Monday, November 10, 2014

Vol. 4 No.83 All Olympic Track and Field Athletes Killed in War

Last Memorial Day we listed the names of Olympic track and field Medalists who had died in war.  This year on Veterans Day, Armistice Day, or Remembrance day depending on where you live, we are listing the names of all Olympic track and field participants regardless of their placings who died as the result of any war.  We have also added pictures of those individuals that we could find. We shall continue to embellish this posting as we find more information about these individuals.

Sports Reference List of Olympians Killed in War

If you open  the above list you can click on the name of any athlete and a short biography and their individual Olympic results will be available.  Sports in the list are abbreviated such as MOP for Modern Pentathlon or ICH   Ice Hockey.  ART indicates Artist, as for many year the Olympics was also a competition in the arts.  This is a long list of over 400 names.  It is sad and yet inspiring reading.  There are heroes and villains listed.  The common bond is their Olympic participation.  I recommend a good glass of alcohol and a handkerchief if you choose to go through this list.  The wars range from WWI to the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  There is one  modern pentathlete who died in the last cavalry charge in modern  warfare, a Cuban rower who died in the Bay of Pigs invasion, and a Canadian 400 meter runner killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

One notable exception from this list is that of Eric Liddell,  the 1924 , 400 meter champion and 200 meter bronze medallist  from Great Britain/Scotland, who died in Japanese occupied China during WWII.  Why he is left off the list is not explained.   Other names may also have been left off.  Your help would be appreciated if there are others you notice missing.

Of note too,  I have seen a list of over 400 international athletes , not all Olympians, who were killed in WWI including 3 Tour de France winners.   The Tour was actually underway in 1914 when war was declared.  The winner that year died a year later in WWI.

This is the list of track and field athletes only and pictures where available.
Name                                           Nation      Date of Death.

1. Stepahn Adamczak                    Pol.      September 1939. Fought in the September campaign, he was killed in action                                                                              near Katowice.
2. Iwao Aizawa                               JPN    Died in World War II (per Volker Kluge), date and place not known.

3. Laurie Anderson                        GBR    9 November 1914. Killed in action while serving with the Cheshire Regiment.

4. William Anderson                     GBR     April 1915. Killed in action, France.

5. George Andre                           FRA      4 May 1943. Rugby international for France. Killed in action (shot down)

6. Nikolaos Andreadakis               GRE      1920. Killed during the Turkish-Greek War
9 July 1941. Killed near Gorki during fight on the Eastern Front in World War II. Posthumously, he was moved up in rank to Lieutenant to assist his family with his pension

7. Henry Ashington                      GBR     31 Jan. 1917 Killed in action in France

Joef Baran Bilewski                      Poland  April 1940. A prisoner in the Soviet camp for Polish officers in Kozielsk, he was murdered in April 1940
 in Katyń by the NKVD.

8. Franz Barsicke                   GER  
              1944. Killed in action during World War II.

9. Julije Bauer         YUG                      
15 March 1945. Killed in action in Pančevo 

10. Artur Baumle        GER  
                            6 January 1942. Missing in action                             Stalingrad/Volgograd

11. Martin Beckmann    GER   Missed in action since                                                1944 in World War II.


12. Renon Boissiere   FRA   25 September 1915.                                         Killed in action in  WWI.

13. Helmut Bonnet       GER
                27 September 1944. Killed in action                            during World War II.

14. Werner Bottcher  GER
10 November 1944. Missed in action since that date.

15. Jean Bouin  FRA  29 September 1914. Killed in action, by friendly fire.

16, Hans Braun   GER    9 October 1918. Died as a fighter pilot near Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France in World War I.

Hans Braun on right

17. Heinrich Burkowitz    GER  November 1918. Missing in action in November 1918 somewhere in Belgium

18.  George Butterfield  GBR   24 September 1917.                                   Killed in action, France

19. Jaime Camps  Spain   3 August 1921. Killed in action during the Rif War with Morocco

20. Giuseppe Castelli  ITA   19 December 1942. Killed during World War II in Russia

21. Joseph Caulle    FRA   1 October 1915. Killed in action during World War I.

22. Antoni Cejzik    POL  12 Sept. 1939  Killed in action as a soldier in the Mdlin Army near Zaborow (Mazowieckie).

23. Noel Chavasse   GBR  4 August 1917. He is one of only three men to have been awarded a bar to the Victoria Cross. Serving as a captain in the RAMC, he was first awarded the VC in 1916 and a bar, posthumously, in 1917

24. Frank Cuhel   USA    22 February 1943. A war journalist, he was being transferred to the North African war zone when his plane, the "Yankee Clipper", crashed. His body was not found until three weeks later.

25. Cliff Cushman  USA   25 September 1966. Air pilot, his plane shot down in the Vietnam War. Technically still listed as MIA

26. Nemesio de Guzman   PHI    1944. Killed in action during World War II

27. Georges de la Neziere   FRA   9 October 1914 Killed in Action.

28.  Alex Decoteau   CAN  17 October 1917. Killed in action in the Battle of Passchendale

29.  Herbert Dill     GER   19 December 1944. Killed in action during World War II.

30. Foy Draper    USA   4 January 1943. Died in an air crash preparing for the Battle of Kasserine Pass

Foy Draper

31. Jimmy Duffy  CAN  23 April 1915. In September 1913, he joined the Canadian Army and was assigned to the 91st Argyle Regiment. On April 23, 1915, he was fatally wounded near Ypres, Belgium.

32. Boughera El Ouafi   FRA  18 October 1959. Killed by members of the Algerian Liberation Movement

Boughera El Quafi   France

33. Alfred Flaxman   GBR    1 July 1916. Killed in an attack on the enemy positions at Gommecourt

34. Gunther Gehmert   GER   13 June 1940. Wounded in action and died in the field hospital in Montaigu.

35. Lajos Gonczy   HUN   4 December 1915. Killed in action in area of Galicia and Lodomeria.

36.  Mark Graham  CAN   4 September 2006. Killed by friendly fire.  Afghanistan.

Mark Graham

37. Juho Halme   FIN  1 February 1918. Killed in action in Finnish Civil War.

38.  Wyndham Hallswelle   GBR   31 March 1915. Killed by a sniper's bullet in France

Wyndham Halswelle
1908 400m Gold

39. Helmut Hamann  GER  22 June 1941. Killed in action during World War II

Hamman on right
Harbig left

40. Rudi Harbig  GER   5 March 1944. Sent to the Eastern Front, Harbig died in the Ukraine, near Novo Archangelsk.

Rudi Harbig

41. George Hawkins   GBR   22 September 1917. During World War I he served as a Gunner with the Royal Artillery and was killed in action when a shell exploded in the doorway of a dugout while he was on outpost duty.

42. Albert Heijnneman   NED   20 February 1944. Tortured to death in the Scheveningen prison as a member of the Dutch Underground.

42. Oskar Heks   TCH   8 March 1944. Killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

43. Fritz Hendrix   GER   30 August 1941. Killed in action on the Eastern Front, near Leningrad.

44. Max Hermann   GER   29 January 1915. Killed in action in World War I.

45. Gunnar Hockert   FIN   11 February 1940. Fought in the Winter War as a volunteer, and was killed on the Karelian Isthmus the day before his 30th birthday.


46. Vaclav Hosek   TCH   June 1943. Arrested by the Gestapo and killed while trying to escape from a POW camp.

47. George Hutson  GBR  14 September 1914. Killed in action only five weeks after the outbreak of World War I.

48. Akilles Jarvinen   FIN    7 March 1943. Died when his military aircraft crashed during a test flight.  

Akilles Jarvinen

49.  Kalle Jarvinen   FIN   25 August 1941. Killed in action on the Karelian Isthmus during the Winter War.

50. Jozef Jaworski   POL   1 September 1939. Second lieutenant in the artillery, he was killed in action on the last day
of the Battle of Oksywie, near Gdynia, while manning coastal defenses during the German invasion of Poland.


Jozef Jaworski

51. Elias Katz   FIN   26 December 1947. Died in Palestine in 1947

Elias Katz third place behind Nurmi

52. Reinhold Keskull   EST   1942. Died in a Soviet prison camp, but exact details not known.

53. Frederick Kitching   GBR   1914. Killed in action in World War I.

54. Josef Klein   TCH   1941. Member of the Czech resistance. Died shortly after release from prison - possibly from effects of torture.

55. Karl Kotratschek   AUT   4 July 1941. Killed in action during World War II.

56. Hans-Helmut Krause  GER  26 February 1944. Killed in action during World War II as a batallion leader.

57. Willi Kurten   GER   18 July 1944. Killed in action during World War II.

Janusz Kusocinski   POL   21 June 1940. Volunteered for the Polish army and was wounded twice. During German occupation he was secretly a member of the Polish resistance. Arrested by the Gestapo on 26 March 1940 during the AB-Aktion, he was imprisoned in Mokotów prison, and was executed three months later in Palmiry, near Warsaw.

Janusz Kusocinski

58  Aksel Kuuse  EST  27 April 1942. Starved to death in a Soviet prison camp.

59. Frits Lamp   NED   27 May 1945. Died while constructing the Pekanburu railroad on Sumatra

60. Henry Leeke   GBR   29 May 1915. Killed in action on the eve of his battalion's departure for Gallipoli.

61. Erich Lehmann  GER  9 July 1918. Listed as missing in action in World War I. 

62. Julien Lehouck  BEL  25 February 1944. Member of the Belgian resistance, arrested and hung in Concentration Camp Breendonk

63. Wilhelm Leichum  GER   9 July 1941. Killed near Gorki during fight on the Eastern Front in World War II. Posthumously, he was moved up in rank to Lieutenant to assist his family with his pension

Wilhelm Leichum

64. Eugeniusz  Lokajski   POL   25 September 1944. Killed in action during the Warsaw Uprising by an artillery barrage. Buried in Powązki Cemetery with other Polish Sportsmen who died in World War II.  Photographed
the Warsaw Uprising.

Eugeniusz Lokajski

65. Luz Long   GER  14 July 1943. Wounded in action during the Allied invasion of Sicily, died in an English field hospital.

Luz Long

The list of names goes on and on.  It can be referenced
for all Olympians in all sports at:

Willi Kurten  Ger  WWII

Hans Helmut Krause Ger WWII

Karl Kotraschele  Aust WWII

Joseph Klein TCH  resistance  WWII

Frederick Kitching  GBR  WWI

Reinhold Keskull  EST   WWII

Axel Kuuse  EST  WWII

Fritz Lamp NED  WWII

Julian Langmayr AUST  WWII

Eric Lehman  GER  WWI

Julien Lehouck  BEL  WWII

Henry Leske  GBR  WWI

Eugennis Lokajski  POL  WWII

Jaakko Luoma  FIN  WWII

Henry Macintosh  GBR  WWI

Antoni Maszewski  POL WWII

Antonias Mangos  Greco Italian War

Martti Marttelin  FIN  WWII

Jolian Meimer  EST  WWII

Jovan Mikic  YUG  WWII

George Mickler  GER   WWI

Percy Molson CAN  WWI

Juan Muguerza  ESP  Spanish Civil War

Juels Noel  FRA  WWII

Jozef Noji   POL  WWII  Auschwitz

Masayoshi Ochiai  JPN WWII


Charley  Paddock  USA  WWII

Alan Patterson  GBR  WWI

Jacques Person  GER WWI

Keneth Powell GBR  WWI

Arno Peussa  FIN  WWII

Richard Rau  GER  WWII

Paddy Roche  GBR  WWI

Evzen Rosicky  TCH  WWII

Claude Ross  ANZ (Australia New Zealand)  WWI
Albert Rowland  ANZ  WWI

Piet Rumers  NED  WWII

Alfredo Ruks  RUS  LAT  WWII

Maurice Salomez  FRA  WWI

Hans Scheele  GER  WWII

Helmut Schloske  GER  WWII

Jakob Schuller  GER WWII

Arthur Tell Schwab  SUI  WWII

Harry Summons  GBR  WWII

Michel Solhat  FRA  WWI

Sonny Spencer  GBR  WWII

Teodors Sukanieks  LAT  WWII

Gustav Sule  EST  WWII

Monta Suzuki  JPN  WWII

Stanislaw Swietochowski  POL  WWII

Harald Tammer  EST  WWII

Mutsuo Taniguchi  JPN  WWII

Hugh Thompson  CAN  WWII

John Thornton GBR WWII

Martti Tolamo FIN WWII

Dragutin Tomasevic  SRB  WWII

Kostas Tsiklitras  GRE  Balkan Wars

Eugen Uuemaa  EST  WWII

Geradus van der Wel  NED  WWII

Herman Von Bonninghausen  Ger WWI

Eddie Webster GBR  WWII

Erwin Wegner  GER  WWII

Miguel White  PHI  WWII

Hans Wolke   GER  WWII

Heinz Woellner  GER  WWII

Richard Yorke  GBR  WWI

Stanislaw Ziffer POL  WWII

Ron Zinn  USA   VN

Felix Zuber  POL  WWII

I recently found a review of the following book on the subject:

The Extinguished Flame, written by Nigel McCrery and published by Pen and Sword is due for release on the 14th October 2016. This meticulously researched tome tells the story of Olympic athletes, from all over the globe that gave their lives while fighting for their countries during WWI and WWII. McCrery, who served in the British Police also created the BBC crime dramas Silent Witness and New Tricks.
Alfred Flaxman was a powerful athlete that had competed in the javelin, discus and high jump at the 1908 London Games. He was not only a superb athlete but also a talented artist and musician. His love of athletics was developed when he moved to London to attend the Royal Academy of Music, and he was trained by Eugene Sandow, the father of modern bodybuilding.
He enlisted in June 1915 and was assigned to the South Staffordshire Regiment. He was a popular man and was described by Lt FAM Webster as “a simple gentleman, the best of sportsmen and a very gallant soldier who could bend a horseshoe and rip a half pack of playing cards in half.”
His powerful right arm and throwing ability came to the attention of his commanding officer when he threw a bomb 75 yards during training in northern France at Etaples. Second Lieutenant Flaxman was chosen to lead a company of bomb throwers and during the first day of the Battle of the Somme, he was killed by a German machine gunner while trying to untangle himself from barbed wire. His name appears on the Thiepval Memorial.

Victoria Cross Reference site with permission - Neil Hutton, CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikipedia
Victoria Cross Reference site with permission – Neil Hutton, CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikipedia

Brigadier Paul Aloysius Kenna, was an honoured military man at the time that he represented Britain at the 1912 Stockholm Games in the equestrian events. Kenna had been awarded his country’s highest medal for bravery, the Victoria Cross, when in 1898 at the Battle of Khartoum he went to the aid of a fallen comrade while the army was facing 3,000 enemy troops. In addition to the VC, he was mentioned in dispatches when he led the cavalry in Somaliland during the period 1902-04. He then took a break for the Olympics and two years later he was fighting in Egypt and then Gallipoli, where he was killed by a Turkish sniper.
Frederick Kelly won a gold medal for rowing at the 1908 Games and served alongside his great friend Rupert Brooke in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Brooke, a renowned poet, died in April 1915 from sepsis induced by an infected mosquito bite. Kelly wrote the orchestral composition ‘Elegy for String Orchestra’ in his memory.

Frederick Kelly. Wikipedia / Public Domain
Frederick Kelly. Wikipedia / Public Domain

Kelly was wounded twice during the Gallipoli Campaign and was awarded the DSC for ‘conspicuous bravery.’   He moved on to fight in France and was killed on the 13thNovember at Beaucourt-sur-l’Ancre, near the Somme. The orchestral piece that he had written for his great friend Rupert Brooke was played at his memorial service that was held at Wigmore Hall in London.
During the wars, Britain lost 50 Olympians, France 29, Germany 22 and Hungary lost 10 Olympic athletes. Nigel McCrery sums up his admiration for these men saying, “These men were the pinnacle of their generation at the peak of their athletic prowess. Imagine the shock caused across the country by their death. Now imagine the shock it would cause today if at a stroke we lost all the Team GB athletes who did so well at Rio.”

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