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Professional Football War Casualties

 

Below is the complete list of professional football players that were "Killed in Action" (KIA) during World War II, The Vietnam War or during the War on Terror.  We have also included the (7) professional football players that died as a result of "Non-Combat" related activities which are designated as (DNB) "Died Non-Battle".  The (7) DNB players died while on active duty and most were training to go to war in one fashion or another and are certainly worthy of being listed here.  Also included on this list is Jack Chevigny, the only professional football coach to have been killed during combat. 

 

All of these men are true American Heroes.  Each man gave his life for our country and that sacrifice should never be forgotten.


 

Killed In Action (KIA): (31 Players, 1 Coach)

Cpl. Nick Basca

Lt. Charlie Behan

Private Harry Benson

Maj. Keith Birlem

Lt. Al Blozis

Lt. Young Bussey

Walt Cassidy

Lt. Jack Chevigny (Coach)

2nd Lt. Tom Cory

Ens. John Donnell

Capt. Eddie Doyle

John J. Franklyn (Frankunas)

LTJG Jimmy German

Lt. Col. Grassy Hinton

Major John Hurley

Capt. Smiley Johnson

Lt. Eddie Kahn

Lt. Bob Kalsu

Sgt. Alex Ketzko

Capt. Lee Kizzire

Lt. Jack Lummus

Pvt. Jim Mooney

Cpl. Herman Morris

2nd Lt. Thomas V. Nash

1st Lt. Sterling V. Shipla

Sgt. Daniel Snell

Maj. Don Steinbrunner

Cpl. Pat Tillman

Sgt. Matt Vaessen

Lt. Don Wemple

Pvt. Vincent Yatchak

Capt. Waddy Young

 

 

Died Non-Battle (DNB): (7) Players

Lt. Chuck Braidwood

2nd Lt. Dick Lass

AV C George Lenc

Major Max MacCollum

Lt. Len Supulski

Lt. Eugene Tornquist

Lt. Chet Wetterlund

 

War Casualties List - (38) Players & (1) Coach

Name Team Debut Birth Death Age

2004

Tillman, Pat 1998 Arizona Cardinals 11/06/76 04/22/04 27

1970

Kalsu, Bob 1968 Buffalo Bills (AFL) 04/13/45 07/21/70 25

1967

Steinbrunner, Don 1953 Cleveland Browns 4/5/1932 07/20/67 35

1945

Behan, Charlie 1942 Detroit Lions 08/04/20 05/18/45 24
Blozis, Al 1942 New York Giants 01/05/19 01/31/45 26
Braidwood, Charles 1930 Portsmouth Spartans 10/15/03 01/08/45 41
Bussey, 'Young' 1941 Chicago Bears 10/04/17 01/07/45 27
Chevigny, Jack 1932 Chicago Cardinals 08/14/06 02/19/45 38 Coach
Franklyn (Frankunas), John J. 1936 Rochester Braves (AFL II) 1910 09/10/45 35
German, Jimmy 1939 Washington Redskins 11/06/17 08/28/45 27
Johnson, Smiley 1940 Green Bay Packers 09/22/16 02/26/45 28
Kahn, Edwin 'Eddie' 1935 Boston Redskins 11/09/11 02/17/45 33
Lass, Richard H. 'Dick' 1941 Milwaukee Chiefs (AFL III) 10/01/19 01/24/45 25
Lummus, Jack 1941 New York Giants 10/22/15 03/08/45 29
Snell, Daniel W. 'Dan' 1940 Buffalo Indians (AFL III) 07/19/13 03/11/45 31
Yatchak, Vincent 1940 Milwaukee Chiefs (AFL III) 01/18/13 05/30/45 32
Young, Waddy 1939 Brooklyn Dodgers 09/14/16 01/09/45 28

1944

Basca, Nick 1941 Philadelphia Eagles 12/04/17 11/11/44 26
Cassidy, Walt 1925 Kenosha Maroons 01/03/01 12/27/44 43
Cory, Tom 1940 Boston Bears (AFL III) 03/21/17 02/06/44 26
Donnell, John 'Jerry' 1937 Los Angeles Bulldogs (AFL II) 12/30/12 1/  /1944 31
Hinton, J.W. 'Grassy' 1932 Staten Island Stapletons 06/30/07 12/10/44 37
Hurley, John 1931 Cleveland Indians 1908 01/02/44 35
Ketzko, Alex 1943 Detroit Lions 11/19/19 12/23/44 25
Mooney, Jim 1930 Newark Tornadoes 09/16/07 08/12/44 36
Shipla, Sterling V. 1940 Boston Bears (AFL III) 05/25/19 09/09/44 25
Tornquist, Gene 1941 Cincinnati Bengals (AFL III) 03/12/17 06/15/44 27
Vaessen, Matt 1940 Milwaukee Chiefs (AFL III) 08/17/12 06/12/44 31
Wetterlund, Chet 1942 Detroit Lions 03/19/18 09/05/44 26

1943

Benson, Harry 1935 Philadelphia Eagles 1909 05/17/43 34
Birlem, Keith 1939 Chicago Cardinals 05/04/15 05/07/43 28
Kizzire, Lee 1937 Detroit Lions 12/21/15 11/  /1943 27
MacCollum, Max 1922 Louisville Brecks 1899 09/25/43 44
Nash, Thomas V. 1940 Boston Bears (AFL III) 12/11/15 07/28/43 27
Supulski, Len 1942 Philadelphia Eagles 12/15/20 08/31/43 22
Wemple, Don 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers 10/14/16 06/23/43 26

1942

Doyle, Edward 'Eddie' 1924 Frankford Yellow Jackets 8/17/1898 11/08/42 44
Lenc, George 1939 Brooklyn Dodgers 03/17/17 11/16/42 25
Morris, Herman 1941 Cincinnati Bengals (AFL III) 1916 08/24/42 26