NFL’s war relief games and war bond efforts

Just as America’s general population rallied behind the United States’ World War II effort, so too did the National Football League.   

Hundreds of players joined the effort through enlistment, as the NFL organizationally looked for additional ways to make a difference.

One such endeavor was the selling of War Bonds, an activity that generated $4,000,000 worth of sales for the effort in 1942 alone. Treasury citations were given to three Green Bay Packers, future Hall of Fame coach Curly Lambeau, quarterback Cecil Isbell and future Hall of Fame end Don Hutson, who were credited with selling $2,100,000 worth in a single night during a rally held in Milwaukee.


The NFL also donated the revenues from 15 exhibition games to service charities. The games produced a total purse of $680,384.07. It was reported to be the largest amount raised by a single athletic organization.


Included in the exhibition games were the Army Emergency Reli
ef Series games between NFL teams and military all-star aggregations. Eight games were played at eight different locations. The All-Star teams, billed as West Army and East Army All-Stars, faced the Detroit Lions, Brooklyn Dodgers, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cardinals, Washington Redskins and the Chicago Bears. The series ended with the All-Stars winning four games and the NFL winning four games.

Date Results Location
Aug. 30 Washington Redskins 26, West Army All-Stars 7 Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 6 West Army All-Stars 16, Chicago Cardinals 10 Denver, CO
Sept. 9 West Army All-Stars 12, Detroit Lions 0 at Detroit, MI
Sept. 12 East Army All-Stars 16, New York Giants 0 New York, NY
Sept. 13 Green Bay Packers 36, West Army All-Stars 21 Milwaukee, WI
Sept. 16 East Army All-Stars 13, Brooklyn Dodgers 7 Baltimore, MD
Sept. 19 New York Giants 10, West Army All-Stars 7 Syracuse, NY
Sept. 20 Chicago Bears 14, East Army All-Stars 7

Boston, MA