I recently pulled out my copy of the 1942 ND Football Guide
by olson (2019-02-11 13:12:34)
Edited on 2019-02-12 09:44:11

I pulled the '42 ND football guide 3 times last week to look up information on 3 assistants that I wanted for various NDNation posts.

The 3 assistants were Ed McKeever(first GM of the Boston Patriots), Joe 'Captain Blythe' McArdle (brother in law of Patriots original owner Sullivan), and Bob Snyder(who retired from the Bears to teach ND QBs Bertelli, Lujack & Dancewicz the new fangled 'T' formation in '42).

The Football Guide was known then as the "1942 ND Varsity Football Information Sheet" (even though it was 31 pages).

After finding what I was looking for,I then began to reread the bio's of the '42 Irish players-which were broken out by position...the first position listed was ENDs.

Knowing what I know life had in store for those players, I was struck by the unique stories of each player-the ND ends in particular....so here goes-more old stories....just the ends.

The players below are listed by how they were presented in the guide...the stories below their names are my comments on what life had in store for them after the '42 ND season.

Notre Dame varsity ENDS 1942

**Barry, Norman John (Jack)

A senior letterman, Barry was the son of ND great Norm Barry-a teammate of the Gipper.

The son would be with the first wave to hit Omaha Beach on D Day in 1944. Young Barry would survive and return to ND to attend law school & help coach the 1946 ND 'B' team (Junior Varsity).


**Cusick, Francis Michael (Mike)

Sophomore Cusick found himself in Leahy's starting lineup at end in the preseason practices of '42. Cusick's promotion to 1st team was due to Leahy's decision (some would say crazy decision) to move All American end Bob Dove to guard in '42. Only one sophomore had started for ND in the preceding 10 years-and ironically, that was Bob Dove two years before!

But Leahy came to his senses & Dove moved back to end by the start of the season(though he's listed as a guard in the '42 ND footbal Guide).

Cusick still played enough to win a letter in '42 -then he was off to war.

A navigator on a B-17 bomber, Cusick flew numerous missions over Europe-awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart & an Air Medal with 2 clusters.

Cusick's B-17 was shot down on 1/23/45 'over Germany'. He was listed as "MIA' =missing in action. When the 1945 ND Football Guide put in a full page salute to the ND football 'lettermen' who died in WWII, Cusick was left out-after all, he was still MIA. Finally, sometime in 1946, Cusick's status was changed to KIA =Killed in Action...his body was never recovered.

Cusick was one of 18 ND football players to die in WWII.


**Dwyer, Eugene Joseph (Gene)

Yet another soph, from Chicago Mt Carmel & a HS teammate of Ziggy Czabobski. Dwyer played on the '42 varsity & then went off to war.

After the war, Dwyer received the same answer as most ND football/vets returning from service = "come if you want"(regarding returning to play at ND)...there were way too many vets/ND players with eligibility remaining for the spots on the 1946 Irish. Most could try out (if they chose to)-but slots on the team would not be guaranteed.

Dwyer chose to transfer to St Ambrose. Gene would end up being only the second player ever from St Ambrose to be selected in an NFL draft.


**Huber, William Wendell (Bill)

Also played on the '42 varsity as a sophomore & then went off to military service at Camp Grant(Rockford, Ill ?). While at Camp Grant, Huber continued to play football...in fact, the College All Star game in Chicago vs the NFL champs continued during the war. But since the College team was struggling to find enough graduating seniors, non-seniors were used. Huber actually played in 3 different summer College All Star games -each time listed as an ND player(though he was in the Army? at Camp Grant).

After the war, Huber got the same 'come if you want' response to his inquiry at ND...no guarantees. So Huber transferred to Illinois. He played against ND in '46 (ND won 26-6) and then in the Rose Bowl for the Illini...Huber returned the opening kickoff in that Rose Bowl for the Illini.

Limont, Joseph Paul (Buddy)

A favorite ND player of mine. The NDNation BoardOps put me in touch with Limont's son a few years back-the son wanted to know more about his father's time at ND.

Here is what I told the son:

Limont, New Orleans Jesuit, was the target of the very first (of many) recruiting battle that new HCs Frank Leahy (ND) and Red Blaik (Army) had against each other. Limont had received an appointment to West Point-but chose ND.

Limont, who ran a 10 flat 100, was a star end on the 1943 ND National Champs. After 2 years at ND, Limont went to war. In 1945, Limont was selected in the NFL draft-but decided to return to ND.

Limont had what was referred to as 'war legs'...he simply struggled to get into good enough shape after military service to play on the varsity. So Limont was relegated to the ND 'B' squad...B coach Norm Barry, realizing his old teammate wouldn't be happy with the assignment, made Limont the captain of the ND 'B' team...although it was meant as a compliment, this gesture only enraged Limont more....against the Purdue 'B' team, Limont played like a madman-knocking down everyone in his way-making tackles all over the field. His sterling play was reported to Coach Leahy...a promotion back to the varsity followed...by the Tulane game(at his old New Orleans home...Limont was a starter & named captain for the contest.)

Per the book 'Leahy's Lads' the vets on the roster particularly admired their vet teammate for his 'never give up attitude'.

Limont's son had never heard that story before.

I also told the Limont son the story of his uncle Mark Limont (Paul's younger brother). Mark had caught a td pass in the very 1st ND game that he played in - vs Pitt in 1944....also, Mark Limont is the only ND football player ever from Cape Cod(the family had moved to Hyannis in Mark's senior yr of HS). The younger Limont's response to that...he told me that he never knew his uncle played football at Notre Dame!!

Both Limont brothers graduated from ND.


**McGinnis, John James (Mac)

This Chicago St George junior lived near Wrigley Field -but admitted in the guide that he was a St Louis Cardinals fan. McGinnis was selected in the 1944 NFL draft-but was away at war by then.

McGinnis never got a chance to play pro football. Just before McGinnis was killed in action on Mindanao, John had been cited for heroism in leading his men through a mine field to rescue American solders who had been trapped by the Japanese.


**Murphy, Captain George Edward (Murph)

In 1942, George Murphy became the first ND team captain from South Bend since Cap Edwards in 1909. George's older brother John had also played football at ND; and later would be an assistant football coach at ND for Kuharich, Devore and Ara.

George Murphy entered the Marine Corps after graduating from ND. He was killed in action on Okinawa in 1945. Murphy left behind a wife & infant daughter that he never saw-Murphy had shipped out overseas the day after his daughter was born.


**Yonakor, John Joseph (Jumbo)

A 6'4 222 lbs sophomore. One of 3 Marianopolis Prep School (CT) recruits in Leahy's first ND recruiting class.

Yonakor was a starting end (opposite Limont) on the 1943 ND National Champs & named All American + a first rd NFL draft choice.-then went off to the Marines.

Years later, Yonakor's 6'10 son would disappoint Digger/ND & head to play
for Dean Smith & the Tar Heels.


**Zilly, John Jynus (Jack)

Zilly had spent 4 seasons in HS at Lewis High in Southington Ct & then two more at Cheshire Academy before heading to ND in Frank Leahy's first recruiting class in '41.

Zilly was the primary reason that Leahy thought it would be ok to move AA Dove to guard from end. But Zilly was declared academically ineligible prior to the season. Zilly came back & played on the '43 National Champs & after military service was a star on the 1946 ND team-a dominating stand up DE vs Army in the famous 0-0 tie in Yankee Stadium.

Zilly played for the LA Rams after graduating & found time for a few bit parts in the movies too; among them = "I was a male war bride"(starring Cary Grant) & "12 O'Clock High" (starring Gregory Peck)...then coaching-an assistant at ND & then HC at Rhode Island.

Zilly sent his son to play for Ara in 1967......for some reason, Ara seemed to collect/recruit players with last names starting with the letter Z:

Zilly, 2 Zloch's(Chuck & Jim),Zubek, Ziegler, Zimmerman,Ziznewski, Zuber, Zikas,Zielony, Zanot, and Zappala.