FOOTBALL AND AMERICA: The Korean War


EDDIE LEBARON - PRO FOOTBALL'S "LITTLEST GENERAL" WAS ALSO A DECORATED MARINE LIEUTENANT

Quarterback Eddie LeBaron, who stood just 5'7", was often referred to as the "Littlest General." The citation, however, was as much in praise of his leadership skills and military record as it was about his stature. LeBaron, a college football sensation at the University of Pacific, accepted a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps in August of 1950, and spent nine months in Korea, seven of which were on the front line, where he was twice wounded.

In a hard-fought battle at Korea's Heartbreak Ridge, LeBaron, left cover under heavy fire to contact the forward observation post of a mortar platoon, in sight of the enemy. After an assaulting rifle platoon in his area lost its commander, he took charge and resumed the attack. For his heroic efforts, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

The NFL's Rookie of the Year in 1952, LeBaron led the league in passing in 1958 and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection during his 11-year career with the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. He later served as the general manager of the Atlanta Falcons (1977-1982) and the team's executive vice president/chief operating officer (1982-1985).

 

 

 

LeBaron and members of his platoon stop for rations in Korea.

Eddie LeBaron on the cover of
Sport Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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