Foy Draper Olympic and WWII Hero

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The undisputed star of the 1936 Summer Olympics was Jesse Owens, but he was not the only athlete who won go;d medals.

Foy Draper was part of the gold medal relay team along with Jesse Owens at the 1936 Summer Olympics.

(Jesse Owens (left), Ralph Metcalfe (second left), Foy Draper (second right) and Frank Wykoff (right), the USA 4×100 metres Relay Team)Jesse_Owens,_Ralph_Metcalfe,_Foy_Draper,_Frank_Wykoff_1936

The U.S. team of Draper, Frank Wykoff, Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman were considered a strong favorite in the 400 meter relay but the team was shaken up the night before the race.

In one of the most shameful incidents in sports history, Stoller and Glickman, the only  Jewish-Americans on the U.S. team, were replaced by Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. There are several theories on why that happened, but one was that U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Avery Brundage wanted to avoid giving offense to Hitler. As so often before and after, sports wasn’t always about sportsmanship but more about politics

Avery_Brundage_1964

Draper and the others did their best to offend Hitler anyway. Despite their lack of practice together, the Americans blew away the competition.

Owens led off and gave the Americans a slight lead. Metcalfe built upon it and Draper held off a surge by the Italians to give Wykoff a perfect flying start. The Americans won by 15 meters in world record time of 39.8 seconds.0647f711a0db61cf617dd2ee8ff03724

During World War II, he served as a pilot on a twin engine A-20B Havoc in Thelepte, Tunisia.

Capt Draper

On January 4, 1943, he and two crew members took off to fly to Fonduck, Tunisia, to take part in the Battle of Kassarine Pass, but the three men never returned. Although his date of death is listed as January 4, 1943, it is usually given as February 1, 1943. His memory is honoured at the North African American (ABMC) Cemetery and Memorial in Tunis, Tunisia.

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