1943 Season

George Rea
George Rea
  Carl Holtz
Carl Holtz
 Results | Summary | Photos 

Season Results


Season Summary

Sunday evening, November 22, 1942 , coach Allen Walz, on a military service leave of absence for the period of his naval service, left for Boston where he will go on active duty as a lieutenant, junior grade, in the U.S. Naval reserve. Roy Rom, junior and Curt Drewes, boat-builder, will handle the decreased crew activity for the duration. Interestingly, Walz had also been the public announcer at UW's home basketball games. Rom coached for only a matter of weeks, as he himself joined the service - the Army Air Corps - in January of 1944.

Rea says he ‘jumped' at Harry Stuhldreher offer of $75 a month to coach the mostly freshman team from December 1942 to June of 1943.

Coach Roy Rom had earlier invited all men interested in joining a 150-pound crew team to report for first practice February 22, 1943 . George Rea must have worked with many of the lightweight volunteers.

One of the hardest hit sports at Wisconsin during the current war is crew…which sport had reached its peak in '41 and '42…Wisconsin put some of its strongest boats out in those years…then Coach Allen Walz left for the Navy (inducted as a PT boat skipper), and the veteran oarsmen did likewise in the main…in'43 (sic. 1942), George Rea, who rowed number three on the big '42 crew, took over the coaching duties and turned out a strong freshman boat, but no varsity eight (his varsity, in its only race of the season, lost to the Badger frosh crew). …this team had a fairly successful season against teams in Indiana , Illinois and Wisconsin…longer trips were out do to travel restrictions.

-“Crew,” The Badger 1945 , Vol. LX (60), p. 200

During 1943-45, there was little rowing activity among any of the schools, and Wisconsin rowing was confined to club races in 1943.

The Wisconsin yearlings also defeated Madison West high school and Chicago 's Lincoln Park Club crews in other races that year. The varsity crew, actually, was a pickup affair and included UW frosh coach George Rea, himself, at No.3.

Just before May 1, in an undated news clipping (probably The Daily Cardinal of late April, 1943), the story was written,

The season will open with the (UW) frosh crew meeting their age-old rivals, St. John's Military Academy, on Lake Mendota, Saturday afternoon, May 1. Wisconsin 's crews have been meeting St. John's for over a half-century. The fact that Wisconsin 's first varsity boat competed with St. John's in the past emphasizes the academy's ability.

The draft has hit the first frosh boat heavily with the recent loss of Sylvin Lange, star number three man. Don Putz and Art Mraz, also first boat men, have received their call and will leave for their induction center immediately after the race on May 1.

The freshman lineup at present is as follows: First Boat – Marvin Nelson (Bow), Rolland Hoermann, Art Mraz, Bill Severson, Don Peterson, Gordon Grimstad, Don Putz and Bob Smith (Stroke).

Second Boat – John Olson (Bow), Tom Psiris, Jim Austin, Bob Wutke, Charles Constantine, Jack Hinkley, John Gates and Tom Adams (Stroke). Coxswains are Dan Hess, Seymour Schnissi, Bob Berg and Bill Bechtel.

Robert W. (“Bob”) Wutke's daughter, Kathryn, would later become the founder of women's rowing, first as a club sport beginning in the spring of 1972 and then as a varsity sport by the fall of 1974. Kathryn's first organizing meeting to generate interest in rowing among her female colleagues was January 25, 1972 in the den of Showerman, a unti in the Kronsage dormitory complex.

In an undated news clipping (proabably The Wisconsin State Journal ), the story of the May 8, 1943 race was written,

The UW freshmen crew beat a ‘pickup' Wisconsin varsity outfit by a length in a triangular race, a mile distance, on Lake Mendota Saturday afternoon. (Coach George Rea's pickup boat had never rowed together before and just managed to squeeze past the prep rowers. ) West high school's crew trailed the varsity men by a half-length.

The winning frosh oarsmen were: Nelson (Bow), Hoermann, Olson, Severson, Petertine, Grimstad, Petersen, Smith (Stroke) and Hess (Coxswain). Comprising the varsity crew were McKern (Stroke), Jerde, Coach George Rea, Yonk, Haberg, Rendall, McNall, Ray Elbert (Stroke) and Walstad (Coxswain).

The West crew, which only lost to national champion Michigan's Ecorse High in 1942 , was made up of: Jim Grimm (Stroke), Allan Shafer, Dick Hile, Jack Sutherland, Jim Litzko, Dick Tipple, Jerry Brown, Frank Harris (Stroke) and Bob Hazarrd (Coxswain).

In Chicago on May 15,

Wartime crew made its debut on the (choppy waters of the) Lincoln Park lagoon Saturday afternoon as Wisconsin's freshman eight easily outrowed the veteran Lincoln Park Boat club in a mile race. It was the first and last (sic) competitive race for the Badger oarsmen this year. Seating of the Wisconsin shell included Bob Smith (Bow), Don Putz, Gordon Grimstead, Don Peterson, Bill Severson, Art Mraz, Rolland Hoermann, Marvin Nelson (Stroke) and Seymour Schinasi (Coxswain).

- Unlabled clipping from George Rea (probably a Madison paper, by-lined “ Chicago ,” of May 14, 1943 ).

In late May, the frosh raced their fourth and last race of the season. In another undated news clipping (probably The Wisconsin State Journal of late May 1943), the story, bylined “Culver, Ind.' was written, “The UW freshmen crew suffered its first loss here Saturday afternoon when it finished second to the varsity crew of Culver Military Academy by a two-length margin. The Culver junior varsity was third and the Culver second varsity was fourth.

The Wisconsin frosh, using a starboard rig shell for the first time instead of a port rig shell, lined up with Bob Smith (Bow), John Olson, Roland Hoermann, Marvin Helson, Boll Severson, Chuck Constantine, Gordon Grimstad, Don Peterson (Stroke) and Seymour Scinasi (Coxswain).”

It came as a disappointment when both the Poughkeepsie and Boston Adams Cup Regattas were canceled. However, two meets were arranged, one with Culver Military Academy and another with St. John's Military Academy . Wisconsin won both meets.

-“1943 Crew,” The 1944 Badger , p. 254

(Note: An undated, but probably April 27, 1946 , news clipping of the UW 3 rd varsity victory over St. John's , advised St. John's had beaten UW in 1943. Coach George Rea, in his letter f November 8, 2001 , clarifies, “our freshman crew rowed St. John's Military Academy the spring of '43 on Lake Nagawicka , Delafield , WI . We beat them so badly we had our shell out of the water before they finished!” Another news account, says UW's 1943 frosh actually lost to Culver – “The frosh later met and lost to Culver Academy in Plymouth , Indiana . The UW boat was a starboard-rigged shell instead of a port-rigged shell and the yearlings lost by two lengths, followed by Culver's JV and Culver “B” boats.” Coach George Rea, in a November 8, 2001 letter, confirms the starboard-rigged ‘loaner' shell from Culver and the 1943 loss.

The bottom line here is UW only had a frosh team in 1943, which had four races – Madison West, St. John's the Lincoln Park Boat Club and Culver Academy , losing only the competition with Culver.


In the IRA:

The IRA's were cancelled again this year because of WWII.

Rea himself left for California and a job at the Douglas Aircraft Company after graduation in June of 1943 and later joined the Navy in July of 1944.



George Rea

George Rea



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