Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Footbal
Inducted: 1997
Country: United States
Born: November 1, 1891in Wilmington, North Carolina
Died: June 5, 1918

Bluey Bluethenthal was Princeton’s varsity center from 1910 to 1912 and an All-America in 1911 and 1912.

There is not much to write about linemen, even great linemen, except that his 1911 Tigers were undefeated (8–0–2) and yielded only 15 points. In the early days of American football, more so than in the contemporary game, one great player could carry a team to success. The 5'9", 186-pound Bluethenthal was that kind of athlete.

Following graduation, Bluethenthal took the position of line coach at
Princeton, then at the University of North Carolina, jobs he held part-time for several years while he worked for his father’s dry goods company in New York and as a tobacco broker. However,
with World War I brewing, he joined the American Field (ambulance) Service in May 1916, serving at the Battle of Verdun with the French 129th Infantry Division. He was awarded France’s Croix de Guerre with Star for his conspicuous bravery.

After several transfer duties, Bluethenthal joined the French Foreign Legion in the summer of 1917 and requested assignment to flight training. By March 1918, he was assigned to what French authorities called the La Fayette Flying Corps, the group of Americans in French service as pilots. But, the stocky, muscular North Carolinian, now a sergeant, instead reported to the Frenchstaffed Escadrille 227. He was the only American in the squadron.

Less than three months after joining the unit, the 27-year-old American washit by enemy fire and crashed while carrying out an artillery observation mission. France posthumously awarded
Bluethenthal a second Croix de Guerre with Palm and the Medaille

In his honor, the airport in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, is named Bluethenthal Field.


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