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  #1  
Old 10-21-2020, 11:59 PM
Ruckus221 Ruckus221 is offline
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Default What American boxers saw combat in WWII?

A recent thread here noted that Lightweight/welterweight champ Barney Ross saw action as a Marine in the South Pacific, and was awarded a Silver Star for bravery. Now I wonder how many other American boxers actually experienced combat on the ground, in the air, or on the high seas. Its something Id to research thoroughly and report back. Your suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2020, 12:48 AM
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I'd bet the historian at the boxing HOF could help. IBHOF.com
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:02 AM
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WW2 era Ring Magazines devoted entire sections to both Military Boxing and Stateside boxers who were active in the military.
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:39 AM
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Not an American boxer, but Max Schmeling survived through WWII as a German paratrooper, essentially with a bounty on his head, after he pissed off Hitler.
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:44 AM
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Here's a list of World War II Veterans compiled by Boxrec. Which of these guys actually saw combat would need additional research.

https://boxrec.com/media/index.php/C...ar_II_Veterans
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:50 AM
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Fred Apostoli (late 1930's Middleweight Champ) was still an active boxer, served as a gunner in the Pacific aboard the USS Columbia, and resumed his career after the war was over.
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Old 10-24-2020, 11:13 AM
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Don't forget the Merchant Marines: they experienced higher casualty rates than the Navy at some points in the U-boat war in the Atlantic.

Here's one for you:



Jeff Dickson was an American boxing promoter in Europe in the interwar period, elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2000. This British 1930s RPPC shows him with fellow HOFers Thil and Brown. In 1943, Capt. Jeff Dickson was killed in action over Germany while serving in the U.S. Air Force during World War II.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:09 PM
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As mentioned above. This Devil Dog:
Barney Ross, USMC
Awarded Silver Star in Guadalcanal
Semper Fi!

Gene Tunney, USMC WWI *boxing team, no combat
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Last edited by Tao_Moko; 10-25-2020 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 11-03-2020, 04:10 AM
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You did not specify pro boxers. Here is a list of Olympic boxers who fought in WWII. Some of them also fought professionally.

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. I showed his signature in the thread I started several years ago titled 'Casualties of War'.

Nat Bor – 1932 bronze medalist. Enlisted in the Marines. Served as a boxing coach at Paris Island.

Eddie Flynn – 1932 gold medalist. Drafted into the service in 1935. Served through WWII.

Carmen Barth – 1932 gold medalist. Drafted into the Navy in 1942.

Eddie Eagan - mistakenly credited with being the first athlete to win a gold medal in the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Eagan has one of those stories that seems like fiction. He enrolled in the University of Denver. After one year enlisted in the army and served as an artillery lieutenant in France during WWI. He enrolled in Yale after the war. He was named captain of the boxing team. He won the AAU heavyweight boxing championship in 1919. Later that year he competed in the Inter-Allied Games in Paris which were only open to those who served in the military. He won the middleweight championship. He was a member of the 1920 U.S. Olympic boxing team where he won his first gold medal. After graduating from Yale in 1921 he enrolled in Harvard Law School. He left after one year as he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. While at Oxford he became the first American to win the British amateur boxing championship. He was a member of the Olympic boxing team in 1924, but was eliminated. After touring the world for 2 years he returned to the U.S. where he trained Gene Tunney for the 'long count' match with Jack Dempsey. He started a legal career. In early 1932 the head of the U.S. Olympic Bobsled Committee, a friend of Eagan, asked him to compete in bobsled as one of the four man team members decided to compete in two man bobsled. It may seem odd, but besides boxing, Eagan also competed in tennis, fencing, swimming and wrestling in college. Eagan would go on to win a gold medal at the 1932 games in Lake Placid. His bob mates were Billy Fiske one of the first U.S. pilots to die in WWII while flying for the RAF, Tippy Gray a songwriter of over 3,000 songs and the aforementioned head of the U.S. Bobsled Committee who was 49 years old. Eagan would join the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII becoming chief of special services and achieving the rank of Lt. Colonel. He earned combat ribbons in all three theatres of operation during the war. He became an assistant U.S. Attorney, head of the NY State Athletic Commission and director of sports for the 1964 World's Fair.

Harry Henderson – 1928 Olympic boxer. US Naval Academy grad 1925 or so. Rose to the rank of Rear Admiral.

Andy Scrivani – 1936 Olympic boxer. Served in the U.S. Army earning the Bronze Star.

Art Oliver – 1936 Olympic boxer. Served in the U.S. Army
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Last edited by Michael B; 11-03-2020 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 11-03-2020, 11:41 AM
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Speaking of Eddie Eagan, the Army produced a set of cards for the Inter-Allied Games. They are rare. Here are six of the boxing cards including one of Eagan:





The Eagan image is the one used on some of the Olympics history cards from the last few decades even though it was not an Olympic Games image:

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Last edited by Exhibitman; 11-03-2020 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 11-03-2020, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
Speaking of Eddie Eagan, the Army produced a set of cards for the Inter-Allied Games. They are rare. Here are six of the boxing cards including one of Eagan:





The Eagan image is the one used on some of the Olympics history cards from the last few decades even though it was not an Olympic Games image:


Those are neat as hell. Never seen those before.
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Old 11-03-2020, 12:03 PM
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Virtually no one has seen them. I had no idea they existed until I came across the six I have there on eBay and did some research. Check out this site if you want to see more:

http://umassamherst.lunaimaging.com/...vlet/umass~2~2

I came into contact with a professor at the Unversity of Massachusetts Amherst who studies the Inter-Allied Games. He told me that the cards were created by the US Army Signal Corps and there are at least 144 of them covering all sports and the ceremonies.

The set will be in the next edition of my boxing card guide.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 11-03-2020 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 11-03-2020, 11:21 PM
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I am currently reorganizing my photo archives so these were easy to find as I just finished my Olympic boxers. A few photos of Eddie Eagan from the Bowlby American Olympian photo archives.

Yale Captains photo
eagan-3.jpg

Returning home from the Olympics with the statue given to gold medalists
eagan-2.jpg

His signature from 1922 when he was at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. From an envelope he sent to Spike Webb longtime boxing coach at the Naval Academy and U.S. Olympic Boxing coach 1920, 1924, 1928, 1932.

Eagan, Eddie (1922) - 2.JPG

The US Signal Corps probably took photos of all of the American competitors at the Inter-Allied Games. Here is one of Fred Faller. Fought in WWI. Competed 1920 Olympics. I met him in 1984 shortly before he died.

faller.JPG
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Last edited by Michael B; 11-03-2020 at 11:23 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-04-2020, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
Virtually no one has seen them. I had no idea they existed until I came across the six I have there on eBay and did some research. Check out this site if you want to see more:

http://umassamherst.lunaimaging.com/...vlet/umass~2~2

I came into contact with a professor at the Unversity of Massachusetts Amherst who studies the Inter-Allied Games. He told me that the cards were created by the US Army Signal Corps and there are at least 144 of them covering all sports and the ceremonies.

The set will be in the next edition of my boxing card guide.

Were these cut from a sheet Adam? Are the backs blank?

I think the one below has to be one of my all-time favorite boxing images. There's a couple similar shots on a baseball field also, that are pretty cool.
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Old 11-04-2020, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Bergin View Post
Were these cut from a sheet Adam? Are the backs blank?

I think the one below has to be one of my all-time favorite boxing images. There's a couple similar shots on a baseball field also, that are pretty cool.
They are blank backed and machine cut.

I think I like the Martin KO shot the best of the lot. In looking at them I realized I have Martin, Cogshill, and Martin KO'ing Cogshill.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 11-04-2020 at 07:04 PM.
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