Friday, March 3, 2017

The NFL USO Tours: A Complete List

By John Turney
Pete Rozelle
"In 1965, looking for a way to demonstrate the NFL's support for America's fighting forces in Vietnam, then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle conceived the idea of sending NFL players to Vietnam on "goodwill tours" to visit U.S. troops. The following year the NFL joined forces with the USO and became the first sports organization to send a group of players to Vietnam and other parts of the Far East."

A Complete list of NFL players and coaches  who made USO tours:

John Unitas, Baltimore Colts
Willie Davis, Green Bay Packers
Sam Huff, New York Giants
Frank Gifford, New York Giants

Don Meredith, Dallas Cowboys
Dick Bass, Los Angeles Rams
Larry Wilson, St. Louis Cardinals

1967 USO Tour: Don Meredith, unknown, Dick Bass, Larry Wilson

Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers
Wayne Walker, Detroit Lions
Ernie Green, Cleveland Browns
Lance Alworth, San Diego Chargers
Andy Russell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bill Brown, Minnesota Vikings
Bobby Bell, Kansas City Chiefs
John David Crow, San Francisco 49ers
Jack Kemp, Buffalo Bills

On the 1968 USO Tour to Vietnam and Army veteran Andy Russell: "We arrived the day before the Tet Offensive started. On the way to our hotel, our escort officer handed me an M-16 with a double clip. He said, 'Lieutenant Russell, here's your weapon. You're riding shotgun because we don't have anybody to do it. We know that you were in the service and qualified with this weapon, so you have to be sitting shotgun on your trips.' That's how we started our journey. That night we had to protect every entry point of the hotel So I pulled guard duty for two hours, with my weapon pointing down a stairwell, and I was ready to use it. That experience, though, couldn't compare to the soldiers who risked everything to support our way of life. They faced these dangerous situations daily. We were thrilled to pay our respects to the troops."

Russell's book A Steelers Odyssey spends a full chapter on the 1968 USO Tour and it is a harrowing tale, from having to help defend the hotel, to trying to keep Jack Kemp from getting shot as he tried to audio tape the "sounds of war" to learning (along with 20 female nurses, USO workers, and embassy workers) that Viking running back Bill Brown liked to sleep in the nude. Russell's book is well worth reading.

Billy Ray Smith, Baltimore Colts
Irv Cross, Los Angeles Rams
Dick Schafrath, Cleveland Browns
Al Atkinson, New York Jets
Tommy Nobis, Atlanta Falcons
Dick Westmoreland, Miami Dolphins
Dan Reeves, Dallas Cowboys
Joe Namath, New York Jets
Jim Otto, Oakland Raiders
Steve Wright, New York Giants
Marv Fleming, Green Bay Packers

NFL Players with soldier.

Joe Namath with a wounded soldier.

Tucker Frederickson, New York Giants
Jack Snow, Los Angeles Rams
Floyd Little, Denver Broncos
Chuck Walker, St. Louis Cardinals
Paul Maguire, Buffalo Bills
Jim Nance, Boston Patriots
Len Rohde, San Francisco 49ers
Dan Conners, Oakland Raiders
Gary Garrison, San Diego Chargers
Norman Snead, Philadelphia Eagles
Chris Hanburger, Washington Redskins
Jim Marshall, Minnesota Vikings
Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears
Dave Whitsell, New Orleans Saints
George Webster, Houston Oilers

John Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
George Kunz, Atlanta Falcons
Fred Hoaglin, Cleveland Browns
Jerry Smith, Washington Redskins
Tom Woodeshick, Philadelphia Eagles
George Byrd, Buffalo Bills
Jon Morris, Boston Patriots
Clint Jones, Minnesota Vikings
Greg Landry, Detroit Lions
Joe Scibelli, Los Angeles Rams
Larry Csonka, Miami Dolphins
Bob Lilly, Dallas Cowboys
Ernie Wright, Cincinnati Bengals
Tom Matte, Baltimore Colts
Tom Dempsey, New Orleans Saints
Lem Barney, Detroit Lions
Mike Curtis, Baltimore Colts

Manny Fernandez, Miami Dolphins
Charlie Kruger, San Francisco 49ers
Jack Gregory, Cleveland Browns
Mike Garrett, San Diego Chargers
Marlin McKeever, Los Angeles Rams
Grady Alderman, Minnesota Vikings
John Elliott, New York Jets
John Fuqua, Pittsburgh Steelers
Marlin Briscoe, Buffalo Bills
Roger Wehrli, St. Louis Cardinals
Otis Taylor, Kansas City Chiefs
Danny Abramowicz, New Orleans Saints
Bill Curry, Baltimore Colts
Donny Anderson, Green Bay Packers
Gene Upshaw, Oakland Raiders
Ken Houston, Houston Oilers

Marty Domres, Baltimore Colts
Bill Kilmer, Washington Redskins
Karl Kassulke, Minnesota Vikings
Jim Marsalis, Kansas City Chiefs
Ken Iman, Los Angeles Rams
Archie Manning, New Orleans Saints
George Atkinson, Oakland Raiders
Cliff Harris, Dallas Cowboys
Joe Morrison, New York Giants
Mike McCoy, Green Bay Packers
John Zook, Atlanta Falcons

Jim Mandich, Miami Dolphins
John Gilliam, Minnesota Vikings
Art Thoms, Oakland Raiders
Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
Diron Talbert, Washington Redskins
Jack Youngblood, Los Angeles Rams
Bill Munson, Detroit Lions
1974 USO Tour (L-R) Franco Harris, Art Thoms, Jim Mandich, Diron Talbert, Jack Youngblood, Bill Munson, Bill Granholm and John Gilliam
Rocky Bleier, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ray Mansfield, Pittsburgh Steelers
Carl Eller, Minnesota Vikings
Tom Mack, Los Angeles Rams
Ahmad Rashad, Buffalo Bills

Standing: Carl Eller and Tom Mack; Kneeling: Ahmad Rashad, Bill Granholm, Rocky Bleier, and Ray Mansfield
Jack Lambert, Pittsburgh Steelers
Lynn Swann, Pittsburgh Steelers
James Harris, Los Angeles Rams
D.D. Lewis, Dallas Cowboys

Lewis, Swann Granholm, and Lambert
George Buehler, Oakland Raiders
Ahmad Rashad, Minnesota Vikings
Jack Lambert, Pittsburgh Stealers
Carl Eller, Minnesota Vikings
Steve Grogan, New England Patriots

Willie Brown, Oakland Raiders
Lawrence McCutcheon, Los Angeles Rams
Russ Francis, New England Patriots
Mike Montler, Denver Broncos

Joe Klecko, New York Jets
Matt Blair, Minnesota Vikings
Hank Bauer, San Diego Chargers
Jon Kolb, Pittsburgh Steelers

Hank Bauer, San Diego Chargers
Matt Blair, Minnesota Vikings
Bod Brudzinski, Los Angeles Rams
Efren Herrera, Seattle Seahawks

Dave Dalby, Oakland Raiders
Mike Davis, Oakland Raiders
Efren Herrera, Seattle Seahawks
Doug Wilkerson, San Diego Chargers

Gregg Bingham, Houston Oilers
Mike Davis, Los Angeles Raiders
Russ Francis, San Francisco 49ers
Mark May, Washington Redskins
Ray Wersching, San Francisco 49ers

1985-99 No NFL-related USO Tours

David Franklin, New Orleans Saints
Dwight Hicks, San Francisco 49ers
Brett Bach, New Orleans Saints
Keith Poole, New Orleans Saints
H.R. Silvagni, Minnesota Vikings
Bubba Winkler, Atlanta Falcons
Carlos Bradley, San Diego Chargers/Philadelphia Eagles
David Little, Pittsburgh Steelers
Sam Hunt, New England Patriots
Carlton Bailey, Buffalo Bills/N.Y. Giants/Carolina Panthers
Kent Hill, Los Angeles Rams
Lee Rouson, New York Jets
Mike Quick, Philadelphia Eagles
Andy Headen, New York Giants
Lorenzo Hampton, Miami Dolphins
Henry Lawrence, Los Angeles Raiders
Russell Carter, New York Jets
Byron Hunt, New York Giants
Roland James, New England Patriots
Ronnie Lapette, New England Patriots
Don MacNeal, Miami Dolphins
Curtis McGriff, New York Giants
Stephen Baker, New York Giants
Scott Connover, Detroit Lions
Pete Shaw, San Diego Chargers/New York Giants
Willie Buchanon, Green Bay Packers/ San Diego Chargers
Mark Duper, Miami Dolphins
Elmer Bailey, Miami Dolphins/ Baltimore Colts

H.R. Silvagni, Minnesota Vikings
Bubba Winkler, Atlanta Falcons
Carlos Bradley, San Diego Chargers/Philadelphia Eagles
David Little, Pittsburgh Steelers
PJ Foster, Houston Oilers
Terry White, Philadelphia Eagles
Kent Hill, Los Angeles Rams
Lee Rouson, New York Jets
Russell Carter, New York Jets
Roland James, New England Patriots
Ronnie Lippett, New England Patriots
Curtis McGriff, New York Giants
Scott Conover, Detroit Lions
Ed Hargrove, Minnesota Vikings

Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh Steelers
Eddie George, Tennessee Titans
Paul Tagliabue, NFL
Duce Staley, Philadelphia Eagles
Jason Taylor, Miami Dolphins
Zach Thomas, Miami Dolphins
Shelton Quarles,Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marvin Jones, New York Jets

Keith Brooking, Atlanta Falcons
Warrick Dunn, Atlanta Falcons
Todd Heap, Baltimore Ravens
Paul Tagliabue, NFL
Marco Rivera, Green Bay Packers
Brian Baldinger, Dallas Cowboys
Merton Hanks, NFL
Mike Haynes, NFL

Warrick Dunn, Atlanta Falcons
Larry Izzo, New England Patriots

Bryce Fisher, Seattle Seahawks
Patrick Kerney, Atlanta
Max Starks, Pittsburgh Steelers

Alge Crumpler, Atlanta Falcons
Shelton Quarles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Will Shields, Kansas City Chiefs
Benjamin Watson, New England Patriots

Luis Castillo, San Diego Chargers
Tommie Harris, Chicago Bears
Mike Rucker, Carolina Panthers
Roger Goodell, NFL
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings
Will Witherspoon, St. Louis Rams
Danny Clark, New York Giants
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans
Jon Gruden, Oakland Raiders /Tampa Bay Buccaneers
John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns
Mario Williams, Houston Texans
Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals
John Fox, Carolina Panthers
Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles

Merril Hoge, Pittsburgh Steelers
Matt Millen, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins
Anthony Muñoz, Cincinnati Bengals
Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans
Jim E. Mora, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts
Jim L. Mora, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks
Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals

Jason Baker, Carolina Panthers
Dhani Jones, Cincinnati Bengals
Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns
Takeo Spikes, San Diego Chargers
Eric Winston, Houston Texans
Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh Steelers/CBS
Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings
Ben Kotwica, New York Jets
Eric Mangini, New York Jets/Cleveland Browns/ESPN

Champ Bailey, Denver Broncos
D'Qwell Jackson, Cleveland Browns
Davin Joseph, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Von Miller, Denver Broncos
Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers
J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
Bill Polian, Indianapolis Colts/ESPN
Donnie Edwards, Kansas City Chiefs/San Diego Chargers
Chris Draft, Atlanta Falcons with other teams
Eric Metcalf, Atlanta Falcons, with many others

Akiem Hicks, New England Patriots
Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns
Brian Banks, NFL
Will Svitek, Tennessee Titans
Brandon Fields, Miami Dolphins
Pierre Garcon, Washington redskins
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts
Dwayne Allen , Indianapolis Colts
David DeCastro, Pittsburgh Steelers
Credit: USO   Chuck Pagano
Chuck Pagano,  Indianapolis Colts
Mike Adams, Indianapolis Colts
Anthony Castonzo, Indianapolis Colts
Pat McAfee, Indianapolis Colts
D'Qwell Jackson, Indianapolis Colts

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints
Byron Maxwell, Miami Dolphins

My suggestion to NFL Media Relations people is to update their media guides with their players who have made this trip. Most have already done so, but a few have missed the Viet-Nam era travelers.
Hank Bauer visiting with sailors.

Photos taken by US Military photographers and used under fair use claim for education & criticism.

1 comment:

  1. I was stationed in Fulda in the 80's and Matt Suhey (Post Superbowl XX), Dave Krieg, I believe Matt Blair and one other player came for a meet and great at OP Alpha while we were there that would have been in 1985 Suhey autographed my championship pennant.