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''Football! Navy! War!'': How Military ''Lend-Lease'' Players Saved the College Game and Helped Win World War II

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It's no coincidence that the sport of football employs terms usually associated with war, such as "aerial attack" and "blitz." During World War II, the United States military and colleges joined forces, fielding competitive teams to prepare men for combat. This book relates the Department of the Navy's role in preserving the game and national morale through the "Lend-Lease" of officer candidates, including All-American players and professionals

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About the Book Not coincidentally, the sport of football naturally employs terms usually associated with war, such as "aerial attack," "blitz," and "trench warfare." During World ... War II, the United States military and colleges joined forces and fielded competitive football teams. The book highlights the Department of the Navy’s role in preserving the game and football’s impact on national morale and the war effort through their "lend-lease" to colleges of officer candidates, including All-America and professional players. It describes wartime college and military football throughout the globe and offers listings of college and military teams, records, scores, big games, and statistics; player and team profiles; and a glossary of period football terminology. Read more Show Less

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''Football! Navy! War!'': How Military ''Lend-Lease'' Players Saved the College Game and Helped Win World War II

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Overview

It's no coincidence that the sport of football employs terms usually associated with war, such as "aerial attack" and "blitz." During World War II, the United States military and colleges joined forces, fielding competitive teams to prepare men for combat. This book relates the Department of the Navy's role in preserving the game and national morale through the "Lend-Lease" of officer candidates, including All-American players and professionals

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What People Are Saying

Dan Jenkins
"I've been waiting for somebody to do this book and preserve these treasured college football memories, and now Wilbur Jones has done it--and done it splendidly."--(Dan Jenkins, author and sportswriter for Sports Illustrated)
Furman Bisher
"Books about World War II and the athletes who served in it are too few.
Too many never lived to write of it. For three years I served in the Navy Air Corps and it ruffled my conscience when I read of friends who lost their lives in battle while I sat unharmed. Wilbur Jones' book should give you a well-scripted view of what it was like and of the guys who left the athletic field and pitched in for all of us. Just pause for a moment and try to imagine: Tiger Woods being called up and sent into the trenches. That's the way it was."--(Furman Bisher, World War II Navy veteran; sportswriter and editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Ivan Maisel
"If you love college football, raise a glass to the noted historian Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., "Football! Navy! War!" is a comprehensive telling of a story that can't be told enough; how college football remained a piece of the American mosaic as the country poured heart, soul and spirit into winning World War II. Jones details how the U.S. Navy used the sport to develop leaders and fighting men alike, and how that effort kept the sport alive in the national imagination. Jones tells of the rise of national powers at Naval Bases across the nation as the war effort surged and how, just as quickly, they disappeared. The chapter about halfback Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice captures him as no defense ever did. This is a good thing that Jones has done."--(Ivan Maisel, senior writer, ESPN.com)
James L. Holloway
"Football! Navy! War!" is an untold story about the relationship of America's great game and its relationship with the armed forces--especially with the U.S. Navy--during this nation's struggle against the Axis powers. As one who served and fought alongside many of the outstanding athletes that Wilbur Jones portrays, I can testify how the smash-mouth tactics of the gridiron were applied in the waters and archipelagoes of the Western Pacific. This book is a must-have for any patriot and fan of the sport!"--(Admiral James L. Holloway III, USN (Ret) and chairman emeritus, Naval Historical Foundation)
Jack A. Green
"Football! Navy! War!" fills an important niche in the sports and military history of World War II. Jones takes the reader back to pre-television football, when the game had to compete with baseball and boxing for the public's attention, and shows how the military both preserved the wartime college game and then contributed to the growth of its phenomenal postwar popularity. Not just a list of teams and statistics, this book also tells the "then and now" differences in the playing of football through extensive research and interviews with many of the remaining 1940s' era military players and coaches."--(Jack A. Green, Naval History & Heritage Command)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786442195
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2009
  • Pages: 277
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., is a nationally known, award-winning military historian and retired Navy captain with four decades of service to the Department of Defense, including as a professor and associate dean at the Defense Acquisition University. He served in the White House as an assistant and advance representative to President Ford. This is his 17th book. He founded and chairs the award-winning preservationist group World War II Wilmington Home Front Heritage Coalition in Wilmington, N.C., where he lives. Visit his website at www.wilburjones.com 

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Table of Contents

Foreword Beano Cook Cook, Beano 1

Preface: "Saved from the Junk Pile" 7

Introduction "The Most Awesome Melange" 13

1 "A Roster Out of Football's 'Who's Who"': The Bainbridge Eleven 25

2 "Ideological Arsenal": The Impact of Football on the War Effort, Morale, and Fighting Spirit 43

3 "Lend-Lease Football": Navy and Marine Corps College Officer Training Programs 56

4 "A War Game in Miniature"; Reacting, Adjusting, and Playing the Game 73

5 "Shifty and Smart, Harder to Stop than Superman": Charlie Justice, Glamor Prodigy 94

6 "All Hail to the Navy": Great Lakes, Fleet City, Pre-Flights, and Midshipmen 107

7 "Every General Liked to Have His Own Base Football Team": Ramblers, Fighting ANs, Flyers, and Cadets 130

8 "Rollicking, Boisterous, Macho"; Flying Marines and Sea Lions 149

9 "Around the Globe the Message Winged": The 1942-45 Seasons 161

10 "All America Will Cheer a Champion, Whether He Is Black, Brown, Yellow or White": Black Players and Professional Football 189

11 "Not Satisfied to Listen to Short-Wave Broadcasts": Overseas Football, Postseason Games, and the Postwar 199

12 Clyde "Smackover" Scott and Bob Steuber: Personalities, Vignettes, and Anecdotes 210

Glossary: Wartime Football Expressions, Abbreviations, and Jargon 225

Chapter Notes 231

Selected Bibliography 241

Index 247

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    GO NAVY

    GO NAVY

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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