Albert Charles Blozis (January 5, 1919 – January 21, 1945) was an American football player who died as a soldier while in combat during World War II.
Early life [ edit ]
Blozis was born in
Garfield, New Jersey to Lithuanian immigrants. He attended [1 ] William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, New Jersey where he became well known for throwing the discus and shot put. At [1 ] Georgetown University, he was the national indoor and outdoor shotput champion in both 1942 and 1943. He set the world indoor record for the shotput, throwing it 56 feet 4.5 inches in 1941 at a meet in [2 ] Cleveland.
drafted in the fifth round of the 1942 NFL Draft and played offensive tackle for the New York Giants of the National Football League. He played for the Giants in 1942 and 1943 before entering the military. He was also able to play three games in 1944 while on furlough.
World War II and death [ edit ]
In a 1991 news story,
The New York Times wrote, "Curiously, the very size that made him so intimidating on the football field kept him out of the military until late 1943, when, after repeated attempts, Blozis finally persuaded the Army to waive its size limit and accept him. It took further persuading to get from a desk job to the front lines." [1 ]
Blozis was inducted into the
Army on December 9, 1943. He was first assigned to duty as a physical instructor at Walter Reed General Hospital and then went through Officers' training at Fort Benning. At Fort Benning, he set the Army's hand grenade throwing record with a toss of 94 yards, 2 feet 6.5 inches. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the [1 ] 28th Infantry Division. In January 1945, his platoon was in the Vosges Mountains of France scouting enemy lines. When two of his men, a Sergeant and a private, failed to return from a patrol, he went in search of them alone. He never returned. [3 ]
Blozis was first listed as missing, but in April of that year his death was confirmed. His remains were buried at the
Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in Saint-Avold, Moselle. [4 ]
New York Giants retired the number 32, which Blozis had worn. A second Giants player, Jack Lummus also died in World War II. [5 ]
In April 1946 True Comics
featured a story about Blozis entitled [6 ] The Human Howitzer. [7 ]
The United States Army honored him by naming an athletic center in
Frankfurt, Germany, after him. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986. [4 ]
See also [ edit ]
Pat Tillman – professional football player who enlisted in the US Army and was killed in action in Afghanistan
References [ edit ]
Blozis was killed Jan 21 in France,
New York Times, April 9, 1945. Two Giants Were Heroes Far From Playing Field; Al Blozis, a Star Tackle, and Jack Lummus, a Promising Receiver, Died in Combat in World War II,
New York Times, January 26, 1991.
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]