Waddy Young

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Waddy Young
Position: End
Personal information
Date of birth: September 14, 1916
Place of birth: Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States
Date of death: January 9, 1945(1945-01-09) (aged 28)
Place of death: Tokyo, Japan
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Ponca City (OK)
College: Oklahoma
NFL Draft: 1939 / Round: 3 / Pick: 20
Career history
Career highlights and awards

Player stats at [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/YounWa20

Military career
Allegiance United States United States
Service/branch United States Army seal U.S. Army Air Corps
Years of service 1942-1945
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Unit 21st Bomber Command, 73rd Bomb Wing, 497th Bombardment Group, 869th Bombardment Squadron
Battles/wars World War II: European Theatre, Pacific Theatre
Awards Bronze Oak Lef Cluster
Air Medal

Walter Roland Young (September 14, 1916 – January 9, 1945) was a professional football player who later served in World War II.

Football and war[edit]

Young was the first consensus All-American football player out of the University of Oklahoma. He led the team to its first conference championship ever as well as its first bowl berth ever, in the 1939 Orange Bowl. He also starred as a heavyweight wrestler for the Sooners. After college, he played professionally for the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National Football League, where he played in the league's first televised game. He voluntarily gave up his NFL career to become a member of the elite flying club who piloted America’s B-24 Liberator bombers over the European Theatre, flying 9,000 hours against mighty German Luftwaffe. Afterwards he volunteered to go back into combat in the Pacific Theatre against the Empire of Japan, where he flew a B-29 Super Fortresses. He was killed on January 9, 1945, in a plane crash during a B-29 raid over Tokyo as he attempted to assist a comrade whose plane had one engine on fire.

Young was inducted posthumously into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986 and named the recipient of the Robert Kalsu Freedom Award, presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, in 2007. The University of Oklahoma Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Arnold Air Society squadron and Silver Wings chapter is named in honor of Waddy Young.

Personal life[edit]

While living in New York City and playing professional football prior to America’s entry into World War II, he met Maggie Moody, a well-known blonde model who attended Oklahoma A&M, and the two fell in love. During halftime of a Brooklyn-New York Giants game in which he was playing, Young had the public address announcer voice his proposal to Maggie, who was sitting in the stands, and the two were later married.