added once all is ready in the Room.

9. The leather books containing photos and articles of that season and what each of the 4 Classes did as Cadets and did for the Academy after Graduation are well on the way to completion. ’54 and ’57 have provided their hard cover Reunion Books and the 1954 & 1957 Howitzers. We will be seeking similar items from the other 2 Classes. In addition we need Class write ups for the Thayer home page, and a listing with details of the gifts to the Academy by each Class. These will go into the Leather Books covering the 4 Classes.




The 1953 cheerleaders, standing, for the Army team, with tumblers in
the first row.
Cheerleaders, left to right: Ed Moses, ’54; John Clayton ’55, Al
Worden ’55, Billy McVeigh ’54, Jay Edwards ’54, Bill Robinson ’55;
Tumblers: Peter Jones ’54, Dan Ludwig ’55, Jack Charles ’54, Charles
Glenn ’56.


Photo of Tumblers (one in the air flipping)when secured

Donor Listing

This is now used as a location to store data.

Donor Listing

Tommy Bell (1) by McWilliams

 

Bill Chance (1) by ’62

John Clayton* (2)

William Doremus (1) by ’62

Joe Franklin (1)

Jerry Hagan (1) by ’62

Larry Herdman (1) by ’62

Frank Hicks (1) by ’62

Fred Kneiriem (1) by ’62

Dan Ludwig (3) by ’62

MG Carl McNair

James R. C. Miller (1) by ’62

William & Veronica McWilliams (13)

Ski Ordway (1) by J. Franklin and W. McWilliams

Bill Robinson (2) by ’62Benjamin

Roberts MAJ Alex Rupp* (6)

Paul Sullivan (1) by ’62

John Wing (1) by ’62

Al Worden (2) by ’62

Ed Zaborowski (1)

Nick Bruno (1) by ’62

Frank Burd (1) by ’62

Ralph Chesnauskas (1)

Bill Cody (1) by ’62

Donald Ernst (1) by ’62

Bob Farris (1)

Charles Glenn (3) by ’62

Howard Glock (1) by ’62

Don Holleder (1) by B. Farris and R. Chesnauskas

Pete Lash (1)

Paul Lasley (1) by ’62

Ron Melnick (1) by ’62

Col. Russell Mericle (1)

Don Shannon (1) by ’62

Donald Satterfield (1) by ’62

Pat Uebel (1) by ’62

Peter Vann (1) by B. Farris and R. Chesnauskas

Jerry Wynn (1) by B. Farris and R. Chesnauskas

Mike Zeigler (1) by ’62

 

1. Football Team

2. Cheerleader

3. Tumbler

4. Mule Rider

5. Victory Cannon

6. Navy Goat Procurer

7. Football Team Captain

8. Cadet Brigade Commander

9. Football Manager

10. Plebe Team Players

11. Chairman of the Honor Committee

12. M2 Honor Rep

13. Bill McWilliams ’55 –
Author of  “A Return To Glory” –
A driving influence for this Room’s Dedication

driving influence for this Room’s Dedication

 

 

Bob Christiansen

Jospeh Cygler (10) 2 Army A’s

Donald & Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Howard Haupt (10)

Tom Kehoe (10)

Nick Monaco

James H. Morgan

Jerry Patterson

Dick Stephenson (10) by ’62 3 Army A’s

F.R. Stevens

John H. Stokes III

Leonard P. Wishart III

 

 

We became the Class of 1962 on 1 July 1958. From our original 815, we Graduated 601 on the 6th of June 1962. The Upper Classes insured we understood and appreciated what had gone before. The 1953 Football Season was one that touched both our need to appreciate the success of Army Football and our training in our Honor Code.

As a kid, one Classmate would climb a tall old oak tree on the North end of Michie to watch his Army Heroes play each Saturday. To this day he can still rattle off many of the names of the ’53 Team. Another Classmate’s Father took him to the Duke Game. To many, that may be Army’s Greatest Game.

In the years since our Graduation, the Cadet Corps has lost touch with not just the success of the 1953 Football Team but what the 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets actually accomplished.

We, members of the Class of 1962 cannot accept that. Room 405 links today’s Corps of Cadets and all future Cadet Corps with a piece of their Heritage.

Col. Blaik said to the Team after the Navy Game ” —- you have done more for Football at West Point than any other team in the history of the Academy”

Many members of the Class of 1962, and Wives & Children of some we have lost, thank the 1953 -1954 Corps of Cadets for what they did for our Alma Mater.

Col Blaik, Coaches Dobbs, Laslie, Amen, St Onge, Bevans, Deitzel, Lombardi – by ’62

Col Russell P. “Red” Reeder Class of 1926 by ’62

Morris Herbert – Class of 1950
“Number of us (classmates) listened to the ’53 Navy Game on the
radio — it was at Fort Bliss. We were all 1st Lts or Captains. When Pat Uebel
scored his 3rd touchdown of the day, one of my classmates leaped up in glee,
and accidentally sat down in the bowl of potato salad!”

Jesse Faber Class of 2012 – As a Yearling Jesse attempted to have his Class support the Nomination of the ’53 Team for the Army Sports Hall of Fame. The Academy Staff determined Cadets should not have any role in the Nomination process. Thanks for your support Jesse

Coach & Mrs. Hugh Wyatt
Created the Black Lion Award Honoring Don Holleder and the Other Black Lions Lost 10/17/1967

Terry & Mary Tibbetts – – Author
A Spartan Game: The Life and Loss of Don Holleder

MG Ames Albro*

Fred Attaya (1) by McWilliams

LTC Darrell Anderson*

Gary Bacon

John Bard (8) by ’62, Gary
Bacon & John H Klingberg

CPT Herbert Booth*

James Carroll

Bob Chapman (4) by ’62

Jack Charles (3) by ’62

Kirk Cockrell (1) by Schweiger

Pat Dyer (12) by George Handy
Class of ’62 M2 Honor Rep

Col Paul Driscoll*

Jay Edwards (2) by ’62

William Epling

Howard Gabbert

Paul Garneau

Jay Gould (5)

Hal Greer (9) by ’62

Frank Hicks (1) by ’62

Col Rufus Hutcheson*

R. A. Ironside

William Jessee* (9)

Peter Jones (3) by ’62

Donald Kirklighter*

John H. Klingberg

Ken Kramer (1) by ’62

Jack Krause (1) by ’62

LTC Donald Lewis*

Joe Lapchick (1) by ’62

Jan LeCroy (4) by ’62

Jerry Lodge (1) by ’62

Jack Logan

Leroy Lunn (1,7) by ’62

Bill McVeigh* (2)

Marion Meador (9) by ’62

Bob Mischak (1) by McWilliams

LTC John Morris*

Ed Moses (2) by ’62

LTC George O’Brien*

G. Parshall

George Perrin (4) by ’62

Cary Peyton

1LT William Purdue* (1)

Melvyn D. Remus

Col Teodorico Sanchez*

Paul Schweikert (1) by ’62

Rox Shain (1) – my friend by
W. C. “Tiny” Tomsen

John Shelter*

Lowell Sisson (1) by McWilliams

Ben Schemmer* (2,6)

Fred Schweiger

LTG Lawrence Skibbie*

Norm Stephen (1) by ’62

W. C. “Tiny” Tomsen

Col Scott Wetzel*

CPT Don York*

T. C. Young (11) by George Schein Class of ’62
Chairman of the Honor Committee

Dick Ziegler (1) by ’62

* Classmates, Friends & A2 Company Mates
In Memory of Days Gone By – –
Dr. Jay Gould III (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working Area

The Donor Listing will go in the Room

Tommy Bell by W. McWilliamsBill Chance by ’62John Clayton*William Doremus by ’62Joe FranklinJerry Hagan by ’62Larry Herdman by ’62Frank Hicks by ’62Fred Kneiriem by ’62Dan Ludwig by ’62MG Carl McNairWilliam & Veronica McWilliamsJames R.C. Miller by ’62Ski Ordway by J. Franklin and W. McWilliamsBill Robinson by ’62Benjamin RobertsMAJ Alex Rupp*Paul Sullivan by ’62John Wing by ’62Al Worden by ’62Ed Zaborowski
Nick Bruno by ’62Frank Burd by ’62Ralph ChesnauskasBill Cody by ’62Bob FarrisDonald Ernst by ’62Charles Glenn by ’62Howard Glock by ’62Don Holleder by B. Farris and R. ChesnauskasPete LashPaul Lasley by ’62Ron Melnick by ’62Col. Russell MericleDon Shannon by ’62Donald Shatterfield by ’62Pat Uebel by ’62Peter Vann by B. Farris and R. ChesnauskasJerry Wynn by B. Farris and R. ChesnauskasMike Zeigler by ’62

Bob Christiansen

Jospeh Cygler

Donald & Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Howard Haupt

Tom Kehoe

Nick Monaco

James H. Morgan

Jerry Patterson

Leonard P. Wishart III

F.R. Stevens

John H. Stokes III

 

 

We became the Class of 1962 on 1 July 1958. From our original 815, we Graduated 601 on the 6th of June 1962. The Upper Classes insured we understood and appreciated what had gone before. The 1953 Football Season was one area touched by both our need to appreciate the success of Army Football and as part of our training in the Honor Code.

As a kid, one Classmate would climb a tall old oak tree on the North end of Michie to watch his Army Heroes play each Saturday. To this day he can still rattle off many of the names of the ’53 Team. Another Classmate’s Father took him to the Duke Game. To many, that may be Army’s Greatest Game.

In the years since our Graduation, the Cadet Corps has lost touch with not just the success of the 1953 Football Team but what the 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets actually accomplished.

We, members of the Class of 1962 cannot accept that, and for that reason we have pushed for Room 405 so that today’s Corps of Cadets and all future Cadet Corps know and understand what the 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets did.

Col. Blaik said to the Team after the Navy Game ” —- you have done more for Football at West Point than any other team in the history of the Academy”

Many members of the Class of 1962, and Wives of our Classmates, thank the 1953 -1954 Corps of Cadets for what they did for our Alma Mater.

Col Blaik, Coaches Dobbs, Laslie, Amen, St Onge, Bevans, Deitzel – by ’62

Col Russell P. “Red” Reeder Class of 1926 by ’62

Morris Herbert – Class of 1950
“Number of us (classmates) listened to the ’53 Navy Game on the
radio — it was at Fort Bliss. We were all 1st Lts or Captains. When Pat Uebel
scored his 3rd touchdown of the day, one of my classmates leaped up in glee,
and accidentally sat down in the bowl of potato salad!”

Coach & Mrs. Hugh Wyatt
Created the Black Lion Award Honoring Don Holleder and the Other Black Lions Lost 10/17/1967

Terry & Mary Tibbetts – – Author
A Spartan Game: The Life and Loss of Don Holleder

MG Ames Albro*

Fred Attaya by W. McWilliams

LTC Darrell Anderson*

John Bard – Cadet 1st Captain by ’62

CPT Herbert Booth*

James Carroll

Jack Charles by ’62

George Chapman by ’62

Kirk Cockrell by ’62

Col Paul Driscoll*

Jay Edwards by ’62

William Epling

Howard Gabbert

Paul Garneau

Jay Gould

Frank Hicks by ’62

Col Rufus Hutchenson*

William Jesse*

Peter Jones by ’62

Donald Kirklighter*

Ken Kramer by ’62

Jack Krause by ’62

Jan LeCroy by ’62

Joe Lapchick by ’62

LTC Donald Lewis*

Jerry Lodge by ’62

Jack Logan

Leroy Lunn by ’62

Bill McVeigh*

Marion Meador Mgr by ’62

Bob Mischak by W. McWilliams

LTC John Morris*

Ed Moses by ’62

LTC George O’Brien*

G. Parshall

George Perrin by ’62

Cary Peyton

1LT William Purdue*

M.D. Remus

Col Teodorico Sanchez*

Paul Schweikert by ’62

Rox Shain – my friend by W. C. “Tiny” Tomsen

John Shelter*

Lowell Sisson by W. McWilliams

Ben Schemmer*

Fred Schweiger

LTG Lawrence Skibbie*

Norm Stephen by ’62

Col Scott Wetzel*

CPT Don York*

Dick Ziegler by ’62

*Classmates, Friends & A2 Company Mates
In Memory of Days Gone By – –

Dr. Jay Gould III

 

As of 4 September

Draft for the Thayer web page
Need name of ’62 Classmate

Scroll down for Donor Listing

We entered on 1 July 1958. The Upper Classes insured we understood and appreciated what had gone before. The 1953 Football Season was one that touched both our need to appreciate the success of Army Football and our training in our Honor Code.

In the years since our Graduation, the Cadet Corps has lost touch with not just the success of the 1953 Football Team but with what the 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets actually accomplished.

We, members of the Class of 1962 cannot accept that. Room 405 links today’s Corps of Cadets and all future Cadet Corps with a piece of their Heritage.

Col. Blaik said to the Team after the Navy Game ” —- you have done more for Football at West Point than any other team in the history of the Academy”

The tears in Colonel Blaik’s eyes are clearly evident in Tiny Tomsen’s ’54 photo taken as Army’s Coach leaves Philadelphia’s Municipal Stadium after the Navy Game. Those tears reflect more than just the pride he has in his Team. They reflect what has been given back to his Alma Mater – to our Alma Mater.

The Class of 1962, and Wives of our Classmates, thank the 1953 -1954 Corps of Cadets for what they and their Team did for all future Classes.

With that said,

The 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets

From tragedy came inspiration. Following the 1953 Army football season, famed sports journalist Grantland Rice wrote of the small, captivating team of thirty-four men who came to play Navy in Philadelphia on November 29, “They came up the hard way, and there has never been a team with a finer spirit.” Their legendary coach, Earl “Red” Blaik, would write twenty-one years later, “They had lived with the coaching lash, dirt, blood, and defeat. They were afraid of nothing, awed by nothing, eager to do anything asked.” This was a special team, truly a team of “the twelfth man” – a team of heroes without stars, with different heroes each Saturday, all playing for honor and love of the game.
They were the same team Blaik spoke to in the locker room after their victory over Navy. His words would last a lifetime and continue to echo down through the years.

“I never coached a team that gave me more than you did.”

But there was more, much more, a determined band of men in the class of 1954 who led the team, and whose cheerleaders wanted to know and remember victories. The silence they imposed upon the Corps prior to the Duke Game proved potent when 2400 voices erupted in support of their team. They gave birth to the tradition of Army’s victory cannon, and in the sunshine and shadows of a now-vanished Polo Grounds in New York City, led the Corps of Cadets in relentless, thunderous chants of “GO! GO! GO!” – and for the first time outside of Michie Stadium fired the cannon, that over the years since, has shaken great stadiums. They were the same men who, on a Caribbean training cruise in the summer of 1951 fomented a small “Mutiny on the Whiskey,” – the battleship USS Wisconsin – while others, in pre-dawn’s dark spilled a reveille cannon into Camp Buckner’s Lake Popolopen.

In November 1952 along with the Class of ’53, they showed their spirit and fight once more when in “Operation Paintbrush” they painted and repainted a sign on the starboard side of a Navy destroyer-escort docked at West Point. Then came the fall of 1953, when the men of ’54 let it be known “This will be Army’s year!” and conceived the mischievous goat larceny. They, with ’55, marched Billy XII through Washington Hall at Sunday’s supper meal – and again with ’55 fomented the goat rebellion at West Point, not knowing that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, had summarily ordered the goat’s return to Annapolis.

They were leading a Corps of Cadets whose members in 1951 “walked on” in great numbers to play for their decimated football team. They were players who, with the Corps, became one, inseparable unit of men who refused to remember they hadn’t the skills or experience to play the great game of collegiate football. They were from the teams of 1951 and 1952, who felt the sting of adversity, embarrassment, humiliation and loss, sweated, bleed, played every game with a fury, gave all they had – and laid the foundation for the season of ’53. Men in the Class of 1955, the smallest West Point class in years, who walked on with all the others, and joined the class of ’54’s quest for victory. And ’56, with its bevy of talented yearlings who set the gridiron on fire that fall. Men from the Plebe Class, ’57, who surrounded the practice field each day, and with their entire class voiced thunderous encouragement on game days.

In The Pointer magazine published the day prior to the Navy game Cadet Allan C. Sterling, Jr., class of 1954, wrote, “Tomorrow afternoon, radio sets will be tuned on Philadelphia all the way from Berlin to Panmunjom. Graduates will be listening for news of an Army victory. But they’ll be listening for something more – something none of them talk about. They’ll be listening for evidence the Corps is on its way back. They want to know that the values which they stand for are still alive in the Corps. Most of the hundred thousand spectators tomorrow afternoon will be watching a football game and nothing else. The Corps will be watching eleven men shouldering the task of 2400.”

Coach Earl H Blaik was designated College Football Coach of the Year, while the 17 October defeat of the 7th ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds was designated as the Collegiate Game of the Year.

On Sunday, December 20, 1953, in a ceremony at the supper meal in Washington Hall, after a five minute speech describing the history of the Lambert Trophy, brothers Victor and Henry Lambert presented the trophy in recognition of Army’s Eastern Football supremacy – to team captain Leroy Lunn, ’54, who accepted it for both the Army team and the Corps of Cadets. It was the first time since the trophy’s inception in 1936, that it had been awarded outside New York City, and the first time ever, awarded to a team and its student body.

The four classes of 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets’ record
from the fall of 1953 to the fall of 1956 is
25-9-2, with 2 wins, one tie and one loss against Navy.

It was Bob Mischak’s 73 yard rundown of Duke’s All American Red Smith that set the standard for the teams over the next 3 years. But it was also Army holding on the four Duke thrusts toward the goal line from the 7, with Dick Ziegler’s big hand on the ball preventing Duke’s Worth Lutz from inching the ball forward over the goal line on fourth down that insured that standard. Bob Mischak was an All American.

The Philadelphia Inquirer erred in giving Howard Glock credit for recovering the Navy fumble on the opening kickoff. Rox Shain had not make the trip with the Team. He had been yanked off the Cadet Train because Col Blaik made the last minute decision to have Rox kick off. Rox’s kicks were hard to handle. Norm Stephen stormed down the field and slammed Navy’s John Riester to the ground causing the fumble. In the photo Howard can be seen some distance from the ball as it passes Lowell Sisson’s knee. Lowell dove on it and Army marched for its touchdown. MAJ Rox Shain’s F-105 was shot down in Vietnam, his remains were never recovered.

It was Ben Schemmer ’54 and Alex Rupp ’55 who procured the Navy Goat in 1953 and Jay Gould who with the Ordnance Department created the Victory Cannon from a German Rocket Gun captured at Kasserine Pass.

It was the miniature Beat Navy flags on the tables in Washington Hall, the chopper flyover hovering just above the field at Philadelphia’s Municipal Stadium, the Beat Navy streamer too big to lift (Academy Officials only finding out when the bill arrived in the weeks after the Navy Game), the Victory Cannon, the Cadet Bathrobe before Duke and Gray Jacket before Navy lifting to the heavens by weather ballons, Billy’s arrival in Washington Hall, the individual Cadet Company creations honoring their team, the Drums, the Bugles, the Constant, Thunderous never ending Chanting GO! – GO!! – GO!!!, that is recalled to this day by ??????? ??????? Class of ’62 who’s Father took him to the Duke Game (perhaps Army’s Greatest Game), The “Silence” imposed upon the Corps by the Cheerleaders, and it was General Van Fleet Class of 1915 taking off his Army uniform jacket to reveal his Cadet Sweater with his Army A at the evening meal that contributed to the success of that season.

Bob Mischak who as player and coach participated in 3 Super Bowl winning teams, 8 AFC Championship games and numerous playoff games including as a starter in the NFL’s famed Greatest Game Ever Played had this to say of the Duke Game.

“From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.”

Number 10 was Class of ’55 in the Fall of 1953. He joined the Class of 1956 when he was found in International Relations. Coach Lombardi spent hours on the field and in private sessions instructing Peter in the royal three “F’s” of Lombardi – faking, feeding and fleeing. The fleeing part was very important to protect your hide. If anything was unique about Lombardi was his attention to details almost to a point of being paranoia. Peter was inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame on September 17, 2010.

Col Blaik rotated the pulling guards, so Joe Franklin played both right and left guard. In the Duke Game Joe tore up his right knee when Ralph Torrance & Duke’s All American Eddie Meadows went high & low on him in the in 2d Quarter. He was out for the Season.

When Colonel Blaik retired after the 1958 Season, Joe Steffy ’49, (Army’s only Outland Trophy Recipient) asked his Coach which were his most memorable plays. One of the two mentioned was Pete Lash ’56 running around, between, over or through nearly every Navy Player in the 1955 Game. Colonel Blaik again mentioned that play to BG Joe Franklin in the early eighties.

(Of note – Joe Steffy attended every Army Home Game from 1952 till shortly before his death May 21, 2011.)

Coach Blaik’s decision regarding the 1955 Team had come under extreme criticism by the Sporting Press, the Academy Staff & Faculty and even a number of Cadets. On the evening of Friday, November 25, 1955 as Col Blaik expressed his concern for the game the next day, one player spoke up “Colonel you’re not going to take that walk tomorrow”

At the old Municipal Stadium the next day – Army 14 Navy 6.

That player was an All American End who for the good of the Team, took a step back from his All American position to quarterback the ’55 Team. He is a member of both the Hall of Fame and the Army Sports Hall of Fame.

Don’s Creed is Honored each year by Teams across American in their selection of their one player who best exemplifies “leadership, courage, devotion to duty, self-sacrifice, and – above all – an unselfish concern for the team ahead of himself”. The Black Lion Award honor’s Don and the other Black Lions lost on 17 OCtober 1967.

Ralph Chesnauskas, Yearling right guard in 1953 who kicked the 2 extra points, played the entire sixty minutes against Duke while his Teammate and Classmate Bob Farris played the 2d half of the Navy Game blind in one eye. Although Captain in 1954, Bob never played another down of football. In 2009 Ralph, an All American who earned 9 Army A’s, was inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.

The devilishness of the Class of 1954 would be passed to what was to become know as West Point’s Black ’57. L-1 was one of the Cadet Company’s that did not Break.

The L-1 Cadet Company Commander was seen reaching forward with his saber, taping someone on the shoulder to speak – thus it became Cadet Lore that he was threatening to “Run Through” any one who broke. As the other Cadet Companies began to break he simply called out “Continue to March”

As a Tac stated “The action rippled out company by company toward both flanks ….. There was a notable exception, Company L-1 ignored the pandemonium on both sides and marched in perfect order to its Guidon. The L-1 Company Commander merely turned his head toward Company Classmates, spoke to them, and they never wavered.”

Of the members of ’62 involved in the contributing effort for Room 405, four were L-1 Company Mates, and the fifth the wife of Carl.

When as a Plebe Bob Anderson ’61 stopped to pick up his sock roll in the Gym he was issued an orange jersey told to report to the A Squad practice field. It was the week of the Syracuse Game and Bob was going to be Jim Brown. On the first play running with the B Squad, Bob knocked off 8 yards. It was then that the dreaded words for every B Squad were spoken by the Colonel. “Run it Again.” Bob went into the line and was immediately slammed to the ground by Dick Stephenson (3 Army A’s). Years later as an All American – Hall of Fame Running Back, Bob could still remembered that hit – his introduction to Army Football.

The Class of 1957’s Gift is perhaps the finest gift of any Class for it goes to the very essance of each and every Cadet. Situated against the East wall of Eisenhower Barracks, Honor Plaza cradles the words of our Honor Code which are the fiber for our Motto – Duty Honor Country.

Again, we members of the Class of 1962 thank the 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets and their Team.

Corrected 4 September

’53 Team Roster

Each Guest will be provided an 8 1/2 x 11 paper copy of the Plaque & Roster

The Thayer Hotel

Guest Copy – Room 405

On The Reverse Side is the Roster. The Plaque & Roster are mounted outside the Room.

1953 Team Roster

1953 Team Roster

The Gray Border on the right is not part of the 20×24 Roster.

The 1953 Football Season

Prior to the Duke Game the Cheerleaders imposed a “Silence” upon the Corps of Cadets after the traditional sendoff of the team. When the Corps completed its subdued, strangely silent, pregame march-on at the Polo Grounds, and the last man double-timed onto the first step of the stands, the Corps of Cadets exploded out. They shook that old stadium almost non-stop in the sunshine and shadows of that Indian summer afternoon.

“The Savage Cheering of Go! Go! Go! from the West Point Stands, Placed our Team in a Nervous Fright of Tension and Jitters” – – Worth Lutz, Duke Quarterback.

“With Spirit like that I don’t see how you can lose” – – Steve Owen, Coach of the New York Giants.

Col. Blaik – – “For two years these boys had seen the roughest action. They had lived with the coaching lash, dirt, blood, and defeat.”

“By the time the season got down to the Penn and Navy games, the starting eleven and about four substitutes carried the full load.”

The Lambert Brothers presenting the Trophy to Leroy Lunn Honoring the Corps of Cadets and The ’53 Team Washington Hall West Point, Dec 1953. Gen Van Fleet Class of 1915 Navy Game Rally.

Bob brings down Duke’s All American Red Smith after a 73 yard run – It was a Game Saving, a Season Saving Tackle. Billy’s Entry into Washington Hall. The Army B Squad.

 

Class of 1954

15 Rox Shain, QB(2)

21 Bill Purdue, HB

24 Paul Schweikert, HB

30 Kirk Cockrell, LHB

32 Jerry Lodge, FB(16)(17)

48 Freddie Attaya,FB(3)(10)

51 Norm Stephen, C(5)

52 Ken Kramer, C

60 Leroy Lunn, G(6)(14)

62 Dick Ziegler, G(7)(14)

75 Frank Hicks, T

79 Jack Krause, RT

82 Joe Lapchick,LE

83 Lowell Sisson, RE(4)

87 Bob Mischak, LE(1)(18)(19 1953)

(1) Pursuit & Tackle photo is on left. (2) Yanked off the Cadet train,he suited up, kicked off, Stephen’s brutal hit and Sisson’s recovery was the start of the Navy Game.

(3) 3d and 7 against Duke – Lombardi yelled “Run the Gauntlet” – he did. Attaya was lost for the season during the Tulane Game.

(4) Lowell accepted responsibility for the Northwestern loss – having been switched from end to half back and then back to end, he was still trying to grasp the complexities of the defensive schemes. NCAA rule change required a return to Iron Man Football.

(5) Team Captain.

 

L to R – – Bobby E. Chapman, George E. Perrin, & Richard Jan LeCroy

 

Class of 1955

16 Jerry Hagan, QB(8)

31 John Wing, HB

37 Fred Kniereim, FB

38 Bill Chance,E

46 Tommy Bell, LHB(19 1954)(20)

58 Ed Zaborowski, C

65 Joe Franklin,G(9)(10)(14)

68 Larry Herdman, G (1)

74 Paul Sullivan, T

85 Godwin Ordway, E(10)

(6) Against Dartmouth, in response to stinging criticism from Col Blaik – he lit a small but growing fire in the team and Corps of Cadets – when at the start of the 2d half he broke from the huddle and ran, almost sprinting to the ball, prompting the team to follow his lead. The roar of approval and support from the Corps each time Norm broke and ran to the ball set the tone for the Season.

(7) His charges took on up to 3 Duke blockers.

(8) Directed First Drive Against Duke.

(9) Doubled Teamed by Ralph Torrance & Duke’s All American Eddie Meadows – Out for the Season.

(10) Out for the Season.

(11) In the grasp off Duke’s All American Tackle – Eddie Meadows, Peter shifted the ball to his left hand, tossing to Attaya for the 1st Down.

(12) Pat scored all 3 Touchdowns against Navy.

(13) Guards played both L & R side.

(14) Kicked Extra Points.

Jerry Lodge converted from Guard to Fullback Norm Stephen

Class of 1956

10 Peter Vann, QB(11)(19 1954)

11 Bill Cody, QB

12 Russ Mericle, QB

22 Mike Zeigler, RHB(10)

25 Jerry Wynn, HB

33 Frank Burd, FB

34 Pat Uebel, LHB(12)

54 Paul Lasley, C

55 Bob Farris, RT(13)

64 Don Shannon, T

66 Nick Bruno, G(14)

63 Ralph Chesnauskas G (14)(15)(17) (19 1954)

70 Ron Melnick, T

71 Howard Glock, LT

84 Don Holleder, RE(19 1954)

(15) Played 2d half of Navy Game blind in one eye.

(16) He was on ground when the runner went by, then he saw Bob come out of no where, he never has seen anyone run as fast catching Duke’s Red Smith 73 Yards from the line of scrimmage.

(17) Played 60 Minutes against Duke.

(18) For over 10 years the story of Bob Mischak’s tackle against Duke was part of West Point’s Military Psychology and Leadership Course – as an example of the power of motivation.

(19) All American

(20) Earned 4 Army A’s in Football

Rox Shain Frank Hicks

5 Players Missing from Team Photo

 

Class of 1957

 

No Plebe Class Gave More. They surrounded the Practice Field each day.

As Plebes they were barred from Varsity Sports by the NCAA.

Over the next 3 Years their players contributed to an 18-8-1 record for Army.

The Class of 1957 gave the Academy one of the finest Gifts of any Class. Next to Eisenhower Barracks just West of the new Library it Stands Firm.

A CADET WILL NOT LIE, CHEAT, OR STEAL, NOR TOLERATE THOSE WHO DO

It must be mentioned at some point that

Elwin Rox Shain ’54

Donald Walter Holleder ’56

Gerard Michael Wynn ’56

and from the Plebe Team

Joe Bishop

each gave their lives in Vietnam.

Bill Purdue Col Red Redder – provided funding for Cheerleaders.
Col Blaik leaving the Field Nov 28th Army 20 – Navy 7 Cheerleaders Back, left to right: Ed Moses ’54, John Clayton ’55, Al Worden ’55, Billy McVeigh ’54, Jay Edwards ’54, Bill Robinson ’55; Tumblers kneeing Peter Jones ’54, Dan Ludwig ’55, Jack Charles ’54, Charles Glenn ’56. Others – Jay Gould & Ben Schemmer ’54 and Alex Rupp ’55. In 1954 Gym Team was asked to provide tumblers Deitzel, Lombardi, Bevan, St Onge, Dobbs, Col. Blaik, Laslie, Amen Constructed by Jay Gould ’54 and the Ord. Dept from a German Rocket Gun captured at Kasserine Pass. First used in the Duke Game.

The drum beat, the trumpets, the chanting

Jerry Hagan Remembers as does Every Player

“It was continuous, just deafening.”

Go! Go! Go!

Bob Mischak, ’54 as a player and a coach, participated in 3 Super Bowls, 8 AFC Championships and numerous playoff games. As the starting Offensive Tackle on the 1958 Giant Team he participated in The Greatest Game Ever Played. Bob had this to say of the 1953 Duke Game

“As many reports have stated, the 1953 team “Returned to Glory” with the defeat of the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds in New York City. From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.”

A Room has been set aside on the 4th Floor over looking the Hudson.

The ’54 and ’55 Class Crests will be black & white – only the ’57 gift to the Academy will be in color.

Most of the boxes will be eliminated.

The Roster will go next to the Plaque at the door.

On the wall in the room will be the Donor Listing.

The Thayer will publish (for sale) a Coffee Table Booklet which will include a copy of the Plaque and the ’53 Roster.

A listing of Donors for the 1953 Football Team Room will also be included.

Joe Franklin ’55 & Russ Mericle ’56 provided material and also made numerous corrections – Thanks

In the Room will be a note book containing photos and a more detailed history of the Fall of 1953.

A copy of the Plebe Team photo including the names will be included in the book.

Hopefully we will be able to obtain a listing of B Squad Members

Additional material which will be included are similar to the

home town photo of Leroy Lunn with this year’s Hall High Black Lion Award Winner –

tying the ’53 Army Team Captain; Don Holleder; and the Black Lion Award.

We have copy of the ’54 Howitzer for the Room and Terry Tibbetts’ – – “A Spartan Game: The Life and Loss of Don Holleder”.

Ralph Chesnauskas has given a copy of the Army Navy Program and news articles. The Thayer Room Dedication Program is at –

http://rdp.thethayerhotel.com/

 

Those Who Contributed

Please Note – This list is very incomplete. A request has been made to the Thayer to provide an up dated listing. A Framed listing of those who donated will be placed inside the 1953 Team Room.

Class of 1954

Class of 1955

Joe Franklin (P)

Class of 1956

Ralph Chesnauskas (P)

Bob Farris (P)

Ken Lang

Russell Mericle (P)

Class of 1957

Robert P. Christiansen

Len Wishart

Class of 1962

Dennis Benchoff

Bob Brogi

Phil Burns

Glen Blumhardt

John Easterbrook

Jim Ellis

Marlene Garvey for Dick

Jim Kays

Al Rushatz

John Wagner

The (P) Indicates They Played On The ’53 Team

very first note ’53 Football Team Room Dedication at Thayer

The Hotel Thayer is undergoing a high-tech renovation. Each Room’s Decor will reflect the accomplishments of a Graduate. Thirty members of the 1958 Football Team and Class have committed to the sponsorship of a room honoring the ’58 Team.

http://rdp.thethayerhotel.com/

What you accomplished in the Fall of 1953 was not just a Team effort; it was as Bob Mischak (who started in the Famed 1958 – Greatest Game Ever Played ) and who was member of 3 Super Bowl winning teams, involved in 8 AFC Championship games and numerous playoff games) stated in referring to your defeat of the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds – “From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.”

You have your memories and ’62 has one Classmate whose Father took him to the Duke Game and one Classmate who watched all the Home Games from a tall oak tree behind the old stands at the North end of Michie.

However, today’s Corps of Cadets may know of what was accomplished in 1958 but they know NOTHING of what 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets accomplished. The Class of 1962 has contributed over $1000 as a start toward a Room Dedication for the 1953 Team. Ralph Chesnauskas and Bob Farris have submitted their contributions as have others. The Class of 1954 has committed to support the funding of The ’53 Team Room once the Committee approves the designation.

This should not be an individual Class effort, it should not be a Football Team effort, it should be a 1953-1954, Corps of Cadets effort. It was your Team. It was you along with members of the Staff and Faculty who surrounded the practice field each day. What your Team accomplished, what you accomplished, must become a source of Pride to today’s Corps of Cadets, just as it was source of Pride for the Class of 1962.

Item’s you might consider for the Room – A lockable glass cabinet, someone may have a victory football. On the walls a Photo of the Team –

Mischak, Attaya, Lodge, Norm Stepen, Jerry Hagan, Lowell Sisson, Lunn, Ski Ordway, Tommy Bell, Franklin, and Zaborowski, Holleder, Mericle, Vann, Chesnauskas, Farris, Uebel and many others.

Note – – Jerry Lodge – who wore #32 is missing from Photo as is Norm Stephen. 2d man 2d row next to Tommy Bell – Name is Zaborowski. Wynn #31 is actually in the 2d row not the 3rd. Others are missing and perhaps first names should be added along with Class.

Does anyone have a photo of the Plebe Team from the Fall of ’53? There are 2 poor photos of the B Squad. Bat Lang ’55 sent a 1952 photo of the Class of ’56 Plebe Team – Russ Mericle (2 Army A’s in Football) can put a name to each.

A Photo of Billy’s grand entrance into Washington Hall with caption that the White House had to order Billy’s return, Jay’s cannon coins with caption that Plebes could not play varsity sports, Leroy Lunn receiving the Lambert on behalf of the Corps of Cadets and your Team, and a Cheerleaders photo.

Perhaps a book with photos of the Cannon, Chopper, Robe going up, Lowell Sisson’s recovery of Rox Shain’s opening kickoff which was fumbled by Navy, Hagan handing off to Attaya, General Van Fleet’s address to the Corps prior to the Navy Game along with many others. Does anyone have pictures of the machines the Cadet Companies constructed? L2 was proud of their 8′ tall device depicting Bob Farris scrubbing the Navy Goat. As you remember it was powered by Plebes lying on their backs driving a bicycle-like mechanism.

If you wish, a copy of the 13 page Nomination of the Team for the Sports Hall of Fame by the Class of ’62 can be provided for the book.

http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-53/nom-team

Certainly the highlight video of that season, must be part of the room.

Perhaps you still have enough influence with the Academy that you could ask the Corps of Cadets to tape 2 or 3 reps of your bugle call, drum roll, and chant of GO! GO! GO! for the room. The 4,000 of today’s Corps will not quite match the chant which shook the old Polo Grounds, but they can try.

Perhaps the Plaque on the door could read something similar to –

1953 Army Football Team

“I never coached a team that give me more than you did. I never have coached a team that has given me as much satisfaction. —- ” Col Blaik Nov. 28, 1953

Given by Members of the 1953 – 1954 USCC

The Room Selection Committee approved a room to be dedicated to the 1953 Army Football Team on 1 March 2011. If you believe today’s Cadet Corps deserves to know what you did then make a check out to –

Hudson River Partners

In the memo section insert – 1953 Team Room

Hudson River Partners are the Management Company for the Thayer.

(Note just send what you can afford – and please pass this on to Classmates)

Mail the Check to Wayne Culberth

Thayer Hotel 674 Thayer Road

West Point, NY 10996

Phil Burns

On behalf of the Class of 1962

Can Do

Please note the Roster of Graduates will be used to contact Graduates – so there may be duplication of message. It would help to receive a simple Email reply – “check sent with first & last name” (We will be able to insure that Wayne has each check and a 53 does not get mixed up with the 58 box).

Draft Plaque ’53 room

1953 Army Football Team

7-1-1

He ordered the door secured and as he turned his eyes were misty.

“I never coached a team that gave me more than you did.

I never have coached a team that has given me as much satisfaction. Considering
all the conditions since 1951,

you have done more for football at West Point than any other team in the history of the Academy.”

Coach Earl H Blaik Nov 28, 1953 – – – – Selected Football Coach of the Year

The 17 October defeat of the 7th ranked Duke Blue Devils

at the Polo Grounds was designated as the Collegiate Game of the Year.

On 20 December 1953, The Lambert Trophy was Awarded at West Point

to the Corps of Cadets and the Army Football Team

The Donors Plaque will be –

Given by Members of the 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets

Proposal for ’53 Team Room at the Thayer

PURPOSE

Insure the Corps of Cadets today & in future years is aware of and understands the significance of what was accomplished in the Fall of 1953.

Method

1. Acceptance of the 1953 Army Football Team into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.

a. A 13 Page Nomination submitted.

b. An internal Academy decision removed Teams from consideration. The Purpose of Hall of Fame has not changed. It still includes Teams

c. Effort will be made to affect reversal of decision.

2. Convince Thayer Committee to select the 1953 Football Team as part of the distinguished graduate dedicated room program. http://rdp.thethayerhotel.com/

3. Wayne Culbreth is Point of Contact 845 445-8534, note new Email address is wculbreth@thayerfellows.org

4. 1953 Team was selected for inclusion on 1 March 2011.

Funding

1. A $25,000 contribution is required.

a. Funds are used to furnish the room including; 2 plaques on the door one for the
Team, and one under the Team for the Sponsor; a hanging in the hallway of the Team; and a listing in a dedicated display in the Lobby. In addition the story will be told in perpetuity on the Thayer History Channel. http://rdp.thethayerhotel.com/Thayer-RoomDedication.pdf

b. The room decor will reflect the accomplishments of that season with photos and memorabilia associated with the 1953 Season. Each guest will be offered a video commemorating the Team. Subsidized Books will be sold by the Thayer.

c. Remaining funds will be directed toward the high tech upgrade of the room and the Hotel.

2. Additional funding is required.

a. Funds include a standardized video reflecting the accomplishments of each Honoree.

b. However, the story of the 1953 season is more extensive than just a highlight film of the Team’s accomplishments. The complete story of the ’53 season must be told. The Thayer is evaluating the expected requirements to accurately depict what was accomplished that Fall.

Source of Funds

1. Funding for the room, additional funding for an enhanced video, and memorabilia will be by the 1953 – 1954 Corps of Cadets.

2. The Class of 1954 will have an organized Class effort to fund and secure memorabilia.

3. The Class Leaders from the Classes of ’55, ’56, and ’57 will be contacted to determine Class interest in support of the Room Designation.

4. The Register of Graduates has been utilized to contact individual members of ’55, ’56, and ’57 to seek support .

A draft Plaque is at

http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/draft-plaque/53-team

The video narration will be by a 1954 Graduate.

The material to be used is at http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-teams/football/1953-football and http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-53/nom-team in addition game highlight film will be used

1. After the highlights of the Northwester game, the narrator will comment -During the 1953 season the rules of substitution changed (ostensibly because of the Korean War and the lack of young men to play college football) to essentially eliminate the two platoon system that had been used previously.

2. Lowell Sisson will be asked to comment – After the 1952 season, during which I played offensive end, I was switched to play halfback at the start of Spring practice. I continued in that mode until just before the start of the 1953 season. About 10 days before the season was to start I was called in to Col Blaik’s office. Fearful regarding what the reason was, I reported in to find Col Blaik and Vince Lombardi there and they proceeded to ask me what my reaction would be if they were to switch me back to end. I said I did not care where they wanted me to play as long as I could be of value to the team. They did not explain why they wanted to make this change and I did not ask … maybe I should have. I speculated that the new substitution rule had something to do with it. I must admit I always thought I was a better halfback than an end.During the 1953 season the rules of substitution changed (ostensibly because of the Korean War and the lack of young men to play college football) to essentially eliminate the two platoon system that had been used previously.

3. Twenty-twenty hindsight revealed to me that they knew they had a diamond in Don Holleder and with the two platoon system he would have more than replaced me. But because we had to play both offense and defense they must have concluded that it would be better to leave me at end.

4. Because of the switch back to end I did not get totally grooved into playing defensive end and this contributed (in my mind) to a large degree why we lost our only game that season. I felt I played a terrible game against Northwestern and contributed mightily to our defeat.

5. Narrator — Lowell Sisson made up for the Northwestern loss in the Navy Game. On the kickoff, Norm Stephen came down the field so fast and so hard that he had knocked the ball right out of the Navy player’s hands and right into Lowell’s hands on the Navy 30 yard line. Lowell remembers Norm Stephen as a real leader, a motivator for the Team.

6. At the conclusion of the Duke highlights the narrator will comment on Bob Mischak’s professional career – Bob Mischak who started in the Famed 1958 “Greatest Game Ever Played” and who as a player and coach was member of 3 Super Bowl winning teams, involvedin 8 AFC Champion’ship games and numerous playoff games had this to say

7. Bob Mischak will be asked to comment on the Duke Game – As many reports have stated, the 1953 team “Returned to Glory” with the defeat of the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds in New York City. From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.

Additional Considerations

1. The First & Last Name listed under the Team photo in the room. We could add Class if it is felt appropriate.

2. A framed listing of each donee by Class could be put in the room.

3. A request would be made to ODIA to record 2 or 3 reps of the drum roll, bugle and GO! GO! GO! by the Corps of Cadets.

Class Nomination Letters & Bob Mischak’s Letter

Class of 1954’s Nomination

The Class of 1955’s Nomination

Nomination by Ralph Chesnauskas ’56

Nomination by Bob Farris ’56

Nomination by Pat Uebal ’56

The Class of 1957’s Nomination

The Class of 1957’s Nomination – Page 2

The Class of 1962’s Nomination

Bob Mischak’s Letter

Bob’s Pro Football Resume follows the letter

History: 1950 – 1951: Adversity strikes a heavy blow to the Army Football team. Numerous varsity players are released from West Point due to their violation of the school’s sacred honor code. The justified dismissals decimated the team. Many veteran, seasoned upper classmen, who would have provided the nucleus that could have incorporated and nurtured the green, younger players, were gone. As best they could, the former “B-squad” players of that era, attempted to rally the bewildered and inexperienced under classmen on the football team, but it seemed like a futile attempt for many reasons.

The community of grads and students empathized, and rightfully, with the administration for its action when the legendary honor code had been violated. Rumors of all sorts ran rampant on the Academy grounds and in the press. Statements were made and circulated about the demise of Army football. Predictions existed that the football program would take about 10 years to right itself, if at all.

At that time, mixed emotions permeated the Corps, faculty, grads, coaches, and the community of citizen on lookers. The shock of the event seemed too difficult to comprehend, however, optimism still kindled in the minds of those players who remained and the football loyalist who had faith in their team.

Surprisingly, within a short period of time, the untested players, seemed to coalesce, the coaching staff stabilized, and fundamental football schemes were utilized that allowed the innate ability of the individual players to develop. The trial and error period had started. A foundation for future development was established.

Each of the seasons and the spring practices provided, in a subtle way, the maturing of the 1953 team. Players were more comfortable with their skills and sensitive to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This seemed to build a determination to overcome adversity and looking forward, optimistically, to playing and winning games.

As many reports have stated, the 1953 team “Returned to Glory” with the defeat of the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds in New York City. From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.

A major contribution was made by the 1953 team to resurrect the honor and glory of the United States Military Academy, its students and service personnel. Naming the 1953 Team to the Army Sports Hall of Fame, would be a reward that acknowledges that fact and could be considered as an Army “Unit Citation”.

Sincerely,

Bob Mischak
USMA 1954

BOB MISCHAK – FOOTBALL CHRONOLOGY

1951-1953 Varsity letterman on the Army football team

1953 NBC-TV All American End

1954 College All Star Game player vs Detroit Lions

1954 Drafted by Cleveland Browns (NFL)

1954-1957 Military Service (Berlin, Fulda Germany)

1958 NY Giants (NFL) starting Offensive Guard — Head Coach: Jim Lee Howell,
Assts: Vince Lombardi (HoF), Tom Landry (HoF)

— Note: Starter in the famed “Greatest Game Ever Played”
which recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. ESPN
produced a film which aired in Dec. 2008, now out on
DVD.

1960-1962 NY Titans (AFL) which became NY Jets (NFL) — Head Coaches: Sammy Baugh (HoF),
Clyde “Bulldog” Turner (HoF), Weeb Ewbank (HoF)

– – – Note: Team Captain, All-AFL offensive guard 60-62. First All Pro in the history of the NY Jets.

1963-1965 Oakland Raiders (AFL), starting offensive guard and TE — Head Coach: Al Davis (HoF)

1966-1973 USMA, Offensive Line Coach — Head Coach: Tom Cahill (NCAA Coach of the Year 1966)
Assts: Bill Parcells, John Mackovic, Ken Hatfield

1973-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (NFL)* Owner: Al Davis (HoF), Head Coaches: John Madden (HoF),
Tom Flores, Player Personnel: Ron Wolf

1994 Los Angeles Raiders, TE Coach Head Coach: Art Shell (HoF)

– – – *Note: Member of 3 Super Bowl winning teams XI, XV, XVIII, 8 AFC Championship games and numerous playoff games. During tenure with Raiders served as TE Coach and Player Personnel Director.

– – – Coached notable TE’s such as Dave Casper (HoF), Todd Christensen (HoF nominee), Raymond Chester and Ted Kwalick

1988-1989 LA Cobras (Arena Football League), Asst. Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1990 Munich Falcons (International League of American Football) Head Coach

1991 Ravenna Chiefs (Italian Football League), Head Coach

1991 Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Scout GM: Ken Herock

1992 London Monarchs (WLAF), DB Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1993 Maryland Commandos (Arena Football League), Asst. Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1997 London Monarchs (WLAF), OL Coach Head Coach: Lionel Taylor

Class Nomination Letters & Bob Mischak’s Letter

Nomination Letters

’54’s Nomination

’62’s Nomination

Bob Mischak’s Letter

Bob’s Pro Football Resume follows the letter

History: 1950 – 1951: Adversity strikes a heavy blow to the Army Football team. Numerous varsity players are released from West Point due to their violation of the school’s sacred honor code. The justified dismissals decimated the team. Many veteran, seasoned upper classmen, who would have provided the nucleus that could have incorporated and nurtured the green, younger players, were gone. As best they could, the former “B-squad” players of that era, attempted to rally the bewildered and inexperienced under classmen on the football team, but it seemed like a futile attempt for many reasons.

The community of grads and students empathized, and rightfully, with the administration for its action when the legendary honor code had been violated. Rumors of all sorts ran rampant on the Academy grounds and in the press. Statements were made and circulated about the demise of Army football. Predictions existed that the football program would take about 10 years to right itself, if at all.

At that time, mixed emotions permeated the Corps, faculty, grads, coaches, and the community of citizen on lookers. The shock of the event seemed too difficult to comprehend, however, optimism still kindled in the minds of those players who remained and the football loyalist who had faith in their team.

Surprisingly, within a short period of time, the untested players, seemed to coalesce, the coaching staff stabilized, and fundamental football schemes were utilized that allowed the innate ability of the individual players to develop. The trial and error period had started. A foundation for future development was established.

Each of the seasons and the spring practices provided, in a subtle way, the maturing of the 1953 team. Players were more comfortable with their skills and sensitive to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This seemed to build a determination to overcome adversity and looking forward, optimistically, to playing and winning games.

As many reports have stated, the 1953 team “Returned to Glory” with the defeat of the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds in New York City. From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.

A major contribution was made by the 1953 team to resurrect the honor and glory of the United States Military Academy, its students and service personnel. Naming the 1953 Team to the Army Sports Hall of Fame, would be a reward that acknowledges that fact and could be considered as an Army “Unit Citation”.

Sincerely,

Bob Mischak
USMA 1954

BOB MISCHAK – FOOTBALL CHRONOLOGY

1951-1953 Varsity letterman on the Army football team

1953 NBC-TV All American End

1954 College All Star Game player vs Detroit Lions

1954 Drafted by Cleveland Browns (NFL)

1954-1957 Military Service (Berlin, Fulda Germany)

1958 NY Giants (NFL) starting Offensive Guard — Head Coach: Jim Lee Howell,
Assts: Vince Lombardi (HoF), Tom Landry (HoF)

— Note: Starter in the famed “Greatest Game Ever Played”
which recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. ESPN
produced a film which aired in Dec. 2008, now out on
DVD.

1960-1962 NY Titans (AFL) which became NY Jets (NFL) — Head Coaches: Sammy Baugh (HoF),
Clyde “Bulldog” Turner (HoF), Weeb Ewbank (HoF)

– – – Note: Team Captain, All-AFL offensive guard 60-62. First All Pro in the history of the NY Jets.

1963-1965 Oakland Raiders (AFL), starting offensive guard and TE — Head Coach: Al Davis (HoF)

1966-1973 USMA, Offensive Line Coach — Head Coach: Tom Cahill (NCAA Coach of the Year 1966)
Assts: Bill Parcells, John Mackovic, Ken Hatfield

1973-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (NFL)* Owner: Al Davis (HoF), Head Coaches: John Madden (HoF),
Tom Flores, Player Personnel: Ron Wolf

1994 Los Angeles Raiders, TE Coach Head Coach: Art Shell (HoF)

– – – *Note: Member of 3 Super Bowl winning teams XI, XV, XVIII, 8 AFC Championship games and numerous playoff games. During tenure with Raiders served as TE Coach and Player Personnel Director.

– – – Coached notable TE’s such as Dave Casper (HoF), Todd Christensen (HoF nominee), Raymond Chester and Ted Kwalick

1988-1989 LA Cobras (Arena Football League), Asst. Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1990 Munich Falcons (International League of American Football) Head Coach

1991 Ravenna Chiefs (Italian Football League), Head Coach

1991 Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Scout GM: Ken Herock

1992 London Monarchs (WLAF), DB Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1993 Maryland Commandos (Arena Football League), Asst. Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1997 London Monarchs (WLAF), OL Coach Head Coach: Lionel Taylor

jan 13 Nomination

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Pages 1 to 6 with more pages to be added

Please Note – The Material is being set up for printing and left side photos

do not match up with their respected pages

Nomination of 1953 West Point Football Team for the Army Sports Hall of Fame

Col. Blaik after the Navy Game

He ordered the door secured and as he turned to speak his eyes were misty. “I have never coached a team that gave me more than you did. I never have coached a team that has given me as much satisfaction. Considering all the conditions since 1951, you have done more for football at West Point than any other team in the history of the Academy.”

Many Graduates in a number of Classes believe they did more for the Academy than any other Team in any Sport.

An article in the Nov ’53 Pointer published the day before the Navy Game concluded with —

“Tomorrow afternoon, radio sets will be tuned on Philadelphia all the way from Berlin to Panmunjom. Graduates will be listening for news of an Army victory. But they’ll be listening for something more – something none of them talk about. They’ll be listening for evidence that the Corps is on its way back. They want to know that the values which they stand for are still alive in the Corps.”

Prior to the Duke Game the Cheerleaders imposed a “Silence” upon the Corps of Cadets after the traditional pregame sendoff of the team. The Cheerleaders put a cork in the bottle of more than two years of pent up frustration. When the Corps completed its subdued, strangely silent, pregame march-on at the Polo Grounds, and the last man double-timed onto the first step of the stands, the Corps of Cadets exploded out. They shook that old stadium almost non-stop in the sunshine and shadows of that Indian summer afternoon. The Chanting – – Go! Go! Go! – – is remembered to this day by the players. ‘It was continuous, just deafening”.

Bob Mischak, ’54 as a player and a coach, participated in 3 Super Bowls, 8 AFC Championships and numerous playoff games. As the starting Offensive Tackle on the 1958 Giant Team he participated in “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. Bob had this to say of the 1953 Duke Game (perhaps Army’s Greatest Game) – “As many reports have stated, the 1953 team “Returned to Glory” with the defeat of the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds in New York City. From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.”

The ’53 Team’s success was marked with the most unusual Lambert Trophy presentation in the award’s 17 year history. For the first time, on a Sunday evening, 20 December 1953, in Washington Hall, the Lambert Trophy, emblematic of Eastern Football Supremacy, was presented outside of New York City to West Point’s Football Team and the Corps of Cadets.

Col. Blaik – –

“By the time the season got down to the Penn and Navy games, the starting eleven and about four substitutes carried the full load”.

The commitment to Team, to the Academy, to returning Army Football to respectability is illustrated in the fact that Bob Farris ’56, played the 2d half of the Navy Game blind in one eye. He was never to play another down of Football. Bob did not tell the Coaches or Team Doctor of his condition.

Years later Col. Blaik was to write – –

“For two years these boys had seen the roughest action. They had lived with the coaching lash, dirt, blood, and defeat”.

There is more to some teams than statistics can provide.

Page 1 of 13 Pages

blaikb copy

Col. Blaik (Football Coach of the Year) leaving the field late afternoon Nov. 28th 1953 after the Army Team beat Navy 20 to 7

“I have never coached a team that give me more than you did. I never have coached a team that has given me as much satisfaction. Considering all the conditions since 1951, you have done more for football at West Point than any other team in the history of the Academy.”

Every Athlete, no Every Cadet should know what this Team did for the Academy, for our Motto



Jerry Lodge wore 67 and 32 is missing as is Norm Stephen 51- Army Center. 2d man 2d row next to Tommy Bell – is Zaborowski. Wynn #31 is in the 2d row not 3d.

Col Blaik “When I come to describe the team of 1953, what they meant to me and, far more important, what they meant to West Point, I cannot praise them enough.”

Page 2

Grantland Rice wrote “They came up the hard way and there probably has never been a squad with a finer spirit.”


Army Team Captain Leroy Lunn and Col Blaik

To understand the magnitude of the accomplishments of this team, recall that General McArthur gave his opinion in 1951 that it would take “at least 10 years” for Army to recover. In 1950, Army was 8-1 with a victory over Stanford, which finished the season ranked number seven in the nation; was tops in the nation in scoring defense, fourth in total defense, ninth in passing defense, and 10th in rushing offense; featured an All-American at end who finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy balloting, and two tackles who received votes for first team All-American; and would have been undefeated except for the stunning upset by Navy.

In 1951, Army went 2-7, defeating only Columbia and The Citadel and was trounced by Navy. Only one player received any national recognition, a name eventually to be etched in the hearts of all Army fans for decades to come: Mischak ’54 was number five in total kickoff return yards and first in average yards returned. The 1952 season was better, Army going 4-4, but again losing to Navy.

True, the Corps of Cadets did look for better things than in 1951 and “52”. Any prognostication that Army would win the Lambert Trophy, emblematic of the Eastern Championship, and be rated No. 14 nationally would have been tabbed fantastic. With Coach Blaik’s words as background, the team’s history echoes his witness.



Mischak leaping on Duke’s All American Red Smith after the 73 yard run down, Army held on four straight downs taking over inches from the goal line.

They were one of the smallest Army football teams in years, at season’s end thirty-eight men, a team of heroes with no stars and with a different hero each Saturday, all playing for honor and love of the game. They were led by quiet, solid leaders from the class of 1954; augmented by a small number of players from the smallest Academy class in years, 1955, and a bevy of talented yearlings in the class of 1956 who set the gridiron on fire that fall. The NCAA changed the rules for the 1953 season to what is now called “one platoon” football, really “iron man” football.

Though the phrase wasn’t originated by Coach Earl Blaik, it was the incomparable football teacher, the thoroughly emotionally-controlled Blaik who, with tears in his eyes, handed the Army-Duke game ball to Bob Mischak, Army’s left end who made the incredible game-saving tackle. Blaik’s words to Bob were simple but powerful, and echo down through the years, “Don’t ever give up.”

The cheating incident had never-publicized, lingering effects on Army football players in the three following seasons, effects witnessed and painfully felt by the young, inexperienced B and C teams – the men who accomplished the “football miracle” of ’53.

Adding to the effects the players faced was the revelation that the much-admired Army varsity had been deeply involved in what became a national scandal.

In a number of cases the players left to pick up the pieces became subjects of totally unwarranted suspicions and stinging criticisms simply because they were Army football players. The season of 1953 changed all that — the team and the Corps of Cadets washed the effects away with stunning, inspirational teamwork and marvelous achievements.


Pat with the ball — Lodge Leading.

As Blaik wrote years later in baring his bitterness and frustration over the cheating incident,

“For two years these boys had seen the roughest action. They had lived with the coaching lash, dirt, blood, and defeat.”

Following the 1952 season, changes in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules greatly restricted substitution and for several years virtually ended the offensive-defensive unit two-platoon system. The result was to lengthen playing time for varsity players, decrease the number of varsity letters awarded, increase injury potential, and cause a return to what in years past had been called “iron man football”. To compete under the more complicated substitution rules, Coach Blaik chose to return to the type of two-platoon system he inaugurated at Army during the World War II years, two or three units that went both ways, on offense and defense.

Page 3


Lodge shifted from Guard to Fullback – turning the corner, Mischak 87.

While the rule changes impacted all collegiate teams, no team Army was to face in 1953 had suffered the total loss of its varsity lettermen and team leaders two years earlier.
The losses had forced virtually complete rebuilding from the ground up. Other colleges and universities would have been able to accelerate efforts to make up such losses with much larger student bodies and massive numbers of alumni on the lookout for talent, aggressive well-funded recruiting, junior college transfers, and the growing lure of expanding professional football immediately after graduation. Not so at Army.

The NCAA rule changes had other impacts not normally visible to cadets and Army sports fans — but were quite clear to team members vying for varsity status and the coveted Major A. The remaining 1953 team members, who, at the end of the 1952 season believed they had almost secured starting offensive or defensive platoon positions, suddenly found themselves being retested and moved from one position to another to determine who could play both offense and defense and had the conditioning, strength and stamina to play both ways.

Their extraordinary individual responses were inspirational, highlighting individual willingness to sacrifice for the team —

Bob Farris played the second half of the Navy game blind in one eye. Although he was captain of the ’54 team, he was never to play another down of football.


Vann to Holleder Lombardi’s uncompromising demands on Vann, resulted in Peter becoming a superb drop back passer; with great ball-handling ability whose faking repeatedly confused defensive linemen. He was to set numerous Academy Records while the success Lumbardi achieved as an Assistant under Col Blaik propelled him into in the Pros.

Hagan’s handoff to Attaya initial scoring drive against Duke. Uebel #34 and probably #55 – Farris. NY Times

Number #10’s faking holds the defensive line in place allowing dominance by the offensive lineman for the wide open end run by Pat.

It’s important to note, that Peter Vann was a sterling offensive team leader his last two years at Army, became a classic drop-back passer and deft ball-handling and faking wizard who repeatedly confused defensive linemen, and was far more than Blaik’s description of him on defense as “dependable in a crisis”. Playing at defensive right halfback on the last play of the season’s crucial, turnaround game, he too made a game-saving play, batting away a pass thrown from Duke’s quarterback to their alternate quarterback — in the Army end zone – then went on to be ninth in Heisman Trophy voting and a second team All-American quarterback in 1954.

In the spring of 1952 Col Blaik said of Leroy Lunn – “as an offensive guard has excellent ability — and his presence sets a visual example of what constitues good preformance.

Because of the requirement to play both ways Lunn did not start in ’53. Years later Col Blaik was to say – – “I think it epitomized the character of this team and Lunn’s inspirational leadership that he was able to handle a difficult situation in a manner that increased his stature. It was not an easy thing to walk out there every Saturday for the toss of the coin and then to have to return to the bench and not be in for the kick-off.”


Page 4

Lunn for the coin toss – here he stayed on the field playing his greatest Game against Navy.

Roy never let this bother his playing when he did get in. He improved so much that he clearly earned the right to start with his team against Navy. Then he went out and played the best game of his career.”

At quarterback, Peter Vann shared the job to some extent with Jerry Hagan early in the season, but improved gradually to indispensable level.

Vann, Pat Uebel, and Tommy Bell at halfbacks and Gerry Lodge at fullback played 60 minutes against Penn and almost all the way in the Navy game.

Right halfback Tommy Bell, scored one of the two touchdowns against Duke, became a first team All-American in 1954 and that same year one of the few four-year lettermen in Army football history. Yearling left halfback Pat Uebel, who scored one of the two touchdowns in the stunning upset of No. 7-ranked Duke and all three of Army’s touchdowns in the win over Navy — one of a small number of Army players to score three touchdowns against Navy, and to that time the only player to score all three touchdowns in a win over Navy – was another hero in the 1953 Army backfield. Of Army’s two lead halfbacks Coach Blaik would write, “In ’53 and ’54 both Uebel and Bell were among the top echelon of all-time West Point halfbacks.”

Rounding out the backfield after the loss to injury in the Tulane game of the swift, agile, hard-driving fullback, and punter, “Freddie Attaya”, was guard-converted-to-fullback Gerry Lodge, who stepped into Freddie’s shoes and performed magnificently at both fullback on offense and Linebacker

Tommy Bell against Duke

on defense. This backfield, 3 great ends and this Team that brought Vince Lombardi to the attention of the New York Giants at the end of the 1953 season, setting Vince on course to become a legendary professional coach.

Blaik said of the three ends on the 1953 team, “Our end play was handled by Bob Mischak, Lowell Sisson, and a yearling of unusual potential named Don Holleder. Sisson was another who kept improving and hit the top in the Navy game. After Attaya’s injury, Sisson did the punting.

Mischak developed into a fine pass receiver and on defense he delivered the play that was the pivot, in a real sense, of the entire season. Holleder was a naturally talented pass receiver with outstanding speed, hands, and competitive fire. By 1954 he became just about the most dangerous offensive end in college ranks. A first team All-American end in 1954, he voluntarily gave up the chance to become a two-time All-American, by acquiescing to Coach Blaik’s request that he switch to quarterback for the 1955 season, a position he had never played in either high school or college.

On 17 October 1967, his courage and heroism in Vietnam while attempting to rescue wounded soldiers in his unit cost him his life.

Don Holleder’s is life and service became the inspiration for the now-well-known Black Lion Award to football players at every level of football played in the nation, from youth leagues to intercollegiate Division IA.

Some of the Season ending Injuries


Zeigler # 22 – 14 Yards, Burd coming across to Block.

“Ski” Ordway

Franklin – double team tore up knee talking with 58 Zaborowski after Duke Game

Attaya Army’s Fullback

Neil Chamberlain injured summer of ’53 – prior to the Navy Game. “Saturday Army will be represented by two different uniforms – – one black and gold, the other gray. I’ve found that I fight just as hard in one as I did in the other. We’ll all beat Navy this year.”

Coach Earl Blaik: “Injuries as the season advanced cost the team solid fullback and punter, three-year letterman Fred Attaya ’54; hard-nosed right halfback and three-year letterman Mike Zeigler ’56; and spirited end and three-year letterman “Ski” Godwin Ordway ’55. By the time the season got down to the Penn and Navy games, the starting eleven and about four substitutes carried the full load.”

Army linemen on the thinly-manned 1953 team included three guards, Captain Leroy Lunn, his classmate Dick Ziegler, and yearling Ralph Chesnauskas, whose talents included extra-point conversions. Ralph calmly kicked the two extra points against Duke to win the game, and became a first team All-American in 1954.

Page 5


Bell 46 and Uebel 34 showing 7th ranked Duke how Army played Football

Center “Norman Stephen” was a steady, rock-solid team leader on offense, who on the first play from scrimmage in the second half of the second home game of the season, against Dartmouth, and in response to sting criticism from Col Blaik — lit a small but growing fire in the team and Corps of Cadets — when he broke from the huddle and ran, almost sprinting to the ball, prompting the team to follow his lead. The roar of approval and support from the Corps each time Norm broke and ran to the ball, from that point forward through the rest of the season, continued to unify a determined Corps of Cadets with their team. He was a standout linebacker who was the on-field captain who called defensive signals. Starting at tackle were two yearlings, “Ron Melnik” and Howard Glock, with first classman Joe Lapchick, Jr. doing most of the reserve playing.

Coach Blaik considered the heart of his defense to be yearling Bob Farris, a top man academically who in 1955 became the Corps’ First Captain, played tackle on offense and was a line backer on defense in 1953. “The linebacking of Farris against Navy was as fine as I have ever seen in that game,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, the abandon with which he played cost him a detached retina that ended his football. To have played him would have risked an aggravation that might have impaired his sight.”

None of the foregoing tells of the incredible will-to-win spirit and support of the 1953 team by the entire Corps of Cadets, all of it specifically intended to unify the team and Corps of Cadets in ways never before seen or heard at West Point.The Corps’ preparation for the game had been more than unusual, including a “silence” imposed by the cheerleaders at the meal following Blaik’s talk.

The “silence” which began after the traditional pregame sendoff of the team – proved potent. The cheerleaders had put a cork in the bottle of more than two years of pent up frustration. When the Corps completed its subdued, strangely silent, pregame march-on at the Polo Grounds, and the last man double-timed onto the first step of the stands, the men in gray exploded out.


The 1953 cheerleaders, standing, for the Army team, with tumblers in the first row. Cheerleaders, left to right: Ed Moses, ’54; John Clayton ’55, Al Worden ’55, Billy McVeigh ’54, Jay Edwards ’54, Bill Robinson ’55; Tumblers: Peter Jones ’54, Dan Ludwig ’55, Jack Charles ’54, Charles Glenn ’56. Others – Jay Gould & Ben Schemmer ’54 and Alex Rupp ’55.

1953 was a series of firsts: a helicopter flyover; the introduction of the cannon; a hugh Beat Navy Flag made by the Quartermater Corps; the weather ballon from Army Aviation at Stewart Field for the Duke Game releasing the Corps from the imposed Silence; Special Guideon Flags made by the Cadet Store posted in the Mess Hall listing every year Army Beat Navy.

The drum beat, the trumpets, the “Continuous, just Deafening” Chanting

Go! Go! Go!

After the Duke Game the sidelines were packed with Cadets and Officers at each days practice.

Page 6

Work Area below this Point


Ben Schemmer ’54 with Goat and Al Rupp ’55 borrowed Billy XII for a couple of days. Al Rupp, a cheerleader, is walking behind and to the left of Ben Schemmer. AL Rupp was one of the four cadets who went to Annapolis to steal the goat and bring it to West Point. They went in a convertible because they thought the goat’s horns would be too large for a sedan.

The Coaching Staff


Front: Paul Deitzel, Line Coach; Vincent T. Lombardi, Backfield Coach; Roland Bevan, Trainer; Capt. R. J. St. Onge, Plebe Coach; Back: Capt. R. L. Dobbs, Ass’t Backfield Coach; Earl H. Blaik, Head Coach; Carney Laslie, Line Coach; Paul J. Amen, End Coach.

Coach Earl Blaik’ who later labeled the resurgence of the Army team “a football miracle” saw his 1953 first assistant, backfield and end coach, Vince Lombardi, mold a dazzling backfield that became Vince’s springboard to professional football glory. Jim Lee Howell, the New York Giant’s head coach who hired Lombardi after the 1953 season, said, “If Lombardi can do that kind of job in three years at West Point – he could do a helluva job in the pros where he could have an experienced base to work with.”

The Lambert

The Team’s marvelous success was marked with the most unusual Lambert Trophy presentation in the award’s history. First offered in 1936, and sponsored by New York City’s brothers, Victor A. and Henry L. Lambert, the trophy was symbolic of Eastern football supremacy, and had been won by Army in 1944, ’45, ’46, ’48 and ’49. For the first time, on a Sunday evening, 20 December 1953, in Washington Hall, the Lambert Trophy was presented outside of New York City to a football team and its student body.

Team Captain Lunn accepting the Trophy

In 1953, Army may not have won a national championship or produced a Heisman Trophy candidate but the seven victories, including Navy and Duke; a ranking of 14 in the nation in the season’s final pool; winning the Lambert Trophy; and earning Colonel Blaik “coach of the year” honors signaled the Academy’s “return to glory”.

To place the accomplishments of the 1953 Army Football Team prominently and in full view of the United States Corps of Cadets and the Long Gray Line, we, the members of the Classes of 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1962, Nominate the 1953 West Point Football Team for induction into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.

Attachments

1. Signed Nomination letters by the Classes of 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, & 1962.

2. 1953 Army Football Highlights CD provided by Coach Hugh Wyatt, Founder of the Black Lion Award.

3. Bob Mischak’s Letter.

Nomination Letters

’54’s Nomination

’62’s Nomination

Bob Mischak’s Letter

Bob’s Pro Football Resume follows the letter

History: 1950 – 1951: Adversity strikes a heavy blow to the Army Football team. Numerous varsity players are released from West Point due to their violation of the school’s sacred honor code. The justified dismissals decimated the team. Many veteran, seasoned upper classmen, who would have provided the nucleus that could have incorporated and nurtured the green, younger players, were gone. As best they could, the former “B-squad” players of that era, attempted to rally the bewildered and inexperienced under classmen on the football team, but it seemed like a futile attempt for many reasons.

The community of grads and students empathized, and rightfully, with the administration for its action when the legendary honor code had been violated. Rumors of all sorts ran rampant on the Academy grounds and in the press. Statements were made and circulated about the demise of Army football. Predictions existed that the football program would take about 10 years to right itself, if at all.

At that time, mixed emotions permeated the Corps, faculty, grads, coaches, and the community of citizen on lookers. The shock of the event seemed too difficult to comprehend, however, optimism still kindled in the minds of those players who remained and the football loyalist who had faith in their team.

Surprisingly, within a short period of time, the untested players, seemed to coalesce, the coaching staff stabilized, and fundamental football schemes were utilized that allowed the innate ability of the individual players to develop. The trial and error period had started. A foundation for future development was established.

Each of the seasons and the spring practices provided, in a subtle way, the maturing of the 1953 team. Players were more comfortable with their skills and sensitive to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This seemed to build a determination to overcome adversity and looking forward, optimistically, to playing and winning games.

As many reports have stated, the 1953 team “Returned to Glory” with the defeat of the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds in New York City. From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.

A major contribution was made by the 1953 team to resurrect the honor and glory of the United States Military Academy, its students and service personnel. Naming the 1953 Team to the Army Sports Hall of Fame, would be a reward that acknowledges that fact and could be considered as an Army “Unit Citation”.

Sincerely,

Bob Mischak
USMA 1954

BOB MISCHAK – FOOTBALL CHRONOLOGY

1951-1953 Varsity letterman on the Army football team

1953 NBC-TV All American End

1954 College All Star Game player vs Detroit Lions

1954 Drafted by Cleveland Browns (NFL)

1954-1957 Military Service (Berlin, Fulda Germany)

1958 NY Giants (NFL) starting Offensive Guard — Head Coach: Jim Lee Howell,
Assts: Vince Lombardi (HoF), Tom Landry (HoF)

— Note: Starter in the famed “Greatest Game Ever Played”
which recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. ESPN
produced a film which aired in Dec. 2008, now out on
DVD.

1960-1962 NY Titans (AFL) which became NY Jets (NFL) — Head Coaches: Sammy Baugh (HoF),
Clyde “Bulldog” Turner (HoF), Weeb Ewbank (HoF)

– – – Note: Team Captain, All-AFL offensive guard 60-62. First All Pro in the history of the NY Jets.

1963-1965 Oakland Raiders (AFL), starting offensive guard and TE — Head Coach: Al Davis (HoF)

1966-1973 USMA, Offensive Line Coach — Head Coach: Tom Cahill (NCAA Coach of the Year 1966)
Assts: Bill Parcells, John Mackovic, Ken Hatfield

1973-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (NFL)* Owner: Al Davis (HoF), Head Coaches: John Madden (HoF),
Tom Flores, Player Personnel: Ron Wolf

1994 Los Angeles Raiders, TE Coach Head Coach: Art Shell (HoF)

– – – *Note: Member of 3 Super Bowl winning teams XI, XV, XVIII, 8 AFC Championship games and numerous playoff games. During tenure with Raiders served as TE Coach and Player Personnel Director.

– – – Coached notable TE’s such as Dave Casper (HoF), Todd Christensen (HoF nominee), Raymond Chester and Ted Kwalick

1988-1989 LA Cobras (Arena Football League), Asst. Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1990 Munich Falcons (International League of American Football) Head Coach

1991 Ravenna Chiefs (Italian Football League), Head Coach

1991 Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Scout GM: Ken Herock

1992 London Monarchs (WLAF), DB Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1993 Maryland Commandos (Arena Football League), Asst. Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1997 London Monarchs (WLAF), OL Coach Head Coach: Lionel Taylor

PROCESSING AREA

Corps March On, pre-game at the Polo Grounds, 17 October 1953. Jerry Hagan who engineered the 1st touchdown against Duke in recalling the game nearly 56 years later remembers the Chanting. “It was continuous, just deafening”.

They shook that old stadium almost non-stop in the sunshine and shadows of that Indian summer afternoon.

The Spirit of the Corps of Cadets, The Academy Staff and Faculty, and the United States Army after the Duke Game

The Navy Game – November 28, 1953

Rox Shain, did not make the trip with the Team but was yanked off the Cadet Train when it arrived early in the morning, kicked off to start the Game. Navy immediately fumbled when Norm Stephen (51)slams the Navy receiver to the ground. The photo (taken by a photographer for the Philadelphia Inquirer) incorrectly identified the Army player recovering the ball, as Howard Glock, when in fact it was Lowell Sisson (83) who is on his feet facing the camera lens as the ball squirts past his thighs. Glock (71), Bell (46), Mischak (87), Farris (55) and Uebel (34) are identifiable. (Photo courtesy of Urban Archives, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.)

Army’s Tommy Bell takes a handoff from Peter Vann. Sisson #83, and probably Uebel #34 bottom center, while it is probably Mischak #87 is on the end of the line
(Photo courtesy of Urban Archives, Temple University, Phildelphia, PA.)

Tommy Bell prepares to take a pass thrown by Peter Vann. From left to right, Lowell Sisson (83), Jerry Lodge on the ground (32), Pat Uebel (34), Howard Glock (71), Leroy Lunn (60), and Norm Stephen (51).
(Photo courtesy of Urban Archives, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.)

Uebel scores 3 Times Against Navy

Pat Uebel races for the end zone, running back a Navy punt for a
touchdown. There are some errors in identification of the Army
players. In the upper left, Odom is in fact Norm Stepen (51), Burda
is in fact Lowell Sisson (83), and the numbers of the player
identified as Sisson keeps him unidentified. (Photo courtesy of Urban Archives, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.)

<img src=”http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/photos/coaches485.jpg&#8221; width=”480″


Peter takes to the Air


United States Corps of Cadets ready for Navy

Work Area below this Point

It must be pointed out that Bob was the only player on the ’53 Team to be selected as an All American. Today the Academy does not recognze his All American status because of the organization which selected him.

B Squad

½ backup


The 1953 cheerleaders, standing, for the Army team, with tumblers in the first row. Cheerleaders, left to right: Ed Moses, ’54; John Clayton ’55, Al Worden ’55, Billy McVeigh ’54, Jay Edwards ’54, Bill Robinson ’55; Tumblers: Peter Jones ’54, Dan Ludwig ’55, Jack Charles ’54, Charles Glenn ’56. Others – Jay Gould & Ben Schemmer ’54 and Alex Rupp ’55.

one of the four cadets who went to Annapolis to steal the goat and bring it to West Point. They went in a convertible because they thought the goat’s horns would be too large for a sedan.

The Coaching Staff


Front Row: Paul Deitzel, Line Coach; Vincent T. Lombardi, Backfield Coach; Roland Bevan, Trainer; Capt. R. J. St. Onge, Plebe Coach; Back Row:Capt. R. L. Dobbs, Ass’t Backfield Coach; Earl H. Blaik, Head Coach; Carney Laslie, Line Coach; Paul J. Amen, End Coach.

The ’53 Season propelled Vince Lombardi into his legendary status in Pro Football; while Paul Dietzel took the 1958 LSU Team to a National Title – returning to West Point as Head Coach in 1963; Carney Laslie is believed to have been named Assistant Athletic Director at Alabama in 1957 and Paul J. Amen was named Coach of the Year at Wake Forest in both 1956 and 1959.

The ’53 Season propelled Vince Lombardi into his legendary status in Pro Football; while Paul Dietzel took the 1958 LSU Team to a National Title – returning to West Point as Head Coach in 1963; Carney Laslie is believed to have been named Assistant Athletic Director at Alabama in 1957 and Paul J. Amen was named Coach of the Year at Wake Forest in both 1956 and 1959.

The Lambert

The Team’s marvelous success was marked with the most unusual Lambert Trophy presentation in the award’s history. First offered in 1936, and sponsored by New York City’s brothers, Victor A. and Henry L. Lambert, the trophy was symbolic of Eastern football supremacy, and had been won by Army in 1944, ’45, ’46, ’48 and ’49. For the first time, on a Sunday evening, 20 December 1953, in Washington Hall, the Lambert Trophy was presented outside of New York City to a football team and its student body.

Team Captain Lunn accepting the Trophy

In 1953, Army may not have won a national championship or produced a Heisman Trophy candidate but the seven victories, including Navy and Duke; a ranking of 14 in the nation in the season’s final pool; winning the Lambert Trophy; and earning Colonel Blaik “coach of the year” honors signaled the Academy’s “return to glory”.

To place the accomplishments of the 1953 Army Football Team prominently and in full view of the United States Corps of Cadets and the Long Gray Line, we, the members of the Classes of 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1962, Nominate the 1953 West Point Football Team for induction into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.

Attachments

1. Signed Nomination letters by the Classes of 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, & 1962.

2. 1953 Army Football Highlights CD provided by Coach Hugh Wyatt, Founder of the Black Lion Award.

3. Bob Mischak’s Letter.

The Attachments

’54’s Nomination

’62’s Nomination

Bob Mischak’s Letter

Bob’s Pro Football Resume follows the letter

History: 1950 – 1951: Adversity strikes a heavy blow to the Army Football team. Numerous varsity players are released from West Point due to their violation of the school’s sacred honor code. The justified dismissals decimated the team. Many veteran, seasoned upper classmen, who would have provided the nucleus that could have incorporated and nurtured the green, younger players, were gone. As best they could, the former “B-squad” players of that era, attempted to rally the bewildered and inexperienced under classmen on the football team, but it seemed like a futile attempt for many reasons.

The community of grads and students empathized, and rightfully, with the administration for its action when the legendary honor code had been violated. Rumors of all sorts ran rampant on the Academy grounds and in the press. Statements were made and circulated about the demise of Army football. Predictions existed that the football program would take about 10 years to right itself, if at all.

At that time, mixed emotions permeated the Corps, faculty, grads, coaches, and the community of citizen on lookers. The shock of the event seemed too difficult to comprehend, however, optimism still kindled in the minds of those players who remained and the football loyalist who had faith in their team.

Surprisingly, within a short period of time, the untested players, seemed to coalesce, the coaching staff stabilized, and fundamental football schemes were utilized that allowed the innate ability of the individual players to develop. The trial and error period had started. A foundation for future development was established.

Each of the seasons and the spring practices provided, in a subtle way, the maturing of the 1953 team. Players were more comfortable with their skills and sensitive to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This seemed to build a determination to overcome adversity and looking forward, optimistically, to playing and winning games.

As many reports have stated, the 1953 team “Returned to Glory” with the defeat of the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds in New York City. From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.

A major contribution was made by the 1953 team to resurrect the honor and glory of the United States Military Academy, its students and service personnel. Naming the 1953 Team to the Army Sports Hall of Fame, would be a reward that acknowledges that fact and could be considered as an Army “Unit Citation”.

Sincerely,

Bob Mischak
USMA 1954

BOB MISCHAK – FOOTBALL CHRONOLOGY

1951-1953 Varsity letterman on the Army football team

1953 NBC-TV All American End

1954 College All Star Game player vs Detroit Lions

1954 Drafted by Cleveland Browns (NFL)

1954-1957 Military Service (Berlin, Fulda Germany)

1958 NY Giants (NFL) starting Offensive Guard — Head Coach: Jim Lee Howell,
Assts: Vince Lombardi (HoF), Tom Landry (HoF)

— Note: Starter in the famed “Greatest Game Ever Played”
which recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. ESPN
produced a film which aired in Dec. 2008, now out on
DVD.

1960-1962 NY Titans (AFL) which became NY Jets (NFL) — Head Coaches: Sammy Baugh (HoF),
Clyde “Bulldog” Turner (HoF), Weeb Ewbank (HoF)

– – – Note: Team Captain, All-AFL offensive guard 60-62. First All Pro in the history of the NY Jets.

1963-1965 Oakland Raiders (AFL), starting offensive guard and TE — Head Coach: Al Davis (HoF)

1966-1973 USMA, Offensive Line Coach — Head Coach: Tom Cahill (NCAA Coach of the Year 1966)
Assts: Bill Parcells, John Mackovic, Ken Hatfield

1973-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (NFL)* Owner: Al Davis (HoF), Head Coaches: John Madden (HoF),
Tom Flores, Player Personnel: Ron Wolf

1994 Los Angeles Raiders, TE Coach Head Coach: Art Shell (HoF)

– – – *Note: Member of 3 Super Bowl winning teams XI, XV, XVIII, 8 AFC Championship games and numerous playoff games. During tenure with Raiders served as TE Coach and Player Personnel Director.

– – – Coached notable TE’s such as Dave Casper (HoF), Todd Christensen (HoF nominee), Raymond Chester and Ted Kwalick

1988-1989 LA Cobras (Arena Football League), Asst. Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1990 Munich Falcons (International League of American Football) Head Coach

1991 Ravenna Chiefs (Italian Football League), Head Coach

1991 Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Scout GM: Ken Herock

1992 London Monarchs (WLAF), DB Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1993 Maryland Commandos (Arena Football League), Asst. Coach Head Coach: Ray Willsey

1997 London Monarchs (WLAF), OL Coach Head Coach: Lionel Taylor

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Nomination of the 1953 Football Team for the Army Sports Hall of Fame

Col. Blaik after the Navy Game

He ordered the door secured and as he turned to speak his eyes were misty. “I have never coached a team that gave me more than you did. I never have coached a team that has given me as much satisfaction. Considering all the conditions since 1951, you have done more for football at West Point than any other team in the history of the Academy.”

Many Graduates in a number of Classes believe they did more for the Academy than any other Team in any Sport.

An article in the Nov ’53 Pointer published the day before the Navy Game concluded with —

“Tomorrow afternoon, radio sets will be tuned on Philadelphia all the way from Berlin to Panmunjom. Graduates will be listening for news of an Army victory. But they’ll be listening for something more – something none of them talk about. They’ll be listening for evidence that the Corps is on its way back. They want to know that the values which they stand for are still alive in the Corps.”

Prior to the Duke Game the Cheerleaders imposed a “Silence” upon the Corps of Cadets after the traditional pregame sendoff of the team. The Cheerleaders put a cork in the bottle of more than two years of pent up frustration. When the Corps completed its subdued, strangely silent, pregame march-on at the Polo Grounds, and the last man double-timed onto the first step of the stands, the Corps of Cadets exploded out. They shook that old stadium almost non-stop in the sunshine and shadows of that Indian summer afternoon. The Chanting – – Go! Go! Go! – – is remembered to this day by the players. ‘It was continuous, just deafening”.

Bob Mischak, ’54 as a player and a coach, participated in 3 Super Bowls, 8 AFC Championships and numerous playoff games. As the starting Offensive Tackle on the 1958 Giant Team he participated in “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. Bob had this to say of the 1953 Duke Game (perhaps Army’s Greatest Game) – “As many reports have stated, the 1953 team “Returned to Glory” with the defeat of the nationally ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Polo Grounds in New York City. From a player’s stand point, that was the epitome of any game, team, and student body support that I’ve been associated with – bar none.”

The ’53 Team’s success was marked with the most unusual Lambert Trophy presentation in the award’s 17 year history. For the first time, on a Sunday evening, 20 December 1953, in Washington Hall, the Lambert Trophy, emblematic of Eastern Football Supremacy, was presented outside of New York City to West Point’s Football Team and the Corps of Cadets.

Col. Blaik – –

“By the time the season got down to the Penn and Navy games, the starting eleven and about four substitutes carried the full load”.

The commitment to Team, to the Academy, to returning Army Football to respectability is illustrated in the fact that Bob Farris ’56, played the 2d half of the Navy Game blind in one eye. He was never to play another down of Football. Bob did not tell the Coaches or Team Doctor of his condition.

Years later Col. Blaik was to write – –

“For two years these boys had seen the roughest action. They had lived with the coaching lash, dirt, blood, and defeat”.

There is more to some teams than statistics can provide.

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Col. Blaik (Football Coach of the Year) leaving the field late afternoon Nov. 28th 1953 after the Army Team beat Navy 20 to 7

“I have never coached a team that give me more than you did. I never have coached a team that has given me as much satisfaction. Considering all the conditions since 1951, you have done more for football at West Point than any other team in the history of the Academy.”

Every Athlete, no Every Cadet should know what this Team did for the Academy, for our Motto



Jerry Lodge wore 67 and 32 is missing as is Norm Stephen 51- Army Center. 2d man 2d row next to Tommy Bell – is Zaborowski. Wynn #31 is in the 2d row not 3d.

Col Blaik “When I come to describe the team of 1953, what they meant to me and, far more important, what they meant to West Point, I cannot praise them enough.”

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Grantland Rice wrote “They came up the hard way and there probably has never been a squad with a finer spirit.”


Army Team Captain Leroy Lunn and Col Blaik

To understand the magnitude of the accomplishments of this team, recall that General McArthur gave his opinion in 1951 that it would take “at least 10 years” for Army to recover. In 1950, Army was 8-1 with a victory over Stanford, which finished the season ranked number seven in the nation; was tops in the nation in scoring defense, fourth in total defense, ninth in passing defense, and 10th in rushing offense; featured an All-American at end who finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy balloting, and two tackles who received votes for first team All-American; and would have been undefeated except for the stunning upset by Navy.

In 1951, Army went 2-7, defeating only Columbia and The Citadel and was trounced by Navy. Only one player received any national recognition, a name eventually to be etched in the hearts of all Army fans for decades to come: Mischak ’54 was number five in total kickoff return yards and first in average yards returned. The 1952 season was better, Army going 4-4, but again losing to Navy.

True, the Corps of Cadets did look for better things than in 1951 and “52”. Any prognostication that Army would win the Lambert Trophy, emblematic of the Eastern Championship, and be rated No. 14 nationally would have been tabbed fantastic. With Coach Blaik’s words as background, the team’s history echoes his witness.



Mischak leaping on Duke’s All American Red Smith after the 73 yard run down, Army held on four straight downs taking over inches from the goal line.

They were one of the smallest Army football teams in years, at season’s end thirty-eight men, a team of heroes with no stars and with a different hero each Saturday, all playing for honor and love of the game. They were led by quiet, solid leaders from the class of 1954; augmented by a small number of players from the smallest Academy class in years, 1955, and a bevy of talented yearlings in the class of 1956 who set the gridiron on fire that fall. The NCAA changed the rules for the 1953 season to what is now called “one platoon” football, really “iron man” football.

Though the phrase wasn’t originated by Coach Earl Blaik, it was the incomparable football teacher, the thoroughly emotionally-controlled Blaik who, with tears in his eyes, handed the Army-Duke game ball to Bob Mischak, Army’s left end who made the incredible game-saving tackle. Blaik’s words to Bob were simple but powerful, and echo down through the years, “Don’t ever give up.”

The cheating incident had never-publicized, lingering effects on Army football players in the three following seasons, effects witnessed and painfully felt by the young, inexperienced B and C teams – the men who accomplished the “football miracle” of ’53.

Adding to the effects the players faced was the revelation that the much-admired Army varsity had been deeply involved in what became a national scandal.

In a number of cases the players left to pick up the pieces became subjects of totally unwarranted suspicions and stinging criticisms simply because they were Army football players. The season of 1953 changed all that — the team and the Corps of Cadets washed the effects away with stunning, inspirational teamwork and marvelous achievements.


Pat with the ball — Lodge Leading.

As Blaik wrote years later in baring his bitterness and frustration over the cheating incident,

“For two years these boys had seen the roughest action. They had lived with the coaching lash, dirt, blood, and defeat.”

Following the 1952 season, changes in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules greatly restricted substitution and for several years virtually ended the offensive-defensive unit two-platoon system. The result was to lengthen playing time for varsity players, decrease the number of varsity letters awarded, increase injury potential, and cause a return to what in years past had been called “iron man football”. To compete under the more complicated substitution rules, Coach Blaik chose to return to the type of two-platoon system he inaugurated at Army during the World War II years, two or three units that went both ways, on offense and defense.

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Lodge shifted from Guard to Fullback – turning the corner, Mischak 87.

While the rule changes impacted all collegiate teams, no team Army was to face in 1953 had suffered the total loss of its varsity lettermen and team leaders two years earlier.
The losses had forced virtually complete rebuilding from the ground up. Other colleges and universities would have been able to accelerate efforts to make up such losses with much larger student bodies and massive numbers of alumni on the lookout for talent, aggressive well-funded recruiting, junior college transfers, and the growing lure of expanding professional football immediately after graduation. Not so at Army.

The NCAA rule changes had other impacts not normally visible to cadets and Army sports fans — but were quite clear to team members vying for varsity status and the coveted Major A. The remaining 1953 team members, who, at the end of the 1952 season believed they had almost secured starting offensive or defensive platoon positions, suddenly found themselves being retested and moved from one position to another to determine who could play both offense and defense and had the conditioning, strength and stamina to play both ways.

Their extraordinary individual responses were inspirational, highlighting individual willingness to sacrifice for the team —

Bob Farris played the second half of the Navy game blind in one eye. Although he was captain of the ’54 team, he was never to play another down of football.


Vann to Holleder Lombardi’s uncompromising demands on Vann, resulted in Peter becoming a superb drop back passer; with great ball-handling ability whose faking repeatedly confused defensive linemen. He was to set numerous Academy Records while the success Lumbardi achieved as an Assistant under Col Blaik propelled him into in the Pros.

Hagan’s handoff to Attaya initial scoring drive against Duke. Uebel #34 and probably #55 – Farris. NY Times

Number #10’s faking holds the defensive line in place allowing dominance by the offensive lineman for the wide open end run by Pat.

It’s important to note, that Peter Vann was a sterling offensive team leader his last two years at Army, became a classic drop-back passer and deft ball-handling and faking wizard who repeatedly confused defensive linemen, and was far more than Blaik’s description of him on defense as “dependable in a crisis”. Playing at defensive right halfback on the last play of the season’s crucial, turnaround game, he too made a game-saving play, batting away a pass thrown from Duke’s quarterback to their alternate quarterback — in the Army end zone – then went on to be ninth in Heisman Trophy voting and a second team All-American quarterback in 1954.

In the spring of 1952 Col Blaik said of Leroy Lunn – “as an offensive guard has excellent ability — and his presence sets a visual example of what constitues good preformance.

Because of the requirement to play both ways Lunn did not start in ’53. Years later Col Blaik was to say – – “I think it epitomized the character of this team and Lunn’s inspirational leadership that he was able to handle a difficult situation in a manner that increased his stature. It was not an easy thing to walk out there every Saturday for the toss of the coin and then to have to return to the bench and not be in for the kick-off.”


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Lunn for the coin toss – here he stayed on the field playing his greatest Game against Navy.

Roy never let this bother his playing when he did get in. He improved so much that he clearly earned the right to start with his team against Navy. Then he went out and played the best game of his career.”

At quarterback, Peter Vann shared the job to some extent with Jerry Hagan early in the season, but improved gradually to indispensable level.

Vann, Pat Uebel, and Tommy Bell at halfbacks and Gerry Lodge at fullback played 60 minutes against Penn and almost all the way in the Navy game.

Right halfback Tommy Bell, scored one of the two touchdowns against Duke, became a first team All-American in 1954 and that same year one of the few four-year lettermen in Army football history. Yearling left halfback Pat Uebel, who scored one of the two touchdowns in the stunning upset of No. 7-ranked Duke and all three of Army’s touchdowns in the win over Navy — one of a small number of Army players to score three touchdowns against Navy, and to that time the only player to score all three touchdowns in a win over Navy – was another hero in the 1953 Army backfield. Of Army’s two lead halfbacks Coach Blaik would write, “In ’53 and ’54 both Uebel and Bell were among the top echelon of all-time West Point halfbacks.”

Rounding out the backfield after the loss to injury in the Tulane game of the swift, agile, hard-driving fullback, and punter, “Freddie Attaya”, was guard-converted-to-fullback Gerry Lodge, who stepped into Freddie’s shoes and performed magnificently at both fullback on offense and Linebacker

Tommy Bell against Duke

on defense. This backfield, 3 great ends and this Team that brought Vince Lombardi to the attention of the New York Giants at the end of the 1953 season, setting Vince on course to become a legendary professional coach.

Blaik said of the three ends on the 1953 team, “Our end play was handled by Bob Mischak, Lowell Sisson, and a yearling of unusual potential named Don Holleder. Sisson was another who kept improving and hit the top in the Navy game. After Attaya’s injury, Sisson did the punting.

Mischak developed into a fine pass receiver and on defense he delivered the play that was the pivot, in a real sense, of the entire season. Holleder was a naturally talented pass receiver with outstanding speed, hands, and competitive fire. By 1954 he became just about the most dangerous offensive end in college ranks. A first team All-American end in 1954, he voluntarily gave up the chance to become a two-time All-American, by acquiescing to Coach Blaik’s request that he switch to quarterback for the 1955 season, a position he had never played in either high school or college.

On 17 October 1967, his courage and heroism in Vietnam while attempting to rescue wounded soldiers in his unit cost him his life.

Don Holleder’s is life and service became the inspiration for the now-well-known Black Lion Award to football players at every level of football played in the nation, from youth leagues to intercollegiate Division IA.

Some of the Season ending Injuries


Zeigler # 22 – 14 Yards, Burd coming across to Block.

“Ski” Ordway

Franklin – double team tore up knee talking with 58 Zaborowski after Duke Game

Attaya Army’s Fullback

Neil Chamberlain injured summer of ’53 – prior to the Navy Game. “Saturday Army will be represented by two different uniforms – – one black and gold, the other gray. I’ve found that I fight just as hard in one as I did in the other. We’ll all beat Navy this year.”

Coach Earl Blaik: “Injuries as the season advanced cost the team solid fullback and punter, three-year letterman Fred Attaya ’54; hard-nosed right halfback and three-year letterman Mike Zeigler ’56; and spirited end and three-year letterman “Ski” Godwin Ordway ’55. By the time the season got down to the Penn and Navy games, the starting eleven and about four substitutes carried the full load.”

Army linemen on the thinly-manned 1953 team included three guards, Captain Leroy Lunn, his classmate Dick Ziegler, and yearling Ralph Chesnauskas, whose talents included extra-point conversions. Ralph calmly kicked the two extra points against Duke to win the game, and became a first team All-American in 1954.

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Bell 46 and Uebel 34 showing 7th ranked Duke how Army played Football

Center “Norman Stephen” was a steady, rock-solid team leader on offense, who on the first play from scrimmage in the second half of the second home game of the season, against Dartmouth, and in response to sting criticism from Col Blaik — lit a small but growing fire in the team and Corps of Cadets — when he broke from the huddle and ran, almost sprinting to the ball, prompting the team to follow his lead. The roar of approval and support from the Corps each time Norm broke and ran to the ball, from that point forward through the rest of the season, continued to unify a determined Corps of Cadets with their team. He was a standout linebacker who was the on-field captain who called defensive signals. Starting at tackle were two yearlings, “Ron Melnik” and Howard Glock, with first classman Joe Lapchick, Jr. doing most of the reserve playing.

Coach Blaik considered the heart of his defense to be yearling Bob Farris, a top man academically who in 1955 became the Corps’ First Captain, played tackle on offense and was a line backer on defense in 1953. “The linebacking of Farris against Navy was as fine as I have ever seen in that game,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, the abandon with which he played cost him a detached retina that ended his football. To have played him would have risked an aggravation that might have impaired his sight.”

None of the foregoing tells of the incredible will-to-win spirit and support of the 1953 team by the entire Corps of Cadets, all of it specifically intended to unify the team and Corps of Cadets in ways never before seen or heard at West Point.The Corps’ preparation for the game had been more than unusual, including a “silence” imposed by the cheerleaders at the meal following Blaik’s talk.

The “silence” which began after the traditional pregame sendoff of the team – proved potent. The cheerleaders had put a cork in the bottle of more than two years of pent up frustration. When the Corps completed its subdued, strangely silent, pregame march-on at the Polo Grounds, and the last man double-timed onto the first step of the stands, the men in gray exploded out.


The 1953 cheerleaders, standing, for the Army team, with tumblers in the first row. Cheerleaders, left to right: Ed Moses, ’54; John Clayton ’55, Al Worden ’55, Billy McVeigh ’54, Jay Edwards ’54, Bill Robinson ’55; Tumblers: Peter Jones ’54, Dan Ludwig ’55, Jack Charles ’54, Charles Glenn ’56. Others – Jay Gould & Ben Schemmer ’54 and Alex Rupp ’55.

1953 was a series of firsts: a helicopter flyover; the introduction of the cannon; a hugh Beat Navy Flag made by the Quartermater Corps; the weather ballon from Army Aviation at Stewart Field for the Duke Game releasing the Corps from the imposed Silence; Special Guideon Flags made by the Cadet Store posted in the Mess Hall listing every year Army Beat Navy.

The drum beat, the trumpets, the “Continuous, just Deafening” Chanting

Go! Go! Go!

After the Duke Game the sidelines were packed with Cadets and Officers at each days practice.

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Corps March On, pre-game at the Polo Grounds, 17 October 1953. Jerry Hagan who engineered the 1st touchdown against Duke in recalling the game nearly 56 years later remembers the Chanting. “It was continuous, just deafening”.

They shook that old stadium almost non-stop in the sunshine and shadows of that Indian summer afternoon.

The Spirit of the Corps of Cadets, The Academy Staff and Faculty, and the United States Army after the Duke Game

The Navy Game – November 28, 1953

Ben Schemmer with Goat and Al Rupp ’55 borrowed Billy XII for a couple of days

Rox Shain, did not make the trip with the Team but was yanked off the Cadet Train when it arrived early in the morning, kicked off to start the Game. Navy immediately fumbled when Norm Stephen (51)slams the Navy receiver to the ground. The photo (taken by a photographer for the Philadelphia Inquirer) incorrectly identified the Army player recovering the ball, as Howard Glock, when in fact it was Lowell Sisson (83) who is on his feet facing the camera lens as the ball squirts past his thighs. Glock (71), Bell (46), Mischak (87), Farris (55) and Uebel (34) are identifiable. (Photo courtesy of Urban Archives, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.)

Army’s Tommy Bell takes a handoff from Peter Vann. Sisson #83, and probably Uebel #34 bottom center, while it is probably Mischak #87 is on the end of the line
(Photo courtesy of Urban Archives, Temple University, Phildelphia, PA.)

Tommy Bell prepares to take a pass thrown by Peter Vann. From left to right, Lowell Sisson (83), Jerry Lodge on the ground (32), Pat Uebel (34), Howard Glock (71), Leroy Lunn (60), and Norm Stephen (51).
(Photo courtesy of Urban Archives, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.)

Uebel scores 3 Times Against Navy

Pat Uebel races for the end zone, running back a Navy punt for a
touchdown. There are some errors in identification of the Army
players. In the upper left, Odom is in fact Norm Stepen (51), Burda
is in fact Lowell Sisson (83), and the numbers of the player
identified as Sisson keeps him unidentified. (Photo courtesy of Urban Archives, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.)

The Coaching Staff


Peter takes to the Air


United States Corps of Cadets ready for Navy

The Lambert

The Team’s marvelous success was marked with the most unusual Lambert Trophy presentation in the award’s history. First offered in 1936, and sponsored by New York City’s brothers, Victor A. and Henry L. Lambert, the trophy was symbolic of Eastern football supremacy, and had been won by Army in 1944, ’45, ’46, ’48 and ’49. For the first time, on a Sunday evening, 20 December 1953, in Washington Hall, the Lambert Trophy was presented outside of New York City to a football team and its student body.

Team Captain Lunn accepting the Trophy

In 1953, Army may not have won a national championship or produced a Heisman Trophy candidate but the seven victories, including Navy and Duke; a ranking of 14 in the nation in the season’s final pool; winning the Lambert Trophy; and earning Colonel Blaik “coach of the year” honors signaled the Academy’s “return to glory”.

To place the accomplishments of the 1953 Army Football Team prominently and in full view of the United States Corps of Cadets and the Long Gray Line, we, the members of the Classes of 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957 and ??? members of the Class of 1962, Nominate the 1953 Army Football Team for induction into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.

Attachments

1. Signed Nomination letters by the Classes of 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, & 1962.

2. 1953 Army Football Highlights CD provided by Coach Hugh Wyatt, Founder of the Black Lion Award.

3. Bob Mischak’s Letter.

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It must be pointed out that Bob was the only player on the ’53 Team to be selected as an All American. Today the Academy does not recognze his All American status because of the organization which selected him.

B Squad

B Squad

1953 Football Team Nomination

Please go to the 13 page Nomination at

http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-53/nom-team

Army Navy 1953

Letter to Selection Committee

We the Members of the Class of 1962 believe the Army Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee and the Superintendent should recognize the accomplishment of West Point’s Teams.

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The ’53 Nomination Pages 2 – ??

Please go to the 13 page Nomination at

http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-53/nom-team

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