Walter Roland"Waddy"Young Biography-1
Waddy was an end on the 1942 Western “Army All Stars” football team, consisting of both NFL professional players and former college greats. Their goal was to raise money for War Bonds. The Western All Stars played 5 exhibition games – against the Packers, Lions, Cardinals, Giants, & Redskins. Members of the Western & Eastern Army All Stars were awarded a Gruen 10K gold watch, each engraved with “Army All Stars 1942” and the player’s name ("W. R. Young")
Oklahoma's 1st All-American ~ NFL Player ~ WW2 War Hero
Walter “Waddy” Young (1916-1945) was a proud member of the “Greatest Generation” – a college All-American football player, an NFL wide receiver, and a WW2 hero who died in service to his country.
Waddy was the University of Oklahoma’s first consensus All-American football player. He led his undefeated (10-0) Sooners to its first conference championship and first bowl appearance in the 1939 Orange Bowl. After college, he played professionally as a receiver for the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National Football League (1938-1940).
Waddy voluntarily gave up his NFL career to become a member of the elite flying club who piloted America’s B-24 bombers in 25 missions over Europe. He then volunteered to go back into combat in the Pacific against Japan, where he commanded a squadron of B-29 Super Fortresses. His B-29 “Waddy’s Wagon” was shot down on January 9, 1945, after a raid over Tokyo while coming to the aid of a comrade whose plane was on fire.
Waddy's Watch Returned to Oklahoma Historian John Dwyer
In November 2022, I returned Waddy's Gruen All Stars watch to John Dwyer -- Oklahoma historian, novelist, educator -- and keeper of Waddy's heroic legacy.
John has thoroughly researched Waddy's life; interviewed his family & friends, and documented his exploits in speeches, books, podcasts, and two novels.
Click below to read John's story: