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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used > Autograph Forum- Primarily Sports

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Old 02-19-2017, 12:54 AM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Default Casualties of War

I thought of this while looking at the thread related to MLB players in WWII. During my collecting I have acquired quite a few signatures of Olympic athletes who were killed during war time. One of my favorites I neglected to scan before I sold it (Japanese gold medalist died on Iwo Jima), but here are some that I do have scanned.

Ron Zinn - race walker 1960 & 1964. KIA Ho Chi Minh City July 7, 1965. One of 3 U.S. Olympians who died during the Viet Nam War. Technically still MIA.

Endre Kabos - 1932 and 1936 3 golds and one silver in fencing for Hungary. A Jew, he was sent to a labor camp. A guard recognized him as an Olympic champ and he was sent to Budapest to work as a driver for the German Army. Driving an ammunition truck across the Margaret (Margisziget) Bridge between Buda and Pest when it was blown up by resistance fighters. He either died in the blast or drown in the Duna River on November 14, 1944

Janusz Kusocinski - 1932 gold in athletics. Joined the Polish Army at outbreak of WWII and wounded twice. Joined the resistance. Arrested by the Gestapo and executed June 21, 1940.

Leszek Lubicz-Nycz - 1932 bronze in fencing. Joined the Polish Army in WWI and a career officer. He was killed early in the German Invasion of Poland at the Battle of Lomianki September 22, 1939

Stanislaw Urban - 1932 bronze in rowing. Enlisted in the Polish Army WWII. Captured by the Soviet Army. One of 10,000 Polish officers killed by the Soviet Secret Police (NKVD) in the Katlyn Massacre April, 1940

Fritz Hendrix - 1932 silver in athletics. German soldier killed in action on the Russian Front outside of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, August 30, 1941

Erwin Wegner - 1932 and 1936 athletics. SS officer killed in action Sareguemines, France February 16, 1945

Arthur Tell Schwab - 1936 silver athletics. German born, he fled for Switzerland during WWII. Killed on an International Red Cross transport train during an air raid Siglingen, Germany February 27, 1945

Mario Zorzi - 1932 and 1936 shooting for Italy. Killed on the ground during a bombing raid near Frascetti, Italy February 17, 1944.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Zinn,-Ron-(1961).jpg (11.5 KB, 850 views)
File Type: jpg Kabos,-Endre-(1932)---1.jpg (9.1 KB, 857 views)
File Type: jpg Kusocinski, Janusz (1932).JPG (68.2 KB, 856 views)
File Type: jpg Lubicz-Nycz,-Leszek-(1932).jpg (5.7 KB, 855 views)
File Type: jpg Urban,-Stanislaw-(1932).jpg (5.8 KB, 856 views)
File Type: jpg Hendrix,-Fritz-(1932)---1.jpg (11.8 KB, 854 views)
File Type: jpg Wegner,-Erwin-(1932).jpg (10.1 KB, 854 views)
File Type: jpg Schwab.-Arthur-Tell-(1932).jpg (5.6 KB, 856 views)
File Type: jpg Zorzi,-Mario-(1932).jpg (3.1 KB, 851 views)
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Last edited by Michael B; 02-19-2017 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:39 AM
btcarfagno btcarfagno is offline
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I used to own this Elmer Gedeon signed mini bat from his two weeks with the Washington Senators in 1939.

Gedeon was killed piloting a B-26 on a bombing run over France.



Tom C
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:29 AM
JoeDfan JoeDfan is offline
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WOW. Those are really cool. I would have never thought to try and collect signatures for that category.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:27 AM
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Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick would be another to add.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:59 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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My intention of the thread is to show signatures of those KIA or MIA and declared deceased. Listing names is easy I can come up with about 150 Olympians that were killed from WWI through the Iraq War. The wow factor for me is going through an autograph album to decipher the signatures and discovering that they died during a war. I find that fascinating. The signatures of Polish Olympians I showed were all on the same page of an autograph album. They were collected by a New Zealand boxer who competed in 1932. He had this album with 6x8 pages and his name embossed in gold on the front. He had theme pages - Argentine Boxing Team, 18 of the 19 members of the team from India, Italian Boxing team, half of the Greek team, Italian fencing team and all of the male members of the Polish team segregated by sport - fencing, athletics and rowing. There were also about 8 pages of Japanese athletes in all sports. The boxer who obtained these signatures was Harold Thomas. He fought one match in the Olympics and lost which ended his Olympic career. Eight months later, on March 29, 1933, he committed suicide by jumping from a train in Wellington, New Zealand just a few hours after hearing his fiance had died. He was 24 years, two months old. I cut the signed pages from the album but could not destroy the album. I was able to return it, along with photocopies of the removed pages, to the president of the New Zealand Olympic Committee when he was in Washington, D.C. for the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) convention in October, 2015. I felt like I was getting it back home.
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Last edited by Michael B; 02-20-2017 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:15 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Here are a couple more.

Foy Draper - won a gold medal as part of the 4 x 100 m relay in Berlin along with Jesse Owens, RAlph Metcalfe and Frank Wycoff This was the first 4 x 100 m relay team to run under 40 seconds. Draper was shot down during the Battle of Kasserine Pass, Tunisia on January 4, 1943. The first signature is from the 1934 AAU Championships in Milwaukee. the second is while a member of the Olympic Team signed on the boat coming home.

Charley Paddock - technically not a casualty of war as he did not die in battle, but he did die during the war while in the military. Served as a Lieutenant in the artillery in WWI. Won several gold medals at the Inter-Allied Games in 1919. Won 2 golds and silver, including the 100 m dash at the 1920 Olympics He is depicted in the movie "Chariots of Fire'. He would only win a silver in the 200 m in 1924. When WWII broke out he enlisted in the Marine Corps with the rank of captain serving as an aide to General William Upshur. He had served as an aide for Upshur in WWI. They both died in a plane crash in Sitka, Alaska on July 21, 1943. The letter was written on Christmas Day 1942, less than seven months before he died. I also have the envelope in his hand. The photo is his official USMC photo in my archives.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Draper,-Foy-(1934).jpg (9.4 KB, 650 views)
File Type: jpg Draper, Foy (1936).jpg (29.7 KB, 651 views)
File Type: jpg paddock1.jpg (32.6 KB, 656 views)
File Type: jpg paddock-2.jpg (29.3 KB, 652 views)
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Last edited by Michael B; 02-22-2017 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:54 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Here is another person I would consider a war casualty. He did not die in battle, but he did die during war time while in the service.

Tommy Hitchcock (1900-1944) - Considered the greatest American Polo player of all time. Won a silver medal in polo at the 1924 Olympics. He enlisted with the French forces in WWI later transferring to the U.S. Army Air Corps. He flew in the Lafayette Escadrille. He was shot down and captured. He escaped when he jumped from moving train as it crossed a river. Walked 100 miles to the Swiss border. Attended Harvard and Oxford after the war. Re-enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He died in a plane crash in England.

The person selling the second signature below claimed it was not him, but rather his father even though someone had written on it that it was obtained at a field where they had polo matches.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Hitchcock,-Tommy-(1930's)--.jpg (3.9 KB, 588 views)
File Type: jpg Hitchcock,-Tommy-(1921)---2.jpg (4.9 KB, 595 views)
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:02 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Here are a few more casualties of war. All three signatures were part of a recent acquisition that included around 250 competitors from the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles

Mauri Nyberg-Noroma also known as Mauri Noroma - He competed in gymnastics for Finland in the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics. He won a bronze medal in the team all-around event in 1932 and 1936. He was killed in action December 23, 1939 during the Finland Soviet Winter War.

Clayton Mansfield. He competed in Modern Pentathlon at the 1932 Olympics, but did not medal. He graduated from West Point in 1928. Originally in the cavalry he turned to tank warfare, studying it at Fort Knox. In August, 1944 he was sent to Europe where he was chief of staff of the 2nd Armored Division. In December he was promoted to regimental commander of the 66th Armored Division. He was leading that regiment when he was struck by enemy fire during the Battle of the Bulge on January 9, 1945. He died later that day shortly after receiving the silver star on the field for gallantry.

Attila Petschauer - Competing in fencing for Hungary he won a gold and silver medal in 1928 and a gold medal in 1932. He was a Hungarian Jew and would have been deported to a concentration camp but for his elite athlete status. He was eventually deported to the Davidovka concentration camp in the Ukraine. One story I found suggested he was walking down the street without the papers that gave him his exemption and he was picked up. While at the camp he was called out one day by the commander, a fellow Hungarian Olympian from the 1928 team. It was January 20th, 1943, the middle of the winter. He was forced to strip naked and climb up a tree where he was sprayed with freezing water. He would die that day. His story was told in the 1999 film "Sunshine" starring Ralph Finnes, Rosemary Harris and Rachel Weisz though the names were changed.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Nyberg-Noroma, Mauri (1932).jpg (62.9 KB, 478 views)
File Type: jpg Mansfield, Clayton (1932).jpg (56.8 KB, 478 views)
File Type: jpg Petschauer, Attila (1932).jpg (81.9 KB, 477 views)
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Last edited by Michael B; 01-03-2018 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:09 AM
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Michael, all I can say is Wow!! Amazing items, and what stories to go with them. Your dedication to these stories and researching the men, let alone having the ability to acquire them, is amazing. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:04 PM
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Bob Kalsu. The only professional football player killed in the Vietnam war.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dueces View Post
Bob Kalsu. The only professional football player killed in the Vietnam war.
As I stated in one of the early posts this thread is not to just list names of athletes, but to also show their signatures.

By the way you are also incorrect. Bob Kalsu was not the only pro football player to die in Vietnam. Don Steinbrunner was the first pro football player to die in the Vietnam War. Steinbrunner played 8 regular season games at tackle for the 1953 Cleveland Browns. He also played in the 1953 NFL championship game where the Browns lost to the Lions 17-16. He enlisted in the Air Force. He rose to the rank of major. On July 20, 1967 the plane he was flying in was shot down over Kon Tum killing all five aboard.
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Old 01-05-2018, 07:17 AM
2dueces 2dueces is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
As I stated in one of the early posts this thread is not to just list names of athletes, but to also show their signatures.

By the way you are also incorrect. Bob Kalsu was not the only pro football player to die in Vietnam. Don Steinbrunner was the first pro football player to die in the Vietnam War. Steinbrunner played 8 regular season games at tackle for the 1953 Cleveland Browns. He also played in the 1953 NFL championship game where the Browns lost to the Lions 17-16. He enlisted in the Air Force. He rose to the rank of major. On July 20, 1967 the plane he was flying in was shot down over Kon Tum killing all five aboard.
\

Thank you Michael, I stand corrected. Kalsu played for the Bills and was an active player in the AFL. Was Steinbrunner active at the time? Not that it matters. I was just posting his name hoping someone had his autograph.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:25 AM
1treasuretrove 1treasuretrove is offline
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Here is one I used to own of Young Bussey. He was a champion backup QB for the Bears and quit football to join the Navy after Pearl Harbor. He died in battle a few years later.
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File Type: jpg Young Bussey Cut.jpg (80.7 KB, 320 views)
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:54 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dueces View Post
\

Thank you Michael, I stand corrected. Kalsu played for the Bills and was an active player in the AFL. Was Steinbrunner active at the time? Not that it matters. I was just posting his name hoping someone had his autograph.
Steinbrunner was no longer a player when he died. He had to fulfill his military obligations and entered the Air Force. He had injured his knee playing in college which continued to be an issue in the pros. While he was in the service the Browns won NFL titles in 1954 and 1955. He chose to stay in the Air Force where he served until he died. During his service he was an assistant football coach at the Air Force Academy for 4 years.

It was not until many years later that it was discovered that Steinbrunner was the first and only other pro football casualty of the Vietnam War. He was honored by the Browns on November 14, 2004.

It would be interesting to see his signature. It is good to see when other members are able to contribute to this thread, which is a fascinating part of my collecting.
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Last edited by Michael B; 01-05-2018 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:26 PM
theshleps theshleps is offline
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I just purchased a 1941 Whos Who with 400 autographs. Who was a WWI war casualty who could be in there?
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:19 PM
1treasuretrove 1treasuretrove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theshleps View Post
I just purchased a 1941 Whos Who with 400 autographs. Who was a WWI war casualty who could be in there?
There would be a chance of three war casualties from a 1939 season (Gideon, O'Neill, Neighbors) item with that many autographs, not sure of any from 1941.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:09 PM
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Some new signatures to add to this thread. I acquired a July, 1848 menu from the RMS Queen Elizabeth (I). This ship took the U.S. fencing team along with the Cuban Olympic team to London for the 1948 Olympics This menu was signed by all members of the fencing team including coaches and spouses and about half of the Cuban team. One signature is from this menu. The other 3 are from a 1932 Olympic autograph album I got two weeks ago. I posted some signatures of famous Hollywood people who signed this album in the December pickups thread.

Manuel Puig - competed for Cuba in rowing in 1948, but did not medal. He was executed by the Cuban government in 1961 for assisting the CIA in the Bay of Pigs invasion. His brother Ramn competed with him. He eventually made it to the U.S. and died in Miami in 2016.

Izuo Anno - competed for Japan in athletics in 1932, but did not medal. He was killed in the Battle of South Guangxi in December, 1939 during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Akilles Jrvinen - competing for Finland he won a silver medal in the decathlon at the 1928 and 1932 Olympics. He died in March, 1943 during a military training flight in Finland.

Andrs Szkely - competing for Hungary he won a bronze medal in swimming at the 1932 games. He was Jewish and was sent to the Chernihiv Concentration Camp (now either NE Ukraine or SW Russia) where he was murdered in January, 1943.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Puig, Manuel (1948).jpg (32.5 KB, 247 views)
File Type: jpg Anno, Izuo (1932).jpg (35.7 KB, 245 views)
File Type: jpg Jrvinen, Akilles (1932).jpg (33.5 KB, 245 views)
File Type: jpg Szkely, Andrs (1932).JPG (76.5 KB, 244 views)
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Last edited by Michael B; 12-24-2018 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 12-25-2018, 01:52 AM
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Default Grassy Hinton

J. W. "Grassy" Hinton (June 30, 1907 - December 10, 1944) was a professional American football player who played quarterback for one season for the Staten Island Stapletons. Prior to his professional career, Hinton played college football at Texas Christian University. In 1930, he scored first-ever touchdown inside Amon G. Carter Stadium against Arkansas. A member of the school's baseball team, Hinton was selected as the Horned Frogs top outfielder for the 1932 season.

During World War II, Hinton was killed in a plane crash over Indonesia in 1944. He is currently honored in the Football's Wartime Heroes display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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File Type: jpg s-l1600 (14).jpg (74.0 KB, 225 views)
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Old 12-25-2018, 01:56 AM
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Not a signature but I would love to add Bob Kalsu to my collection. What a remarkable guy!
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:13 PM
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It has been a while since I have added any casualties of war signatures. I will have several other posts to add, but I wanted to start with this one. I picked up two autograph sheets from a late 1930's NCAA boxing championship. The seller had 1940, but it would not be possible as one of the people below had already graduated and played in the NFL.

Ted Kara – He competed in boxing at the 1936 Olympics. At the University of Idaho he won 3 NCAA boxing championships. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. He was a radioman on a plane when it was lost over the Pacific February, 1944. The signature below his is his brother Frank. He was also an NCAA boxing champ. The first brothers to do this.

Keith Birlem – He was a star quarterback at San Jose State. His coach was 1924 Olympic gold medalist in rugby, Dudley DeGroot. He was an all around athlete, also competing in swimming and boxing. Birlem would play 9 games in the NFL in 1939, 6 for the Chicago Cardinals and 3 for the Washington Redskins. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at the outbreak of WWII. He rose to the rank of Major and in November, 1943 he was appointed commander of the 508th Bombardment Squadron, 351st Bomber Group. His squadron arrived in England in April, 1944 with their first combat mission slated for May 14. He got an early trial by fire on his 28th birthday, May 4, 1944. He flew as co-pilot on the ‘Vicious Virgin’, part of the 427th Bombardment Squadron, 303rd Bomber Group. They flew a mission to bomb the former GM and Ford Auto plants in Antwerp, Belgium. They were attacked by German aircraft, but arrived safely back in England. The lead plane at assembly that day was the B-17F ‘Son’ co-piloted by Billy Southworth, Jr. , former minor league baseball player, son of the Hall of Famer of the same name and the first pro ball player to enlist in the armed forces prior to WWII. There was an observer in the B-17F ‘8 Ball MKII’, Capt. Clarke Gable. He manned the radio room gun for the raid. He had a cameraman with him who filmed much of the raid and subsequent air battle. The film was used in the movie ‘Combat America’. Three days later, May 7, 1943, Birlem went on a training flight from the air base at Polebrook, Northhamptonshire, England. Another B-17 was also on a training mission that day. Both planes collided and all 20 men were killed. The signature below his is James ‘Monk’ Moscrip who played for the Detroit Lions 1939-1940
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Kara.JPG (13.0 KB, 165 views)
File Type: jpg Birlem.JPG (15.6 KB, 166 views)
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:36 AM
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Freddie Tomlins competed in men's figure skating for Great Britain at the 1936 Olympics. He finished 10th. In 1939 he won a silver medal in both the European and World Championships. He was presented with a gold wristwatch by Adolf Hitler when he won an international figure skating championship in Germany in 1937. He joined the RAF in 1938 or 1939. He was killed June 20, 1943 over the English Channel in a battle with a German Submarine. These are from a pair of family scrapbooks I recently acquired. I would not normally purchase items related to a non-U.S. Olympian, but these were too nice to pass up. One scrapbook was all newspaper articles. The second scrapbook was filled with newspaper articles and clippings, 25 real photo post cards (RPPC's) and 40 photos ranging in size from about 2x3 to 8x10.

Three of these are RPPC's. The deckle edge one is not. The two on the left were taken by German photographers from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany site of the 1936 Winter Olympics. The posed one in his official Olympic outfit, top right, was taken by a photographer from Nrnberg (Nuremberg).
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File Type: jpg tomlins-2.jpg (32.0 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg tomlins-3.jpg (27.5 KB, 70 views)
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