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AN ERA SHAPED BY WAR
Robert Cantwell
November 30, 1964
The annual Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary Awards go to 25 college football players of the class of 1940 who achieved distinguished careers through
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November 30, 1964

An Era Shaped By War

The annual Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary Awards go to 25 college football players of the class of 1940 who achieved distinguished careers through

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JOHN WINTERHOLLER, WYOMING
One of the best athletes ever to attend the University of Wyoming—he won 12 varsity letters, including four as a halfback in football—John Winterholler turned down offers to play professional baseball after graduation and went instead to Marine officer-training school. Stationed in Manila when the Japanese attacked, he won two battlefield decorations, the Silver Star and the Bronze Star, before Corregidor fell. He survived the Bataan Death March, but by the time he was liberated from a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in 1945 his weight had fallen from 170 to 125, he was paralyzed from the waist down and was near death from malnutrition. He was returned to Corona Naval Hospital, where he helped organize a wheelchair basketball team called the Rolling Devils. Discharged from the hospital after four years, he earned a public-accounting degree and now works in Oakland, Calif. as an administrative assistant for a doctor who first treated him at the hospital. And he is still a sportsman. When the 1963 deer season opened, he went out with eight medical men to hunt on a ranch near Santa Cruz. They stationed him on a promontory, hoping something would come his way. Four hours later the party came back, empty-handed. But Winterholler had his buck.

COLONEL FREDERICK S. YEAGER, U.S. MILITARY ACADEMY
When candidates for the 1936 plebe football team assembled, Frederick Yeager was there. He remembers an inspirational address by the head coach and then an order for ends to go to one part of the field, backs to another, etc. "Guys rushed off in all directions," he says, "until the coach and I were standing alone. He asked me what position I played and I said, 'Sir, I've never played football." He looked at me as if I was crazy. Then he picked the smallest group, which was the ends, and he said, 'O.K. You look like an end to me.' " An end he became, and a good enough one to play three years with the varsity. Like John Winterholler, he was on the Bataan Death March. When he reached the prison camp he found a man who spoke Russian, and three and a half years later Yeager had learned enough Russian to become a linguist. After teaching Russian at West Point for three years, he served at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in the early '50s. "It was a fascinating experience," says Yeager. "I was there for the death of Stalin and the rise and fall of Beria. I guess I saw the turning point in Soviet life." He was later sent by the Army to Princeton, where his abilities eventually earned him two master's degrees and a Ph.D., and he is now in England attending the Imperial Defense College, Britain's top school for staff officers. He is as brilliant, intense and dedicated as ever, and as lean and fit as when he entered West Point. There has been one change. When he took his annual physical this year he listed the color of his hair as black. "Well, sir," said the clerk, "I'll let it go this time, but next year we'd better say gray."

DR. WALTER ZIMDAHL, SYRACUSE
"They called me 'the opportunist,' " recalls Walter Zimdahl, who made his way through medical school, after three seasons as a Syracuse fullback, by washing dishes, sweeping out the gym, helping in the county morgue and scouring test tubes. Summers he worked in a drugstore, where he learned to hold eight ice cream cones in one hand, yet he was not too busy to be named president of his class four straight years. While in the Army he became chief of the Cardiovascular Section of the Disease Research Institute of the Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Now a heart specialist in Buffalo, he helped develop a polio unit capable of handling a greatly increased number of respiratory cases, assisted in establishing a hearing and speech center and set up a "heart kitchen" for disabled patients. He has published many papers on cardiovascular diseases and is extremely active in medical association projects. "He is a man," says a friend, "who likes to run things."

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