Monday, June 6, 2016

Four Pro Football Hall of Famers Who Participated in the D-Day Invasion

By John Turney

Frank Gatski said he followed the invasion and was not in the "heavy fighting" but according to "he was among the infantrymen landed on D-Day." 

Dante Lavelli, another Browns Hall of Famer, did see heavy fighting, "He was there with the 28th Infantry, the “Bloody Bucket Division” that fought from Normandy to the Ardennes where he and his fellow soldiers faced dire consequences. Lavelli told many he spent may days in a fox hole doing little but pray. reports that Hall of Famer Sid Luckman "Luckman fought at Normandy". We could fight little more of his war record.

Pete Pihos of the Eagles saw lots of action and according to Pennsylvania Center for the Book | Literary and Cultural Heritage, "Pete Pihos proudly served 14 months in Europe in the 35th Infantry in WWII, serving at the siege of St. Malo and in the Battle of the Bulge. He later observed: “I served under General Patton. We went from Normandy [D-Day] right through the Battle of the Bulge. All you could do was say, ‘I hope I live through today, and I hope I take care of my men the same way.’ It made you grow up in a hurry.” Pihos told the Professional (Pro) Football Hall of Fame that he could recall certain memories of what it was like to serve under General Patton, whom he recalled as a “tough son-of-a-gun.”"

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