War & Valor (1940–1949)
The decade of the ’40s at SI is a paradox. World War II cast its shadow over the entire nation, and SI was not exempt — approximately 3,000 SI grads served in the Armed Forces and 96 died for their country. Students graduated early to enlist, and they watched as one teacher after another exchanged chalk and eraser for a uniform and rifle. Still, high school boys will be boys, and the Big Game would always mean more than a conflict half a world away. The decade also saw the birth of great traditions, such as the Bruce-Mahoney Trophy, and champion athletes, who would go on to professional sports teams. The basketball team brought home championships in 1943 and 1947, crew in 1941 and 1942, the swimming team in 1943 and 1946–48, and the football team in 1945, capturing its first league title. The decade also saw great teachers who left their mark well past the 1940s. The decade was book-ended by two of these greats: J. B. Murphy, who began his 50-year career in the 1939–40 academic year, and Uncle Frank Corwin, who started his 44-year tenure at SI in 1947.
“Mr. SI”: J.B. Murphy
In its 150-year history, the SI faculty has included a number of people who bled red and blue, many of whom were or are alumni or alumnae. But the teacher who has earned the title “Mr. S.I.” never attended St. Ignatius. To earn that moniker, he simply put in 50 years on the job, serving as teacher, coach and athletic director (from 1953 to 1967).
Few people know that John Bernard Murphy (universally called J.B.) almost didn’t live past his 24th birthday. He entered St. Patrick’s seminary after graduating from St. Paul’s grammar school, but one year from ordination, J.B. learned that he had bleeding ulcers, and his doctor told him he would die within six months.
He left the seminary and spent the next year and half struggling to recover. When he felt strong enough, he decided to work to help his parents last out the Depression. He sought work as a Latin teacher, given his seminary training. But when he started work on August 16, 1939, at SI, he found himself assigned to history and PE classes. Two years later, he was assigned to teach math when a scholastic from Spokane called in sick a day before classes began. “The principal looked through his faculty, and I was the only one who had four years of high school math. No one on the faculty had college math,” recalled Murphy in an interview published in the summer 1989 issue of Genesis II. “He said, ‘Murphy, you’re teaching five classes of math on Monday at 8:30 a.m.’”
Students soon learned that he was a tough disciplinarian. “I had a volatile temper, but I worked awfully hard when I started teaching to cool it. The very first days I was teaching, one of my students — now a respected lawyer — was making fun of me sotto voce, speaking behind his hand. In those days, the teacher’s desk was on a platform. I pushed my desk off the platform into the arms of this boy. I went down, picked him out of his desk, took him outside and lifted him by his shirt against the lockers. I said, ‘I’m an Irishman and you’re a disturbing little runt. If you do that again, I’ll separate your head from your shoulders.’ Forty-seven years later, he told me that he respected me for what I did.”
His close friend and fellow teacher, Frank Corwin (“Uncle Frank” to the students and faculty), tempered this image by noting that “between J.B. and Fr. Tom Reed, our principal at the time, those two knew every family in every parish in San Francisco. J.B. knew everything about each boy at SI, not just the boys in his class. He would know if they had any family problems, such as an alcoholic parent or monetary issues. Because we had no real counselors in those days, J.B. would often go to a student’s home to help a boy with family problems. He put in many 16-hour days doing this.”
He married Edna Ford in 1940 and they had four children, including Chuck Murphy ’61, who has taught math at SI since 1965. Three Murphys made the cover of Company magazine (a national magazine for American Jesuits and friends) when it pictured J.B., Chuck, and J.B.’s grandson Matthew Murphy ’89 when he enrolled at SI. The first coed class also included Matt’s sister, Marielle Murphy ’93, who enrolled the year her grandfather retired.
During the war years, J.B. became a favorite of many of the students. “They hung onto us and their parents in those days,” he noted. “All of the students had tremendous respect for the Jesuits and were continually afraid that they were going to lose the lay teachers they dearly loved to the draft.”
During the war, battleships sailed in and out of San Francisco Bay daily. “You lost your students’ attention as soon as a war ship sailed by the Golden Gate. All the boys would look out the window at the ship coming in, and you could see the anguish and pathos in their faces. You lost their attention immediately. It was a poor teacher who tried to bring them back to attention; after the ship sailed past, you could recapture their attention.”
J.B. gained coaching experience with the Young Men’s Institute swimming team (the precursor to the CYO), and he became SI’s third athletic director in 1953. He found himself in contentious meetings with the AAA’s other athletic directors, most of whom were from public schools. “When they pushed him, he would push right back again,” recalled Frank Corwin. “He wasn’t afraid to speak up.”
But as an athletic director, he is perhaps most known for never missing a game. And for most of those games, he would wear his trademark yellow tie. He began wearing it in the early 1950s when René Herrerias ’44 coached basketball for SI before leaving to coach at UC Berkeley. “We were guests at the tournament of champions at Cal,” said J.B. “Against all odds, our team won every game during the morning and afternoon. At dinner, René ribbed me about my flashy yellow tie that I was wearing. That night we won the championship. After ribbing me all day about the yellow tie, he said, ‘Any game I coach for the rest of my life and your life, I want you to wear that yellow tie.”
Pay at SI was low, so J.B. took on several other jobs to support his family. At Hamm’s Brewery, he worked on the bottling line during his summers. “I was on the job for three hours when my supervisor asked me why all the other workers were calling me ‘Mister.’ I told him these boys, students and athletes at SI, knew me as their athletic director.” With that, the foreman promoted J.B. to line boss. Even though he made more working for Hamm’s for three months than working for SI for nine, he stayed at SI because, as his son Chuck noted, “there’s a real mesh between his philosophy of education and Jesuit philosophy. I’ve heard Jesuits speak of Ignatian values, and it’s obvious to me that they were speaking about the way my father taught.”
In his last decade at SI, J.B. taught one class of freshmen for two periods, helping them adjust to life in high school. In 1973, football coach Gil Haskell ’61 created the J.B. Murphy Award, which, each year, the team gives to the SI football player who best exemplifies the Ignatian spirit through inspirational leadership on and off the field. Upon his retirement in 1989, the school honored him by naming the football field “J.B. Murphy Field.”
The Outbreak of War
At 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, Jack Grealish ’44 was sitting in the pews at Most Holy Redeemer Church for Sunday Mass. When he and his family arrived home, they heard the news that Japan had launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. “We were in shock,” said Grealish. “Everyone was in shock. We didn’t know how to react.” That surprise attack killed thousands of servicemen and launched America into World War II. More than 3,000 SI alumni served in the armed forces and 96 of those men lost their lives.1
Despite the conflagration, life at SI did not change drastically during the war. Students still worried about exams and who would win the big game. The war intruded upon their high school lives in several ways, however. Teachers and older brothers left to fight in Africa, Europe and the Pacific Theater. News came back of alumni who had died or had been wounded. Some alumni officers returned to SI to speak to students or visit their teachers. And every day, war ships sailed in and out of the Golden Gate capturing the attention and imagination of the students, some of whom graduated early to enlist.
The December 19, 1941, edition of The Red and Blue barely makes mention of America’s entry into the war. The February 14, 1942, edition, however, offered three topical front-page stories. Two of those stories reported on the departure of teachers: David Walker, a history teacher, to the Navy and Fr. Cornelius O’Mara, SJ, to the Chaplain Corps. (Seven other SI alumni also served as chaplains in the war: Lt. Col. William Clasby, Capt. Wilfred Crowley, SJ, Lt. Charles Farrell, Capt. William Hanley, SJ, Capt. Raymond I. McGrorey, SJ, Lt. Col. William J. Reilly, and Lt. Cmdr. Jerome J. Sullivan, SJ.)
The third piece told of a returning alumnus, Richard Treanor ’33, who recounted his rescue at sea. Ten days after the attack at Pearl Habor, Treanor, a third mate on the U.S.S. Manini, found himself swimming for his life after his ship was destroyed by a Japanese submarine 200 miles southeast of Honolulu. “He told of days of hopeless drifting, of praying, of water shortage; how one of their number died before safety was reached. On Christmas Eve a plane circled overhead while Treanor sent a semaphore with a flashlight. He described the jubilance of the men as they looked forward to being rescued on Christmas, the happiest day of their lives. But hope faltered and disappeared as Christmas came and went. The pilot must have seen them, Treanor explains, but nothing materialized.
“One day, two days more they waited. The water ration was shrinking into nothingness and eating the hardtack was as impossible as gulping bricks. Then on the twenty-seventh of December, they spotted another plane, and this time Uncle Sam’s fleet came to the rescue.”
The Red and Blue published numerous items on the war, and two Jesuits (Mr. Timothy McDonnell, SJ ’36, and Fr. Lloyd Burns, SJ ’16) launched a new publication in October 1944 — the G.I. Wildcat, a monthly newsletter sent to Ignatian alumni serving in the Armed Forces. (This was the first alumni bulletin to be published and prefigured two later alumni publications.)
In the G.I. Wildcat’s first issue, the authors reported that of the 400 boys who applied to SI, a record 280 enrolled as freshmen. The Jesuits selected those 280 by having all applicants take an entrance examination for the first time in the school’s history. It “seemed to be the only fair way to select the 280 boys that could be accommodated with the limited faculty and limited classroom space. One of the questions on the examination was: ‘Why do you wish to attend St. Ignatius High School?’ Here is one of the many unusual replies: ‘Because I like the Christian Brothers.’”
The one-page, double-sided newsletter reported on visitors, on alumni who had distinguished themselves, and on casualties: “Martin Torti ’35 was recently given the Bronze Star for heroism. He was wounded while obtaining ammunition when the supply was exhausted and the squad was under fire.” Not all the news was from the front, however. Fr. Burns made sure the alumni kept up with the high school news. In the April 20, 1945, edition, for example, he reported on what may have been the first senior sneak. “Spring Fever has overtaken the City and the boys have their eyes on China Beach and other such spots. A couple of weeks ago, the fever ‘got’ the senior class so badly that after the First Friday Mass they went AWOL. The TJA (top Jesuit administrator) in the person of the Prefect of Discipline had them sentenced to a full school day on Saturday.”
The May 1945 edition had much to celebrate, including “VE Day, Liberated Prisoners, [and] Missing Ignatians Found. We thank God for all of these things. But our war is still only half over, maybe less than that, because it seems a majority of Ignatians are in the Pacific Arena. In the November 1945 edition, Fr. Burns noted that Fr. King, SI’s principal, left to serve as dean of faculty at Santa Clara, and that he had been replaced by Fr. Ralph Tichenor ’27.
With most alumni back home, Fr. Burns stopped publishing the newsletter in May 1946, but expressed his hope that some sort of alumni publication would continue in the years to come.
SI’s Japanese-American Students
For at least two students, the war meant dislocation. Takashi Watanabe ’42 and John Morozumi ’42 were forced to leave school two months shy of graduation because they were Japanese-Americans. Rather than report to the detention centers which would send them on their way to internment camps, they decided to live freely elsewhere. Both moved further east — Morozumi to Denver and Watanabe to Yerington, Nevada — and both continued their studies at Jesuit Colleges.
“SI was the best time of my life,” Watanabe said. He and Morozumi had been friends at Morning Star School in Japantown, where they studied under Irish nuns and converted to Catholicism. Both boys went to SI and found that their classmates accepted them without prejudice. However, Morozumi remembered that he “never entered one of my classmates’ homes. That was an unspoken convention.”
Both men felt at home at SI. Morozumi joined the debate society and, although not tall, played basketball for two years. “I played against the likes of Kevin O’Shea, a formidable player even in grammar school. I remember getting thoroughly thrashed.”
While both boys saw the war coming, they felt removed from it. And they had no doubt whose side they were on. In his junior year, Morozumi joined the ROTC and eventually became a student officer. “My parents, who chose to immigrate to the U.S. and who were ineligible for citizenship because they were Japanese, taught me to have the utmost allegiance to my country of birth and citizenship.” He knew the war was inevitable when the government froze all assets of Japanese-Americans and cut all telegraph lines between the U.S. and Japan. “I couldn’t withdraw 5 cents if I wanted to, even though I had nothing to do with Japan.”
When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Watanabe recalled that he “was shocked to hear the report. I didn’t realize the significance of it until much later. I was still a little naïve at 17.”
Their classmates didn’t treat the two differently after the attack. “They knew I had nothing to do with it,” said Morozumi. “They had no unreasonable biases. I think that speaks to the higher intelligence of the group of boys who went to SI.”
In March 1942, all Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast were told of the U.S. government’s plan to send them to internment camps. “They felt we constituted a danger,” recalled Morozumi. “I was aghast. When I heard this news, I immediately became a rebel. I was not about to be imprisoned. Even though Japanese-Americans were subject to curfews and martial law, I decided not to obey these rules.” (Former SI College President Edward Whelan, SJ, protested this policy in the pages of America magazine.)
By late March, both boys realized they would not be able to stay in San Francisco in order to finish their last two months at SI, and they knew they would be arrested if they remained in California. Watanbe decided to follow his parents, who had moved to Yerington a month earlier. His father, leaving most of his family’s possessions behind, managed to find work at a friend’s laundry in Nevada. “We didn’t have that much to lose, but it was still devastating,” he recalled. “I couldn’t finish my schooling. Everything was just gone. Our friends lost their businesses, their homes, their furniture. They were allowed to carry only their personal belongings to camp.”
In Yerington, he worked on his friend’s ranch — “a good experience for a city boy.” Six months later he left for Loyola University in Chicago and, after the war, returned to San Francisco where he received a degree in pharmacy from UCSF.
Morozumi’s parents decided to go to the interment camps and reported to the detention center at the Tanforan race track where they were housed in horse stalls. They eventually went to the Topaz internment camp in Utah. Morozumi chose not to follow them. Instead, he went to Regis College in Denver, which accepted him despite his not having a high school diploma. There, he paid his way by working at the college 60 hours a week for $25 room and board. He became classmates once again with Watanabe after transferring to Loyola University in Chicago where he studied medicine.
In 1944, Morozumi, on his second try to enlist, was accepted into the 442nd Regiment, an all-Japanese-American combat team that fought in Africa, Italy, Germany and France. But Morozumi never saw those countries. Instead, the U.S. Army sent him to central China where he worked in intelligence-gathering. A technical sergeant, Morozumi wore both the dog tags of a GI and the uniform of a Chinese officer because he dealt with Chinese officers “who would lose face if they had to deal with a sergeant.”
In China he interrogated Japanese prisoners of war to determine their troop strength on the Chinese-Soviet border. “From the information we gathered, we knew that the Japanese were moving their vaunted Manchurian Army from central China to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Japan in preparation for a U.S. invasion. After serving for four years, Morzumi attended both USF and Loyola Chicago, where he earned his degree in medicine.
Both men returned to SI in 1992 for their Golden Diploma. There they also received their high school diplomas 50 years late in a moving ceremony before the surviving members of their class. “It was doubly meaningful to me to receive this,” said Morozumi. “It symbolizes the integrity, intellectual honesty, the constant search for truth and veracity and the rejection of expediency that SI instills in its students.”
While the war did not intrude often into the lives of SI students, more than a few incidents served to remind Ignatians that they were not a world apart. The school conducted air raid drills and continued to train students in ROTC. For Jack Grealish, the war came home when Bill Telasmanic ’37, a star end on the football team and catcher on the baseball team at both SI and USF, died in a plane crash in North Africa in the early days of the war. “Everyone felt his loss,” said Grealish. “Every day, we would check the newspapers to read the casualty lists. But we were 16, and we tended to focus on our high school problems.”
Grealish recalls one alumnus, a Navy officer, visiting his Latin class, taught by Fr. Lloyd Burns, SJ. “Fr. Burns, who was very proud of his Latin class, asked him if Latin had helped him. The officer gave Fr. Burns a funny look and said, ‘It hasn’t done me any good at all.’ That’s not what Fr. Burns wanted to hear.”
Val Molkenbuhr ’43, while jogging around the Beach Chalet, recalls seeing ships coming in and out of the Golden Gate. “Once in awhile we heard of alumni dying in a battle, and we prayed for them.”
Bob Lagomarsino ’39 lost about a dozen friends to the war, including his good friend, Dan Hurst ’39. “We went to grammar school together, and after he enlisted, we corresponded. My mother was the first to hear that he was missing in action, and later we heard that he had been killed in the South Pacific. I was quite upset. I knew his parents and sister and felt so sorry for them.”
Grealish, Molkenbuhr and Lagomarsino enlisted, as did thousands of fellow Ignatians, with many graduating early or leaving before graduating to fight what nearly all considered to be a just war against brutal dictatorships. “This wasn’t like the Korean War,” recalled Grealish. “Everyone was 100 percent behind it.”
The specific tragedies of each of the 96 SI alumni deaths were spelled out in Gold Star Ignatians, a commemorative pamphlet published in 1947 by the school. (The 96 dead listed in that book also have their names printed on a memorial plaque in the Alfred S. Wilsey Library.) Reading through these names and the circumstances of their deaths, we are reminded of the horror of war in its particulars. These men, some barely out of boyhood, died all over the world, from the Arctic waters off Alaska to the deserts of Africa, from the forests of Germany to the islands of the South Pacific.
Lt. Col. James M. Sullivan ’10, a doctor with the Reserve Medical Corps, was one of these men. In May 1941, he was called into service and sent to Sternberg General Hospital in Manila, and then to Base Hospital No. 2 in Bataan. He survived the Bataan Death March and was sent to Cabanatuan and Bilibid Prison Camps. “After surviving three years of imprisonment, he died after reaching Moji, Japan, on January 31, 1945, from fatigue, starvation and wounds received during the sinking of his hospital ship by U.S. forces.” Others died in less dramatic ways, from car accidents to illness to being crushed by falling trees in storms, yet their loss, too, was felt by family and friends.
Among the Ignatian servicemen were numerous war heroes, including Capt. Joseph Golding ’36 and Sgt. Roy Bruneman ’25, who were awarded Silver Stars posthumously in 1944 for gallantry in action in the South Pacific.
The four most famous Wildcats who served in the war were Rear Admiral Daniel Callaghan (SI 1907), his brother, Admiral William Callaghan ’14, General Fred Butler ’13 and Ensign William Bruce ’35.
Admiral Daniel Callaghan (SI 1907)
Daniel Callaghan was born in San Francisco on July 26, 1892, and raised in Oakland. He graduated from SI in 1907, having attended both the Van Ness Avenue campus and the Shirt Factory in its first year, commuting to school by ferry and train and using that time to memorize “long skeins of Keats and Tennyson, whole cantos from Longfellow and Scott — or figuring out the all but impossible ways Caesar or Cicero had of constructing sentences for his Latin classes.”2 At SI, Callaghan was “greatly influenced by [his] Jesuit mentors,” according to Fighting Admiral: The Story of Daniel Callaghan. “Dan had the appearance of being a bit overserious. But actually, in the company of his own crowd, he was jolly enough…. [When] the Ignatian baseball team, which though a secondary [school] affair, took on the junior varsities of the University of California, Santa Clara and Stanford colleges, Dan soon won himself a right fielder’s berth. He was also prominent in the ‘Gas League’ punchball circuit, and especially after making up his mind about going to Annapolis, he was a constant user of the gymnasium, giving himself a thorough physical workout — a habit that became almost a fault throughout his life.
“But for the most part, Dan at high school concentrated on books…. Striding into Fr. John P. Madden’s Cicero class on a fine spring morning, Fr. Woods found Dan Callaghan [standing] up, reciting. Fr. Woods took over the book from the slightly startled mentor and popped a question at the strapping youngster in a purposely unintelligible mumble. Dan did not catch it, of course, and stood nervously waiting. To have asked for a repetition of the question would have been an admission of lack of attention. After a moment, the Jesuit repeated the question as indistinctly as before. Dan could only guess at what was wanted, and guessed wrong. Hence his answer was wrong…. The result was a severe going over for not having studied his lessons, much to the amazement of his classmates. But Dan took it well… with the reflection that such ‘lacings’ were good for the soul, though terribly hard on one’s sensibilities.”3
Dan also experienced the 1906 earthquake while at home in Oakland. He helped his father organize a “sort of vigilante committee to quiet the neighborhood” and to warn people not to light fires in their fireplaces as many of the chimneys had collapsed. (Sadly, just such a fire kindled the conflagration that destroyed SI College across the bay.)4
After leaving SI, Dan attended the Naval Academy, graduating in 1911. His distinguished career was marred by one incident that led to a Courts-Martial for allegedly requisitioning the wrong replacement parts, which made his ship, theTruxton, unable to continue its trip. He was acquitted of all charges and restored to duty.
Later, he spent three years at UC Berkeley where he served as professor of naval science in the naval ROTC. Then, in 1938, President Roosevelt asked his physician, Ross McIntire, for a recommendation for a Naval Aide, someone who was a “salt-water sailor,” rather than an administrative figurehead. McIntire had just the man for the job, and recommended Callaghan. For the next three years, he served the president keeping him “posted on the intimacies of naval matters, domestic as well as foreign,” and listening “with intelligence while the President expatiated on the whys and wherefores of Hipper’s cruiser tactics at Jutland or the follies of the Russians at Tsushima.” Roosevelt wanted “someone who had the feel of the sea in him, and was more than delighted when he found that Dan was a gunnery man and could talk of fleet maneuvers.”5
Callaghan lived aboard the presidential yacht, the Potomac while serving the president, and the two became fast friends. When the U.S. entered World War II in 1941, Roosevelt reluctantly let Callaghan leave the Potomac for U.S.S. San Francisco, and to serve in the Pacific Theatre. Callaghan’s final fitness report included this note from FDR: “It is with great regreat that I am letting Captain Callaghan leave as my Naval Aide. He has given every satisfaction and has performed duties of many varieties with tact and real efficiency. He has shown a real understanding of the many problems of the service within itself and in relationship to the rest of the Government.”6
By this time, Callaghan had earned a reputation as a hometown hero. InEmbattled Dreams: California in War and Peace 1940–1950, historian Kevin Starr (who attended SI in the 1950s and who serves as California State Librarian), noted that “Callaghan was the pre-eminent military figure of Northern California, especially for Catholics, and he was held in awe by San Franciscans just as Patton was held up by Southern Californians as one who “embodied the best possibilities of the region…. Whereas Patton was privileged, flamboyant, profane, and self-regarding, Callaghan was steady, unassuming, pious (avoiding alcohol…), and thoroughly devoted to the welfare of his men, who tended to call him Uncle Dan behind his back. As Patton was devoted to tanks, Callaghan was devoted to the art of gunnery. While other naval colleagues bespoke the future in terms of airplanes and submarines, Dan Callaghan devoted his career to perfecting the art and science of gunnery from surface ships.” Callaghan was also a “tall, solid figure, prematurely gray, a Spencer Tracy look-alike, known to the men of the fleet as well as to the brass as a commandingly steady figure, the representative naval officer of his era.”
Callaghan served as captain of the heavy cruiser U.S.S. San Francisco, which had escaped serious damage in the attack on Pearl Harbor and then spent six months on Vice Admiral William Halsey’s staff. In 1942, he returned to the San Franciscoas commander of Task Force 65, made up of five cruisers and eight destroyers that fought in the first naval battle of Guadalcanal in November 1942. While aboard the San Francisco, Callaghan commanded his ships to sweep the waters around Savo Island on November 11 in preparation to block the arrival of a Japanese invasion fleet and to provide cover for the unloading of Marines. The next day, Callaghan’s task force was attacked by 25 enemy torpedo bombers, forcing him to get under way.
The Japanese force consisted of two battleships, Hiei and Kirishima, one light cruiser and 15 destroyers. On November 12, Callaghan ordered his ships back to Savo to meet the enemy. Shortly after 1 a.m. on November 13, one of his ships, the Helena, detected the Japanese 27,000 yards away, but Callaghan, whose forces were badly outgunned, didn’t know the exact location of the enemy as his ships lacked radar.
The Battle of Savo Sea (also known as the Battle of Sealark Channel) began with the Japanese approaching Sealark Channel in three columns. Callaghan made a daring move and took his fleet, with the San Francisco in the lead, between the two outside Japanese columns and head-on toward the third column. (Picture Callaghan’s fleet sailing into the middle of an inverted V.) Callaghan hoped to sail through the enemy columns and fire at them before they had time to lower the elevation of their guns. Once past, he hoped “to pit speed, target angle, range and rapidity of fire against bulk and force.”7
At 1:42 a.m., with one ship 3,400 yards away, Callaghan gave the order to fire torpedoes, later ordering, “We want the big ones.” Three minutes later, Japanese searchlights spotted the American fleet and the battle was underway. Callaghan ordered guns on both sides to open fire, hitting the Yudachi 3,700 yards away. The Americans were surrounded, firing from both port and starboard. As Starr writes, “Maneuvering was difficult, and the San Francisco lacked the latest radar; but whether this was the cause for what followed or rather whether what followed was due in some measure to Callaghan’s gunnery-oriented spirit of the attack, the American force literally sailed into the middle of the Japanese force, as if running a gauntlet. What ensued was perhaps the last ship-to-ship naval engagement in military history as the American ships and the Japanese ships fought through direct searchlight-guided gunfire.” It was also the largest night battle in naval history.
At 2 a.m. Callaghan’s flagship was struck by a salvo from the Hiei, and the bridge took a direct hit from a 14-inch shell immediately killing Callaghan and three of his staff officers and mortally wounding Capt. Cassin Young, the ship’s commanding officer. Despite the loss of bridge and commander, the ship continued to fight on, moving closer to the enemy so its 8-inch guns would be more of an even match with the 14-inch Japanese guns. The San Francisco took 47 hits and its crew had to extinguish 25 fires. It stayed afloat, however, and managed to sink one Japanese ship and damage several other ships badly enough to allow an American submarine to sink them. Had The San Francisco and the other ships in the task force failed, Guadalcanal would probably have fallen again to the Japanese. The badly damaged ship eventually returned to port under its own power thanks to the quick actions of Herbert E. Schonland, who taught at SI in the 1947–48 academic year and then at Santa Clara University.
Schonland, who retired as a Rear Admiral, also won the Medal of Honor for his actions in that battle. With Callaghan’s death, and the death of two other officers, Schonland assumed command of the San Francisco. The second deck compartment of the ship had taken on water, nearly sinking it, when in waist-deep water, Schonland secured the deck by pumping off and draining the water, working with only flashlights to help him see. (The bridge of the San Francisco is on display at Land’s End above the Cliff House in a memorial to Admiral Callaghan and the other Americans who died that day on the San Francisco.)
Word came to President Roosevelt of Callaghan’s death on November 16, 1942. “There was no one willing to convey the news to the President. When finally word was brought to him officially, he gasped in unaffected consternation. ‘I knew it,’ he said. ‘I knew Dan was too brave a man to live. But I’ll bet, as he set his course straight for the enemy, he was thinking of Dewey and Manila, and our constant discussions of such actions.’”
The next day, FDR sent a note to Dan’s wife, Mary, that read, “I am very sure I need not tell you of the sense of great personal loss to me. Dan and I had a very wonderful relationship during the years he was at the White House. I took great pride in him, and I must have been nearly as happy as he over his new command. In spite of our grief we will always remember a gallant soul who died leading his ship and his command to a great victory.”8
Callaghan received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions that day. His citation reads as follows: “For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty…. Although out-balanced in strength and numbers by a desperate and determined enemy, Rear Admiral Callaghan, with ingenious tactical skill and superb coordination of the units under his command, led his forces into battle against tremendous odds, thereby contributing decisively to the rout of a powerful invasion fleet, and to the consequent frustration of a formidable Japanese offensive. While faithfully directing close-range operations in the face of furious bombardment by superior enemy firepower, he was killed on the bridge of his flagship. His courageous initiative, inspiring leadership, and judicious foresight in a crisis of grave responsibility were in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the defense of his country.”
In that same battle, the U.S.S. Juneau, part of Callaghan’s task force, had been sunk by a torpedo, hitting the port side near the forward fire room where ammunition was stored, destroying the ship in a giant fireball and killing the five Sullivan brothers. Only 10 sailors survived that ordeal.
The U.S. Naval Academy later named one of its rooms in honor of Admiral Daniel Callaghan, the hero who helped win the Battle of Guadalcanal, and American Legion Post No. 592 was instituted in his honor on March 23, 1944. On July 24, 2004, the U.S.S. Potomac Association celebrated Daniel Callaghan Day with a series of lectures, official proclamations and a Bay cruise aboard the Potomac, the boat Adm. Callaghan served on as FDR’s aide. More than 20 members of the Callaghan clan attended that celebration, including Caitlin Callaghan ’99, Larkin Callaghan ’01 and Connor Callaghan ’08, great-grandchildren of William Callaghan ’14, Daniel’s brother.
Admiral William Callaghan ’14
Dan Callaghan’s brother, William, was also an admiral in the Navy and served as the commander of the U.S.S. Missouri, the battleship on which Japanese representatives surrendered to the Allies in Tokyo Bay to mark the end of the war. After attending SI, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1918 and served in World War I on a destroyer. In 1936, he received his first command, that of theU.S.S. Reuben James (later sunk by a German U-Boat in 1940), and later joined the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in 1939, where he served as logistics officer for the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, receiving the Legion of Merit for his efforts.
He commissioned the Missouri in 1944 and led it in operations against Tokyo, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. During the Battle of Okinawa on April 11, 1945, Callaghan’s ship came under kamikaze attack. Fortunately, the 500-pound bomb aboard the plane failed to detonate, but the pilot was killed instantly when his plane crashed into the battleship.
Crewmembers put out the fire around the plane and found the broken body of the Japanese pilot lying on the deck. The crew felt anger and outrage, but Callaghan ordered them to prepare the pilot’s body for burial with military honors, “an unprecedented act for an enemy in time of war.” Some of the crew grumbled, but others respected Callaghan for doing the right thing. Crewmembers worked at night to create a Japanese flag to drape over the body, and the ships’s chaplain offered the prayer, “Commend his body to the deep,” while the Missouri’s crew saluted and an honor guard fired their rifles to honor this fallen pilot.9
“Interestingly, during a September 1998 reunion of former U.S.S. Missouricrewmembers at the battleship’s new home in Pearl Harbor, many of those who served in World War II told members of the Association that, in retrospect, they felt Captain Callaghan acted correctly,” according to Patrick Dugan of the U.S.S.Missouri Memorial Association.10
Callaghan went on to serve as commander of Naval Forces in the Far East during the Korean War and retired in 1957. He died July 8, 1991, at the age of 93. On April 12, 2001, he was honored in memoriam at a ceremony aboard the Missouri, docked at Pearl Harbor, to commemorate the respect he paid to the Japanese pilot. Since kamikaze pilots wore no identification, the Japanese Navy narrowed the identity of the pilot to three possibilities, and descendents of each of these families attended the ceremony. One family brought water taken from the area where a U.S. submarine had recently surfaced, accidentally sinking a Japanese fishing boat, and that water was poured into Pearl Harbor from the Missouri.
Above: Admiral Daniel Callaghan (1907) and (below) Admiral William Callaghan (1914).
By Caitlin Callaghan ’99
This article is adapted from a speech Caitlin Callaghan ’99 gave at the annual Admiral Callaghan Society awards dinner on April 30, 2015.
When I was growing up in San Francisco, I heard lots of stories about the two Admiral Callaghan brothers, Daniel (SI 1907, center column) and William (SI 1914, right column) — or Dan and Bill, as they liked to be called.
I knew Bill, who was my great-grandfather. He died when I was 10. I never had the opportunity, however, to meet Dan, who received posthumously the Medal of Honor. Dan’s story is known well at SI these days: The admirable naval career that culminated in his heroism at the World War II Battle of Guadalcanal, where he was killed on the bridge of the U.S.S. San Francisco, lives on through the school’s Admiral Callaghan Society. Bill, in contrast, survived World War II. He ultimately retired from the Navy as a Vice Admiral, and his last appointment was as Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces, Far East.
Dan and Bill were seven years apart in age, but they were extremely close throughout their lives. They were the grandsons of two Gold Rush pioneers and grew up in San Francisco and in Oakland at the turn of the 20th century. Their uncle James Raby, who was also an admiral, inspired them to attend the Naval Academy and pursue their lives in the Navy. A further motivation for Bill was the sight of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet entering San Francisco Bay in 1908. Years later, in 1917, his midshipmen summer cruise would take place on the U.S.S. Connecticut, which was one of the Great White Fleet ships he had seen.
When the U.S. officially entered World War II, Dan and Bill were each in the Pacific. Bill was based at Pearl Harbor, where he was assigned to the staff of Admiral Chester Nimitz, who was then the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet.
The Guadalcanal campaign began in August of 1942, when the Allies landed in the Southern Solomon Islands. Throughout the next three months, there were about 10 battles — both on land and at sea — between the Allies and the Japanese for control of the island of Guadalcanal itself, before the massive naval battle that took place in mid-November.
The writer James Michener, who was called to active duty as a naval historian during the War, wrote that in its aftermath, the name Guadalcanal became “one of the blood-honored in American history.”
For the Japanese, the name proved simply bloody — ominous, and without the luster of victory. After they ultimately retreated, a Japanese commander wrote, “I had 30,000 of the finest men. Ten thousand were killed. Ten thousand starved to death. Ten thousand were evacuated, too sick to fight.”
In October of 1942, there was a lull in the fighting on Guadalcanal. Admiral Nimitz and a few members of his staff, including Bill, flew down from Pearl Harbor. They first stopped in the capital of New Caledonia, another island in the South Pacific. This was the Allies’ deployment spot for the Solomons.
In New Caledonia, Dan and Bill were briefly reunited. It was fortuitous that their paths crossed at all. As the Allies struggled to uproot the Japanese from the Solomons, Dan’s time was split between New Caledonia and Auckland, New Zealand. Bill later reported that Dan seemed tired and worn out. This was likely the last time the brothers ever saw one another.
From New Caledonia and his brother, Bill flew with Nimitz to Guadalcanal. The intent was to assess the general situation the Allied forces were facing.
Bill wrote a letter to his son, Cal, about what he saw on Guadalcanal. Cal was my grandfather. At the time, he was 17 years old. He writes, “I wish you could have been here to see these fighting marines. They weren’t all dressed up as you see them in pictures on parade.… But living in fox holes and slit trenches isn’t very conducive to a natty appearance.… All of them looked like the tough, hard fighting men they are.”
Bill then describes what he saw beyond the marines’ makeshift quarters. “Just in front of the advanced lines were the barbed wire defenses. No [Japanese] were hanging on them limp and lifeless, but I had missed that scene by only a few days.”
Bill continues: “We were all set for an air raid the day I was there. [The Japanese planes] were reported on the way about two hours before noon. We got a grandstand seat in a palm grove to watch the show, but no more of [the planes] appeared. Just as well I guess, for the Marines told us it was no picnic to watch the bombs drop and wonder whether they are intended for you.”
He then writes that he is sending a souvenir for Cal: “It is some of the [Japanese] paper money, which they brought along with them to use in the conquered territory. Since the Solomons were under the control of the British, you will note that the face of the currency is stamped with the familiar units of British money — the shilling.”
Bill describes the trucks the Japanese left behind — some with Chevrolet parts bought in the U.S. before the war — and a dinner of captured Japanese rice and hearts of palm. In closing, he tells Cal to ask his mother if she knows what a “hep kat” and a “zoot suit” are, because he wants to “check on her acquaintance with things of the day.”
From the distance of more than 70 years, I find it hard to interpret the somewhat lighthearted tone of this letter. Maybe it’s because Bill wrote it to his teenage son. Maybe it’s because at that point Bill had served in the Navy for several years and was more inured to its dangers than the average letter writer.
Regardless, the tenor of a letter he wrote a few weeks later stands in stark contrast. Bill was back safely in Pearl Harbor on the night of Nov. 13, 1942. But because he was on Nimitz’s staff, he knew that on that day, Dan had been somewhere on Iron Bottom Sound back at Guadalcanal, in the middle of a horrific battle.
That evening, Bill wrote several pensive lines to his wife, Helen, my great-grandmother. He begins the letter with these words:
“I am terribly worried about Dan. Even before this reaches you the worst news may [have] come.… Of course, I can’t tell you anything about what he has been doing, except to say that he has been in a battle.… From what information is at hand, there is every reason to believe that he is either dead or seriously injured.… I suppose I’ll know by tomorrow, but ever since yesterday, the suspense has been terrible.”
Bill tries to make the letter a little more upbeat, asking his wife if people like “the opening of the second front in Africa” and commenting that “the poor old French seem to be getting it from both their enemies and their friends.”
But he closes the letter with these words: “Maybe I am unduly alarmed [about Dan], as there is nothing positive yet. Just a piecing together of certain facts which are indicative of what may be. So let us [keep] hope until I let you know to the contrary.”
Bill’s suspicions, however, were confirmed. Dan had been killed. By many accounts, Dan knew that he and his men would likely perish before the battle even began.
Guadalcanal was a powerful and much-needed victory for the U.S. It was also a devastating loss for the Callaghan family. My grandfather, Cal, who was also very close to his Uncle Dan, learned that Dan had been killed when he was riding the streetcar home from school in Washington, D.C. He saw Dan’s name in a newspaper headline that a fellow rider was reading.
When the U.S.S. San Francisco sailed home to its namesake city that December, one of the first people to board the ship was the father of Dan and Bill, who was my great-great-grandfather. A photographer from the Oakland Tribune captured their father’s drawn and heavy face as he heard firsthand the account of the battle and his son’s death. It was published on the front page, right underneath the photos of the cruiser, with all surviving hands on deck.
For some time following Guadalcanal, Bill continued to serve on Nimitz’s staff. Then he became the first captain of the U.S.S. Missouri. The Mighty Mo supported the invasion landings of Iwo Jima in the late winter of 1945 and then set course for Okinawa.
As I write, it is exactly 70 years since the Battle of Okinawa took place. The goal, if the Allies were victorious, was to use Okinawa as the base for an invasion of the mainland of Japan. The battle ultimately became one of the bloodiest in the Pacific, lasting for almost three months. Between the Allies, the Japanese and the local civilians, nearly 300,000 people died. It was also the battle in which the Japanese first unleashed kamikazes in coordinated attacks on Allied ships. Several days after the battle began on April 1945, a kamikaze in a Japanese Zero fighter took aim on the U.S.S. Missouri.
The pilot approached the ship low, just a couple dozen feet above the water. He flew towards the ship’s starboard side, from the stern, probably in the hopes of evading antiaircraft fire.
It is likely that the pilot intended to pull his plane up at the last minute and crash it into the battleship’s superstructure, but before he could do so, the left wing of the Zero grazed the deck of the ship. The plane spun onto the deck and broke in half.
Instantly, the deck was covered in the flames of burning gasoline. Debris splattered all across the stern. Fortunately, however, the part of the plane that held the 500-pound bomb did not detonate. That half, instead, had fallen into the sea.
The Missouri crew put out the fire. Then they turned the hoses to wash the remains of the dead pilot overboard.
They were told to stop.
Bill, their commanding officer, had sent down orders to prepare the pilot for a full military burial at sea with honors.
Bill believed that the pilot, just like the members of the Missouri crew, had performed the task his country had asked him to do. It’s been said that he spoke to the crew over the ship’s loudspeaker system and remarked upon the pilot’s duty and sacrifice.
The pilot’s remains were brought into sickbay. A crewmember stitched a makeshift Japanese flag. The following morning, the pilot received that full military burial, complete with six pallbearers and a volley of rifle fire.
From Bill’s perspective, his decision was not a difficult one to make, and for the rest of his life, he never wavered on this point. However, his decision still rankles people today. After all, it’s clear that the intent of the kamikaze pilot was a fatal one for the crewmen of the Missouri.
Just 14 years ago, one former crewmember said this to a newspaper reporter: “Most of the crew said that they should have put [the kamikaze] in a bag and thrown him over the side.” Another, a former gunner, said this: “It’s sort of a kick in the pants. If that kamikaze had made it another 100 feet, I would not be here. Would they have held a memorial for us? No.”
The U.S.S. Missouri is now docked in Honolulu. In 2001, several members of my family flew there to meet with the descendants of the kamikaze who tried to destroy the battleship. Together, our families participated in a Japanese kencha tea ceremony on the U.S.S. Missouri to honor those who had died.
In the years after Bill had retired as Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces, Far East, he often saw and wrote to those who had also served on the Missouri. In one of those letters, he wrote this: “I have a British admiral friend who told me some years ago … that he was never particularly ambitious to become a flag officer. What he truly enjoyed were individual command assignments afloat.”
Bill admits, “while I cannot quite subscribe to his denial of a desire for flag rank, I must agree that the most satisfying part of a naval officer’s career is command of a ship.… In that respect, my service on the Missouri is still a vivid one to me, because it was during war and actual combat.”
It is enduringly sad, but also a source of pride, that Uncle Dan — as both his family and his crew called him — gave his life for his country at Guadalcanal. Bill, who would live to the age of 93, never stopped mourning the loss of his older brother.
It is also a source of pride that even though Japanese forces killed his brother Dan — and tried to kill him and his crew — my great-grandfather Bill treated a Japanese enemy combatant in a way that befitted his battlefield convictions and with full awareness that had the circumstances been reversed, he would not have received the same treatment himself.
The author is the lead speechwriter for Janet Napolitano and the Director of Executive Communications at the University of California, Office of the President.
General Fred Butler ’13
Brigadier General Fred Butler ’13 was another SI graduate who played an integral role in the war. After three years in the college division, he graduated from West Point in 1918 and from the U.S. Army Engineer Schools in 1921. He remained in the U.S. Army until his retirement in 1953.
He worked in China and Outer Mongolia with the Army Corps of Engineers and taught at West Point before returning to San Francisco in 1927. He helped to create Treasure Island for the 1939–40 Golden Gate International Exposition and supervised roadwork on Yerba Buena during his stay here. After the fair ended, Treasure Island was sold to the U.S. Navy and became the base of operations for the war in the Pacific Theatre.
In World War II, he was involved in both the African and Italian campaigns and the invasion of Southern France. For his efforts, he received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. France honored him with the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor, and Italy awarded him the Cross of Valor. (The October 20, 1944, edition of the G.I. Wildcat reported that “Brig. Gen. Fred Butler has been making the headlines lately. He is the leader of ‘Butler’s Task Force,’ driving up France to Berlin. His son Bill Butler is a member of the senior class at the High School.”)
After the war he served as manager of the San Francisco International Airport and as a commissioner for the SFFD. In 1962, Pope John XXIII honored him with the title of Knight of Malta and in 1965, SI gave him the Christ the King Award.
The Class of ’42 & The Greatest Generation
In 2004, Dr. Barrett Weber ’42 assembled a collection of stories from 26 members of his graduating class from SI who had served in World War II. These stories are available online at www.siprep.org, and they are all noteworthy for their poignancy and patriotism. Among those stories are those of Al Hutter, Marshall Moran and Owen Sullivan.
Hutter, who was part of the 147th Infantry Battalion that landed on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, helped the Marines mop up. Later, he was transferred to Tinian where he guarded the runway there. Then, at 2 a.m. on August 6, 1945, “we heard the B29 engines starting and moving about. At 2:45 a.m., a B29 appeared out of the gloom and started down the runway. It seemed that it was too heavily loaded to get airborne, and we all climbed into our shelters in case it ran out of runway. It was agonizingly slow and seemed to strain to become airborne, but it did at the very end of the runway and slowly began to climb into the morning sky.” The plane was the Enola Gay en route to Hiroshima.
Marshall Moran, as a 19-year-old 1st gunner on a 30-caliber heavy machine gun squad in Germany in September 1944, came under attack from German mortar and artillery fire along with his friend, 19-year-old Bobby Schmidt of Glendale, who “was one step behind and below me. I heard the noise, felt the vacuum and faced the split-second arrival and explosion of an 81-m.m. shell. A piece of shrapnel hit me with the force of a mule kick, passing through my left calf, slamming me to the turf. Other shells followed. Pandemonium set in. Just behind me, Bobby’s throat had been cut by the same shrapnel that passed through my leg. I held his unconscious body in my arms as he bled to death. I remember screaming, ‘Medic!’ to no avail, as we had taken so many casualties.”
Later Moran was taken to a hospital that found itself threatened by the German offensive in the Battle of the Bulge. The high command issued all patients .45 caliber pistols to defend themselves from German paratroopers. Moran recalls walking the grounds and passing another patient who “neither looked at me nor acknowledged my existence. Just after passing each other, one shot was fired. I turned to find him on the ground, his foot shattered by a .45-caliber bullet. He was a ‘section 8’… who crippled [himself] for life so [he] would not be forced to return for battle.”
The captain in charge of this unit insisted that Moran state, under oath, that the soldier had deliberately shot himself. “I refused. The small bones in his left foot were shattered. He’d be a cripple for the rest of his life. My rehabilitation ended abruptly, and I was quickly returned to my unit.”
After the war, Moran visited Bobby Schmidt’s parents, who had only heard that their son was MIA. “With tears in my eyes, I told them Bob had died in my arms. The three of us cried together.”
Owen Sullivan found himself facing a firing squad after his B-24 bomber went down over the Carpathian Mountains in Slovakia on November 20, 1944. On a bombing run to Poland, his plane had caught fire and exploded, burning Sullivan’s face and breaking his arm, though he did manage to parachute to safety. “I had no idea what country I was in.”
When he landed, villagers aided him, taking him to a creek where he immersed himself to hide his scent. A German patrol and their dogs passed a few feet away but did not spot him. He recuperated in a local farmhouse, learning to speak Slovak from a bilingual Book of Mormon, and he was reunited with three of his 10-man crew. The others had been captured, killed or tortured. “We spent Christmas Eve that year in a pig sty, drinking slivovic, a 105-proof plum brandy, listening to accounts of the Battle of the Bulge on the BBC and roasting a pig,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan spent 16 weeks in town, posing as a local, drinking coffee with Germans during the day and, later, taking part in partisan raids against them. On March 24, 1945, the Gestapo caught up with Sullivan and crew member Eugene Hodge. They lined both men up against a wall “pockmarked with bullet holes. A German gunner set a machine gun on a tripod, and as [we] waited execution, the officer in charge decided to lead [us] on a 250-mile march.”
During the march, Hodge grew ill and was sent to a German hospital while Sullivan escaped into the woods where he was rescued by Americans in Austria. After the war, the Slovakian Defense Ministry presented Sullivan and four other Americans the Medal of Freedom.
The End of the War & The Birth of the Bruce
After the end of World War II, SI and SH thought of a fitting memorial to the fallen alumni of both schools: a perpetual athletic trophy, given to the school that won at least two of the three games in football, basketball and baseball. This trophy, named for SI’s Bill Bruce ’35 and SH’s Jerry Mahoney, would also commemorate the oldest athletic high school competition west of the Rocky Mountains.
In The Red and Blue of January 29, 1947, reporter Watt Clinch ’47 predicted that “this trophy, as time goes by, will doubtless come to mean as much to SI and Sacred Heart as the legendary Axe means to Stanford and California and the Old Oaken Bucket means to Indiana and Purdue.”
The Chronicle’s Ken Garcia wrote an article about this trophy in 2001, in which he noted that “Bill Bruce was a gregarious, sharp teenager, who came to SI in 1931 on a scholarship as a virtual unknown. Bruce was an orphan who attended St. Vincent's School near San Rafael, commuting across the Bay by boat. He was a fine student and a good athlete who started as a lineman — defense and offense were not specified in those days since everybody played both ways.”
The February 26, 1947, edition of The Red and Blue added that while at SI, Bruce “repeated a year of Greek so he could raise his average from a 92 to a 95,” and was later elected salutatorian for his class.
“Bruce never made All-City,” wrote Garica, “but his charisma and quick mind charmed his classmates who elected him student body president. When he graduated in 1935, Bruce went to Santa Clara University, where he started on the Broncos team that beat LSU 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl. He spent his summers working as a park director at Grattan Playground in the Haight, before enlisting in the Navy in 1940, where he became an outstanding fighter pilot.
"‘Bill was a natural leader, extremely popular, who just had this air of command,’ said Fr. Harry Carlin, SJ, SI's executive vice president, who was one of Bruce's classmates. ‘He was a model for students then and he's a model for them now.’
“Bruce flew more than 50 combat missions in Europe during the early ’40s before being called back by the Navy to train young pilots at the Naval Air Station in Pasco, Washington, part of the Tri-Cities area in the eastern part of the state that combines desert terrain with steep canyons. And there, on April 14, 1943, Bruce, with a young trainee at the controls, refused to bail out when the pilot could not pull their plane out of a nosedive, and the two men were instantly killed. Bruce was 25.”
Garcia added that SH’s Jerry Mahoney, who grew up in the Richmond District, was tall enough to start on his school’s varsity basketball team as a freshman in 1941, “a feat so uncommon that it stands out almost as much as the fact that he made first team All-City in basketball and football his senior year. ‘He was one of the best athletes in the city,’ said Jack Grealish, ‘and I know, because I played with him and against him.’
“Mahoney enlisted in the Navy and, after boot camp, was assigned to a merchant ship for combat duty. In June 1944, just hours after the Henry B. Plant set out from the Atlantic coast, the ship was torpedoed by a German submarine. Every man on board was killed. Mahoney was 18.”
Even though the trophy match was not inaugurated until 1947, the schools mark the first year of the match-up as the 1945–46 academic year to commemorate the end of WWII. SH took the trophy that year, and SI the next. In all, SI has kept the trophy 40 times as of 2005, and SH 18 times.
In 1967 SI joined the West Catholic Athletic League and SH remained in the AAA until 1969. For two years, the schools split ownership of the Trophy, though they didn’t play each other on a regular basis during those years. Competition resumed in the 1969–70 academic year when SH joined the WCAL. By the end of that year, the schools had tied in football and split the other two games. SI kept the Trophy that year as it had been the last team to win it back in 1967.
Few traditions capture the joy of high school as this rivalry between SI and SH. If you go to Kezar Stadium, Big Rec Field or Kezar Pavilion for a Bruce-Mahoney match-up, you will find emotions tuned to a fever-pitch, voices hoarse from shouting and athletes primed to play at their peak. You will also find something more — a community of parents, alumni, students and teachers who are part of something special, something that transcends the specific time and place of one game and that connects them to the ideals of service and tradition that both Bill Bruce and Jerry Mahoney stood for in their brief lives and that they upheld in their deaths.
The Age of Athletes
The hardships of World War II brought students together to form some of the closest communities in school history. To this day, alumni from the 1940s gather to talk about old times, just as grads from other eras do, but their spirit and their affection for the school seems stronger, forged from the suffering and prayer that were part of that era.
The 1940s also proved to be a watershed decade for Wildcat sports. The decade that saw the start of the Bruce-Mahoney Trophy games also saw the inauguration of the John E. Brophy Award along with heated basketball match-ups with Kevin O’Shea ’43 leading the Wildcats to a celebrated city championship over Lowell and the varsity football team defeating Polytechnic on Thanksgiving Day 1945, 13–7 for the city championship, led by coach John Golden. His team appeared before a crowd of 30,000 at Kezar Stadium with Poly the favorite, having won the Northern California Championship the previous year. But an SI fullback, senior Gordon MacLachlan, helped SI win 13–7 with a 48-yard run to the end zone and another TD from Mike Ryan. The basketball team recaptured the AAA crown in 1947, led by coach Phil Woolpert and remarkable play by George Moscone ’47, Cap Lavin ’48 and All-City Laurie Rebholtz ’47. (Cap Lavin, recalls classmate John Savant, “was a gifted passer who could get the ball to a teammate under the basket leaving his opponents flatfooted.” Lavin went on to become a legendary coach and teacher in Marin and helped to start the Bay Area Writing Project at UC Berkeley.) SI’s outstanding “mermen,” who included Phil Guererro, Jerry Brucca and Jack McGrowan, helped SI’s swimming team finish first in AAA competition in 1946 through 1948.
“This was war time, and outside of the San Francisco Seals, there were no professional teams competing,” recalled Grealish, who was named to the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame in 1995. “The sports pages were pretty tough to fill. More often than not, you’d see banner headlines in the Chronicle reading ‘SI beats Balboa,’ followed by a blow-by-blow description of the game. This attention, and the fact that we beat Lowell in the final seconds in 1943, lent an artificial importance to high school sports. We had a tremendous amount of school spirit. It wasn’t uncommon to see 800 SI students walking down Stanyan Street to Kezar to watch a basketball game. We’d fill an entire side of Kezar with white shirts, and our games would draw capacity crowds of 6,600 fans. I don’t know how else to describe that spirit except as a big togetherness that we all felt. Maybe it was because the war was hanging over our heads. Perhaps, because of that spirit, we experienced a lot of success then.”
The success was also due to some talented coaches. Alex Schwartz, who served as head varsity football coach from 1942 to 1944, joined the athletic department in September 1940 after a successful career playing for USF. At one point, he coached football and basketball for SI — the sports he excelled in while at Mission High and USF. (Schwartz made the All-Pacific Coast football team in 1936 and 1937 and served as captain of the ’37 squad.)
While Schwartz was finishing his degree at USF, coaching frosh football there and working at the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island (running the lost and found department), his close friend Fr. Ray Feeley, SJ, told him of job openings for football coaches in Los Angeles and Denver. “My wife said she wasn’t about to leave San Francisco,” said Schwartz. Then in 1940, Fr. Feeley called him again to tell him of another job. “This one you can’t turn down,” he told me. “It’s at SI.” The starting monthly pay: $80.
His first year, Schwartz served as the football team’s line coach under Red Vaccaro, and in his second year, he took over the JV team. In 1942, when Vaccaro became the athletic director, Schwartz took over the head coach’s job. He coached standout players, including Bob Muenter, Don Gordon, Val Molkenbuhr, Charley Helmer, Dan Coleman, Dick Cashman, Bill and Bob Corbett, Jim Canelo and Jack Burke, who was also a champion discus thrower. However, though his expertise was in football, Schwartz gained more fame for coaching basketball when his 1943 team turned in an undefeated season.
Schwartz’s basketball career began when one coach left to join the California Highway Patrol mid-season, and Schwartz stepped in, getting advice from Bob Kleckner at USF. “SI had not won a single game that season before I took over, and it didn’t win a game when I first started coaching.” Despite the regular season losses, Schwartz’s team went on to win the Catholic school tournament at St. Mary’s College that year.
In 1942, Schwartz’s team featured the skillful play of John LoSchiavo ’42 (later to become president of USF) and came in second in the league, losing to Poly. “When I came back to school, I saw the principal, Fr. King, who said, “’Tis well we lost. The boys were getting too excited.” I responded: “You mean to tell me that you want your debating teams to come in second?”
Schwartz coached without an on-campus gym. He reserved the gym at Everett Junior High on 17th and Church Streets for his basketball team, but with school letting out at 3:15 p.m., students would take an hour by bus to get to the gym, leaving them less than an hour for practice. To speed up their trip, Schwartz bought a 1936 Ford panel truck and put seats in the back to carry two teams and manager Harry “Dutch” Olivier ’44 (later to become a Jesuit) to the gym, cutting travel time to 15 minutes.
The opportunity arose in 1943 to buy a bus when Student Body President Val Molkenbuhr ’43 convinced his father and uncle to make a donation to the school. “It was a goodly amount, but not quite enough for a new bus,” said Schwartz. He later saw an ad for used Army buses and drove down to San Luis Obispo to inspect them. There he ran into a mechanic he knew from the city who told him to buy a certain bus, as it had a brand-new engine. “I figured with the sale of the truck and the donation, I could swing it,” said Schwartz. “I came back and told Fr. King. He had to think it over. A few days later, he told me that my request had been denied. ‘You’re spoiling the kids,’ he told me. ‘No Jesuit school has a bus, not even USF.’”
Schwartz’s reflection on that decision was simple. “Those were interesting years.”
Despite the lack of sophisticated transportation, the 1943 team went undefeated. “You have no idea how exciting that was,” said Schwartz, who was carried, along with O’Shea, on the shoulders of rooters to the dressing room. The starting five that year included Kevin O’Shea, Harvey Christensen, Jack Scharfen, Jim Beeson and Tom Flaherty.
O’Shea wasn’t the only great athlete to be influenced by Schwartz. Jack Grealish ’44, a four-sport student, used to play baseball and then have Schwartz drive him in his truck to a track meet, with Grealish changing uniforms in the cab.
Schwartz spotted another great athlete, Joe McNamee ’44, playing intramural basketball at SI. “I saw him playing hunch at noontime and asked him to come out for the team. He said he couldn’t because he had size 14 feet and couldn’t find sneakers big enough to fit him. I called a sporting goods store in the city, and they told me to try a store in Oakland, which did stock shoes that size. I drove there, bought the shoes and gave them to Joe. He joined the team and turned out to be a good player for SI and USF.” McNamee eventually played professionally for the Rochester Royals in the 1950–51 season.
Schwartz also had high praise for Rene Herrerias ’44, who in February 1944 against the Lincoln Mustangs, was the first lightweight player ever to score 27 points in a single game. “In those days, an entire team might score 25 points in one game.” Herrerias later went on to great fame coaching for SI (and later UC Berkeley), leading the Wildcats to four AAA championships (1951 and 1954–56) and two Tournament of Champions victories in 1954 and 1955.
In 2004, Schwartz was inducted into the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame for his talented coaching at SI, Mission and City College.
The Pride of SI: Charlie Silvera
Frank McGloin ’25, who started coaching baseball in 1930 (winning an AAA championship his first year), ended his career as varsity baseball coach in 1942, though he continued to be an avid supporter of SI until his death in 1994. (Each year since 1995, one junior varsity baseball player receives the Frank McGloin Award in honor of this great Ignatian.)
McGloin had many superb players, including pitchers John Collins and Buzz Meagher and first baseman Harvey Christensen, all of whom earned first-team all-league honors. (Christensen ’43 also earned all-league honors in basketball. Collins pitched a no-hitter against Balboa in 1938 and earned the league pitching title. Meagher started a triple-play as pitcher in 1939.)
But the most celebrated of them all was Charlie Silvera ’42 who went on to become a catcher for the Yankees between 1948 and 1956. As such, he was one of eight Yankees to win five consecutive World Series and six in all. However, Silvera only played in one of those games (in 1949) as he was backup to Yogi Berra, one of the Yankee’s greatest players. Still, he served his team with distinction, mainly helping to warm up pitchers in the bullpen. He roomed with Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, and he traveled on Billy Martin’s staff from job to job during that manager’s volatile career.
Silvera began playing baseball at Mission Dolores School, and he nearly went to Sacred Heart. “But Bob Dunnigan, who lived down the street, talked to my mother and made sure I went to SI to play for Frank McGloin, who was a great coach. He had a wonderful temperament and was great with kids.”
At SI, Silvera played on the varsity team in each of his four years, spending most of the time as catcher. After graduation, he signed with the Yankees, and along with Jerry Coleman and Bob Cherry — Lowell seniors also signed by the Yankees — he took a train on June 20 to Wellsville, NY, to play on the PONY League there in a Yankee farm club for one season.
In 1943, he entered the service and played baseball for three years at McClellan Field in Sacramento on the same team as Joe DiMaggio before being transferred to Hawaii, where he continued to play ball with the 7th Air Force.
After the war, he spent several years on farm teams before seeing major league action for the Yankees for the last four games of 1948 to replace an injured catcher. He stayed with the Yankees while they won seven Pennants and six World Series — five of them in his first five years with the team, from 1949–1953, a feat yet to be repeated. (After his fifth World Series ring, he and some of the others asked for silver cigarette cases.)
His teammates called him “Swede,” a nickname given him by John Swanson, the owner of the Mission Bowl. Swanson didn’t care that Silvera was Portugese-Irish, only that he had blond, wavy hair. “Everyone playing ball in the Mission District had a nickname, and that name stuck with me.”
Silvera didn’t mind warming the bench watching Yogi Berra play. “After awhile, I tried to hide so they wouldn’t discover me. I had sat on the bench so long, I was afraid my tools had grown rusty.” During double-headers, Berra played the first game, and Silvera would step in for the nightcap. In 1957, the Yankees sold Silvera to the Cubs, and a badly sprained ankle on Memorial Day that year ended his career.
He spent the next several years managing farm teams for the Yankees and the Pirates and then scouted for the Washington Senators until 1968. Billy Martin then asked him to join his team of coaches, and he followed him to Minnesota, Texas and Detroit. “He kept getting fired, and I’d be fired along with him. After 1975, I told him I didn’t want to be fired anymore.” With that, Silvera returned to scouting and has worked for the Yankees, Brewers, A’s, Marlins, Reds and Cubs.
In 2003 he celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the Yankees’ five-straight World Series victories and his 62nd year in baseball. If you go to a Giants’ game, you can still see him in the seats scouting for talent.
“I always felt that I was born in the greatest city in the world, lived in the greatest district in that city and played for the best team ever in baseball with the greatest catcher who ever lived. And I had an excellent education at SI. I succeeded because of the discipline that started at home and then continued at SI and in the service. That discipline really helped me with the Yankees. We all felt that there are major league ballplayers and then there are Yankees. We felt the same camaraderie on that team as I still feel for my SI classmates — guys like Fr. John LoSchiavo, SJ, and Bill McDonnell.”
At his 50-year reunion, Charlie Silvera made this comment about his years at SI: “Great classmates, great school, great teachers and great baseball coach.”
(At his class’s 63rd reunion in 2005, Silvera presented Fr. Sauer with his SI block for the school archives.)
Silvera wasn’t the only major-leaguer to attend SI. Jimmy Mangan ’47 played with the Pirates in 1952 and 1954 and with the New York Giants in 1956. Don Bosch ’65 played with the Pirates in 1966, the Mets in 1967 and 1968 and the Expos in 1969. And Allan Gallagher, who played third base for the Giants from 1970–1973, and who finished his career with the Angels, attended SI for part of his high school years before he went on to Mission High School where he became AAA Player of the Year. He returned to the Jesuit fold when he enrolled at SCU.
An Original ’49er
Eddie Forrest ’39, who died in 2001 a month shy of his 80th birthday, was one of the original members of the San Francisco ’49ers. Forrest graduated from Presidio Middle School before coming to SI, where he excelled in basketball and football. At 5-feet, 11-inches and 215 pounds, he wasn’t the biggest linebacker SI had ever seen, but he was effective. He made the All-City team during his last three years with the Wildcats, playing for George Malley, and was chosen to play in the high school version of the East-West game, which pitted the best East Bay high school athletes against their San Francisco and Peninsula counterparts. He went on to SCU where he played offensive guard and linebacker for Coach Buck Shaw. He later enlisted during World War II and served as a paratrooper in Europe. In 1944, the Green Bay Packers drafted him, but because he was in the service, the draft wasn’t binding. “I was away from home so much, I didn’t want to go to Wisconsin to play,” he said in a 1992 Genesis interview. Then Buck Shaw, who served as the first ’49ers’ coach, signed him while he was still in Germany. Two years later, when the Niners played their first game, Forrest was in uniform, playing center, guard and linebacker for two seasons in the All-America Football Conference. He then returned to SCU where he coached with Len Casanova until 1951 following the Broncos’ victory over Kentucky in the Orange Bowl.
“I can remember when he used to practice with his team at the Polo Fields,” said classmate Bob Lagomarsino. “The ’49ers were 33 strong in those days. Eddie was a real rugged guy, but he weighed less than 220 pounds. In those days, you didn’t have to be a behemoth to play football.”
A member of the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame and SCU’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Forrest always spoke fondly of his days as a ’49er. “Most of us were from the Bay Area, and we all knew each other before the ’49ers,” he said in a 1996 interview in the San Francisco Chronicle. “So we were a very, very close team. Since there were no other major-league pro teams here then, we were sort of quasi- or semi-celebrities. People knew us. Anybody in the Bay Area interested in sports knew about the ’49ers in those days. From the beginning, we got good crowds. We all lived in Parkmerced. The wives knew each other and socialized together. It was a very happy existence.”
Later, Forrest was active as a volunteer with the NFL Alumni Association, and he built a successful career as a savings and loan executive, retiring in the 1990s to spend time with his family.
“He couldn’t make too many of our annual reunions because of his bad knees,” said Lagomarsino. “But he did come to the 40-yearand 50-year reunions. He led the class in singing the fight song. He was one of the most popular guys in the class.”
SI had several other athletes play pro football, including Dan Fouts ’69, who made the NFL Hall of Fame as quarterback for the San Diego Chargers. Look for more on him in Chapter 10.
Kevin O’Shea ’43
Everyone who went to SI in the 1940s knows the name Kevin O’Shea. The great basketball player, who died in 2003, made the All-City Team in his junior and senior years, helped SI earn a number-one ranking in California and led SI to a 1-point victory over Lowell for the AAA title in his senior year.
His classmate Val Molkenbuhr, student body president then, was part of the sold-out crowd that night at Kezar. When O’Shea sank the winning basket in the last second, Molkenbuhr rushed to the locker room and took a shower with the team. “My tears flowed like the shower water,” he said.
Looking at the headlines from the Chronicle and Examiner in those days, you would think O’Shea was the only player on the team. “Wildcats Plus O’Shea Bubble Past Bewildered Bears 36–9,” “O’Shea Does It—Ignatians Win!” and “O’Shea Shines in Wildcat Triumph,” read a few of the headlines from the 1942–43 season.
For the game against Lowell, sports writer Bob Brachman proclaimed that “Irish Kevin O’Shea is one of the great athletes to enter San Francisco High School portals. The brilliant SI cager proved this last night before 5,000 fans in Kezar Pavilion when, with 10 seconds remaining, he stole the ball from a pileup, dribbled 50 feet through a host of Lowell Indians and tanked a field goal that gave the Ignatians a 23-22 triumph. When the gun sounded signaling the Wildcats’ fourth straight victory and the first defeat for Lowell, St. Ignatius rooters lifted coach Alex Schwartz to their shoulders, hoisted O’Shea with him, and triumphantly paraded them to the dressing quarters.” That win gave SI its first city crown in 16 years.
After leaving SI, O’Shea went to Notre Dame briefly, and then left to serve in the Coast Guard during the war. He returned to Notre Dame in 1948 where he played until 1950, earning All-American honors in each of his three years there.
In an obituary published by the San Francisco Chronicle, former USF player and coach Ross Guidice called O’Shea a “great defensive ballplayer [who was] really quick. And he had an unusual shot — he kind of just spun the ball up there."
After Notre Dame, O’Shea played three years in the NBA for the Minneapolis Lakers, the Milwaukee Hawks and the Baltimore Bullets. Despite being only 6-feet, 1-inch, he was able to score against taller players from inside the key according to John “Joe” McNamee ’44, who played with O’Shea on the Bullets. (McNamee also played for the Rochester Royals in the 1950–51 season.)
In his Chronicle obituary, O'Shea's son Brian ’69 said his father's proudest moment “was the night when he and four other Baltimore Bullets, including Bay Area legend Don Barksdale, played an entire game [which they won] without a substitute, the first and only time that has happened in the NBA.”
After leaving basketball in 1953, he entered the insurance business. He made a brief return to basketball in the early 1960s when he became general manager of the short-lived San Francisco Saints in the American Basketball League and coached Examiner basketball camps.
In 1966, he made a foray into politics when Mayor John F. Shelley appointed him to the Board of Supervisors. He lost in his 1968 election bid after initially being declared the winner. “He was too nice a guy to be good in politics,” said McNamee in the Chronicle story.
His wife, Jeanne O’Shea, said that her husband was “always proud of his association with St. Ignatius High School and St. Ignatius College Prep. One of his favorite stories is that he learned how to study at SI, although his grades did not always indicate that. He liked to say that the basic foundation he received at SI prepared him for Notre Dame and the business world.” O’Shea and his wife had five children — Mary Anne, Brian ’69, Timothy ’71, Kevin ’76 and Catherine Franceschi.
In addition to O’Shea and McNamee, two other Wildcats played professional basketball. Fred LaCour ’56, who played with the St. Louis Hawks from 1960–62 and the Warriors the following year, tied an AAA record in his junior year at SI against Galileo, scoring 29 points. Also, Bob Portman ’65, a first-round draft pick from Creighton, played with the Warriors between 1969 and 1973. (More on these two players later in the book.)
The John Brophy Award
When Kevin O’Shea was leading his team to the city championship, he was doing it, in part, for classmate John Brophy ’43, who died that February. As a freshman, Brophy developed a serious illness, and doctors had to amputate his leg. He regained his health and took part in the Sodality, Sanctuary Society, debate team and CSF. He also served as a student body officer, a writer for The Red and Blueand manager of the swim team, earning membership into the Block Club.
Brophy suffered a relapse in November of his senior year, and the basketball team dedicated its season to him. He died on February 10, 1943. At the end of the year, the Block Club, spurred on by its president, Don Gordon ’43, created the John E. Brophy Award to honor this exemplar of Ignatian values. Harvey Christensen ’43 was the first recipient, chosen because he modeled Brophy’s “loyalty, integrity and unselfish dedication.” Christensen made a name for himself as “the greatest natural athlete in the circuit, and without a peer in his position,” according to one Chronicle reporter. “He looks like an edition of Paul Waner. Bats .536. Can play any position in the field. A heady fielder. A born leader.” Christensen also made a name for himself as a star basketball player and swimmer, and earned All-City honors in all three sports. After high school he played for the St. Louis Brown’s minor league team from 1949–51 before serving as a baseball coach at USF and Lincoln, where he eventually became principal. The San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame inducted him in 1993.
SI math teacher Jim Delaney won silver in ’48 London Olympics for shot put
SI math teacher Jim Delaney at the Olympics. Courtesy printsandphotos.com.
John Pescatore, who coached crew and taught at SI in the 1990s, isn’t the only former member of the faculty with an Olympic medal. Pescatore won a bronze medal in 1988 in Seoul as part of the US team’s 8-man boat, and while at SI, he carried the torch in SF on its way to the Atlanta games.
Thanks to a story that ran in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, we know of one more faculty Olympian. Francis James “Jim” Delaney, who taught math at SI for two years starting in 1946 and who competed in the summer of ’48 in the London Olympics, where he won a silver medal for shot put. This Sacred Heart grad later worked for Steelcase, Inc., retiring in 1987 as vice president and general manager of the company’s West Coast division. Mr. Delaney died April 2, 2012, in his home in Santa Rosa at 91. The following article is reprinted from the 1948 Ignatian.
Early last August, on the rain-soaked turf of Wembley, England, San Francisco’s own Jim Delaney did his little “hop, skip and throw” routine and heaved the shot put 54.72 feet to break a longstanding Olympic Games record. (His American companion Wilbur “Moose’ Thompson of Redondo Beach, took first place with a toss of 56 feet, 2.5 inches.)
A few weeks before, he had won the AAU championship at Milwaukee. These achievements climaxed a brilliant sports career that began nearly 10 years ago in this city. Jim was a senior at Sacred Heart High School back in 1939 and was considered the nation’s top school boy shot-putter. He was then throwing the standard 12-pound shot a mere 58 feet. His best effort as a prep star was 58 feet, 4.5 inches, only 6 inches short of the world’s record of 58 feet, 10.5 inches. But this is still the San Francisco AAA shot-put record. Delaney would probably have set a new world’s record had he not been bound by a league rule that says that a weight man must throw the discus before throwing the shot-put. The energy expended in this first throw might well have been the 6-inch difference between his best throw and the world’s record.
Colleges all over the country tried to lure this high school star to their campuses, but always a true “fighting Irishman,” he made headlines when he chose Notre Dame as his alma mater. The death, early in 1940, of John Nicholson, famed Notre Dame track and field coach, was a great shock to Jim. Even so, he soon broke the Notre Dame shot put (16 lbs.) record made by Don Elser in 1931 with a toss of 49 feet, 6.5 inches.
During his collegiate career, Jim compiled the following record: Intercollegiate champion in 1941 and Central Collegiate champ in 1942 and 1943; first place in the Penn Relays in 1941; and, in 1942, second place in the Drake Relays and third in the National AAU Championship meet, in which he again took third in 1943.
Now the established collegiate champ, Jim topped off his college career by being elected the Notre Dame track and field captain for the 1943 season. This made him the first San Franciscan to captain a Notre Dame athletic team.
After graduation in 1943, Delaney entered the Navy and served as an officer for some 33 months in the Pacific on the ammunition ship U.S.S. Pyro. In the late summer of 1946, he came to SI as an instructor in advanced mathematics. Due to the war, the Olympic Games of 1940 and 1944 were cancelled, and when Jim returned from the service, he was three years behind in competition and was rusty. It was then that he donned the “Flying Wings” of the San Francisco Olympic Club and set his sights on the 1948 Olympics. It wasn’t easy. Older now (27 last birthday) and out of condition, he was constantly plagued with backaches and strained muscles.
In order to get back on top again, it was necessary for Delaney to enter every big meet held on the coast. Almost every time he entered a meet, he walked off with a first-place ribbon. Some of his medals were garnered from such notorious events as the Santa Barbara Relays, the Fresno Relays and the Pacific Association of Track and Field Events meet. In 1947, he was crowned National AAU champ.
Then, in the summer of this year, together with his O.C. teammates Martin Biles and Guinn Smith, he packed his sweat suit and proceeded to Milwaukee, where, for the second straight year, he won the AAU championship with the amazing throw of 54 feet, 8 inches.
From there, he migrated south to Evanston, Illinois, for the Olympic tryouts, where he made shot put history by throwing the 16-pound lead ball 55.1 inch. It was the best throw of his life. By mid-July, Jim Delaney was aboard the United States Olympic ship, the S.S. America, realizing the dream of every competitor — a berth on the United States Olympic team.
While in England, Jim took in all the sights: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the infamous London Tower and all the rest. It was truly the most memorable and exciting experience in his great career.
Together with the other San Francisco champions, namely Ann Curtis, Guinn Smith, Martin Biles, Patsy Elsener and the others, Jim Delaney was welcomed home in grand style. The festivities consisted of a large-scale parade up Market Street, lunch at the Commercial Club and a huge municipal reception at the City Hall. Numerous personal appearances have also marked the return of Francis James Delaney to his native San Francisco. Jim has now buried his laurels deep in the attic trunk and is back at SI once again to take up his teaching profession. In the minds of all American sports fans, Delaney is a true champion, but in the hearts of all the SI students, he is just “Big Jim.”
Track, swimming, tennis and boxing rounded out the sports program at SI in the 1940s, with golf resurrecting in 1949. Frank Zanazzi, a “curly-haired, Scotch-burred” track coach, came to SI in 1946 after serving as a U.S. Olympics trainer. In his first year, he led SI to a divisional championship but fell just short of taking the AAA title.
“Young Man, Have YouConsidered the Priesthood?”
William Morlock ’49 grew up in the Mission District, the son of an Irish-American mother and German-born father. While he attended dozens of Seals’ baseball games (the stadium was walking distance from his home on 22nd Street between Florida and Alabama), he was not the athletic type. He attended SI and found himself in the honors program, taking four years of Latin and three years of Greek. Scholarly and contemplative by nature — he celebrated his 44th year in the classroom at SI in 2005 — he found himself drawn to the Sodality. It did not take the Jesuits long to encourage him to consider a vocation as a priest.
“The school had a clerical atmosphere when I was a student,” said Morlock. “All the priests wore cassocks, and most of the lay teachers had left to serve in the war.” Those priests were guided by the same counter-reformation philosophy that guided St. Ignatius of Loyola as he founded the Society of Jesus in the 1500s. “We heard time and time again how the Church had been torn asunder by the wicked Protestants,” said Morlock. “It was totally pre-Vatican II, with religious instruction consisting of apologetics.”
Morlock was impressed by his Jesuit teachers, including the scholastic Albert Zabala, SJ, who would later serve as chairman of the theology department at USF and who founded the USF Summer Theology Program, and Fr. Alexander Cody, SJ, the school’s chaplain. “The first impressed me with his intellectuality, the second with his spirituality. These were ideal Jesuits.”
Given Morlock’s religious predilections, “it didn’t take long for them to apply pressure. The entire Church was dedicated to recruiting boys for the priesthood, and there was a general presumption that if you were religious, you should become a priest.” Since its early days, SI had sent its students into the Novitiate, hitting a peak in 1931 with 17 seniors entering the Society of Jesus.
Morlock was one of eight in his class to begin studies toward the priesthood, but he chose the diocesan seminary of St. Joseph’s, as he was “put off” by the Jesuit lifestyle. On his first day at St. Joseph’s, he heard the news that the Russians had the Bomb. Then he entered the building and barely left for two years, cut-off from most of the outside world, with the exception of trips home for two weeks during Christmas and three months each summer. “I left because I could not adjust to monastic life,” he said. “It was almost as bad as the Jesuit novitiate, with a completely regimented life measured by the constant ringing of bells.” Morlock, after a stint in the Army, returned to the U.S. and to SI, where he has taught since 1961 in three departments, as a German, church history and world history teacher.
A Tangled Tale of Publications
Despite the war, despite the athletic milestones, high school life continued in the 1940s to be filled with the day-to-day events that never seem to change from decade to decade. These events were recorded in The Red and Blue until June 1, 1948, when the newspaper printed its last copy. According to Warren White ’39, the moderator of the first Inside SI, The Red and Blue did not return “partly because it was expensive, and partly because its news was quite old by the time it was published.”
The school also had a new publication that was gaining favor: The Ignatian (not to be confused with the yearbook of the same name). In 1945, the school published a 36-page literary magazine containing “a student-composed Greek oration, ten types of literary expression, [and] a number of fine-line illustrations.”11 In 1947, the literary magazine became a news magazine, and ran on a quarterly basis until 1950. This publication modeled its design on Time magazine; sadly, there was “an uncertain period spent reconnoitering with Time about copyrights” in 1947, according to the annual, and it changed its look to avoid legal action.
Another publication, the school yearbook, resurfaced a year later, also calling itself the Ignatian. (The school abandoned the name The Heights, which it had called its yearbook from 1928 to 1932.)
Replacing The Red and Blue was a one-page mimeographed sheet that called itself Inside SI, published weekly by the English students of Warren White ’39 beginning in 1949 “as a practical task for his Journalism class… reviewing the past week and pre-viewing the week to come,” with Bob Amsler ’49 as the first editor. White, who taught at SI between 1946 and 1955, volunteered to start the newspaper “so I wouldn’t have to supervise JUG,” he said in a 2003 interview. The magazine was able to succeed where The Red and Blue failed. It published quickly because, as an in-house publication, it did not require review by a professed Jesuit priest. “The concern was that The Red and Blue went off campus to other schools in an exchange program and its contents needed to be vetted to insure that they reflected properly the AMDG mission of both SI and of the Order itself,” said White. “Fr. Harrington had the misfortune of having the censor duties added to his already considerable responsibilities, and he probably gave them a low priority. In any case, a Red and Blue edition might wait several weeks before it cleared to go to print by which time any claim to currency had vaporized.”
The in-house nature of the publication gave it its name as did the sly reference to the then very popular John Gunther books (Inside USA, Inside Europe and Inside Latin America). “By using the ‘Inside’ title gimmick, the students and I did an end run. If our logic was Jesuitical, well, we had been well taught. Fr. Harrington was, I think, relieved to be rid of the responsibility.”
White kept expenses down by mimeographing the publication and producing it in an after-school journalism class. “Students had fun doing it,” White added. “They were delighted to have something current to read on Monday mornings.” The publication expanded into a four-page magazine in 1950 (“Rag to be Revamped” read the headline of the last one-pager) and continued to grow over the years.
Finally, The Quill appeared in 1951 as a literary magazine publishing short stories and poetry. It published until 1954, and then appeared again in 1992 as the school’s official literary magazine.
Currently, students receive Inside SI in newspaper form, and The Quill andIgnatian yearbook, which appear annually. SI publishes the Principal’s Newsletteronline three times a year as well as the quarterly Genesis, the alumni magazine that started publication in November 1964. (A previous alumni publication, theIgnatian Bulletin, was published from 1956 until 1967 when Genesis took its place.)
Francis “Uncle Frank” Corwin, one of the best loved teachers in the school’s history, began his 44-year teaching career in September 1947. A veteran of World War II, where he served as an MP, Corwin brought to his history classes stories and a demeanor that would frighten, amuse and entrance students (sometimes all at once) until his retirement in 1991. His students knew the truth of a joke told by Bob Sarlatte ’68: “Frank Corwin doesn’t teach history. He remembers it.”
When students recall Corwin, they think about his years serving as detention proctor. Students who received JUG went on a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride of master-sergeant-style badgering and mock abuse.
It went something like this: “Mistah! Sit up straight and let’s see the whites of your knuckles! I could shine my shoes between your butt and the back of your chair!”
After leaving the army, Corwin went to Utah to teach. There the chain-smoking teacher found the strict Mormon standards a little too tough to take. Teachers weren’t allowed to smoke in public, and twice he was caught and reported to his principal, who warned him that if he smoked in public a third time, he would be fired for moral turpitude.
“That’s what they charge pimps and prostitutes with,” Frank said in a Genesis IIIinterview.12 “I told myself there were still 47 other states, so I gave notice.” He landed a job at SI and started teaching in the fall of 1947. On his first day, he walked into the teachers’ room and into a thick cloud of cigarette smoke. “In those days, everyone smoked at SI, including the Jesuits. The smoke was so thick, you could cut it with a knife.”
Then he listened to the conversations of the teachers and panicked. He asked himself, “What am I doing here? These teachers are brilliant. I told myself to keep my mouth shut so they wouldn’t know how little I knew. From then on, I’ve always felt privileged to work at SI because we have an excellent faculty.”
Corwin began proctoring detention in the early 1950s when Fr. Tichenor asked him to take on the job. Corwin was used to East Coast private school boys “who were little gentlemen. At SI, the boys were live wires, always into mischief and pranks. I could see that they were ready to explode. So when I walked into the detention room, I had every kid freeze in an upright position in his seat with his butt touching the back of his chair, hands folded on the lip of his desk, the whites of his knuckles showing, his shoulders back, feet planted together and staring at a mark I’d made on the blackboard. I’d tell them not to move their eyes from that mark for one hour.”
The veteran soldier had his fun with his charges. He’d heap verbal abuse onto his students, but it wouldn’t take the students long to realize that behind the bellicose voice lay a heart of gold and a gentle spirit.
Corwin’s punishments grew creative over the years. Leo LaRocca ’53, one-time athletic director at SI, remembers Corwin ordering him to go to the ROTC armory, check out an unloaded rifle, and walk back and forth in front of the treasurer’s office “guarding it” for one hour.
Another time, Corwin dealt with three boys who were repeat offenders. He used an old Army trick to punish them. He told the boys to dig a hole five feet wide, five feet long and five feet deep. When they were done, he had the boys turn around. He took out a small piece of paper from his pocket, threw it in the hole, and told the boys to fill the hole up again. When they were done, he asked them what was in the hole. One boy had seen Frank throw the paper into the hole. He got to leave. The other two had to dig the same hole and find the paper.
Principals throughout the years would take visitors to the detention room to show off Corwin’s crisp discipline, and parents praised him for the tight control he maintained. “They’d tell me to give their sons the back of my hand if they failed to do their homework,” he noted.
Corwin, along with nearly all the faculty in the ’40s and ’50s, believed in the efficacy of corporal punishment. “If a student missed two homework assignments, he felt the back of my hand,” Corwin said. “He always had his homework the next day. And between Fr. Ray Pallas, SJ, and Fr. Leo Marine, SJ, every locker on the third floor of the old school was dented from bodies they sent flying through the air.”
Corwin stopped rapping the boys in the early ’60s. “Other teachers still practiced corporal punishment, but I was afraid I might injure someone. I substituted it with screaming and shouting.”
In class, Corwin peppered his lectures with stories of Cairo and the war. Those stories brought to life the textbook accounts that students read. He also knew how to capture the imagination of a 15-year-old boy. While teaching a rigorous course of history, which he developed for the archdiocese (the infamous syllabus), he told stories of corpses three-days dead in the desert, of men dying from drinking too much liquor too quickly, and, of course, of Major Lake and his mistress, Sasha.
Corwin soon found that he was the subject of faculty stories. It had as much to do with the love the faculty felt for this grizzly-bear of a man as much as it had to do with the situations in which Frank found himself.
For instance, during one fire alarm drill at the Sunset District campus, Frank directed his students to leave the school and then saw that Fr. Gene Growney, SJ ’60, had elected to stay behind because one of his students had a full-length leg cast and could neither walk downstairs nor take the elevator during the drill. Frank and Gene decided to have a smoke in the bathroom while waiting for the drill to end.
“We were talking and didn’t hear anyone coming. The next thing we knew, we saw Br. Draper, the fire chief, the battalion chief and his assistant. Boy, were they annoyed. Gene and I were officially cited by the fire department. Two days later, during the faculty dinner, the faculty gave Gene and me fire hats.”
The faculty ribbed Frank about that for years. And they didn’t let him forget about the time that he woke up, showered and dressed, said goodbye to his wife and left for school. He got to the Stanyan Street campus, found no one there and thought that the entire school was at church for a religious holiday. He raced to St. Ignatius Church and found no one there. He walked back to school and saw a maintenance man. “He asked me what I was doing in school on a Saturday. If I could have physically done so, I would have kicked myself in the butt. When I returned home, my wife was laughing so hard, I thought she’d fall down. I didn’t speak to her for two days. And of course it got back to school. Nothing stays a secret.”
Frank, who eventually moved to Marin, car-pooled with several other teachers. One day they played a practical joke on Frank. They arranged with Fr. Bill Keenan, SJ ’36, the school treasurer, to put a note in Frank’s pay envelope indicating that because the school was short on cash, several teachers couldn’t be paid for several months.
In the car on the ride back to Marin, each of the teachers pulled out his paycheck and announced that more money had been withheld than they had expected. They watched as Frank took the bait. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his pay envelope. He opened it, took one look, and shouted, “Turn this car around!” They were driving on the Golden Gate Bridge at the time. Frank knew he couldn’t face his wife without having been paid in full.
In 1987, SI named Frank Corwin as the recipient of the President’s Award, the highest honor the school bestows upon a person who has not attended SI. That citation reads, in part, that “as the years passed, students and alumni came to realize Frank’s goodness, innate charity and deep humility. It is there that the wizard whose bombast was only an instructional tool was seen to be the teacherpar excellence, for he showed the scarecrow, the lion and the tin man that the treasure they had been seeking actually had always been deep within them and needed only to be recognized by the one who cared to be self-appropriated. And so the tin man finds his heart, the lion his courage and the scarecrow his brain, thanks to Frank’s tutelage.”
When he retired in May 1991, the faculty held a surprise going-away party for Frank and for two of his longtime colleagues who were also retiring — Joe Parker and Anny Medina — SI’s first full-time female faculty member. Three judges, the Hon. Timothy Reardon ’59, the Hon. William Mallen ’54, the Hon. Robert Dossee ’52, all former students of Corwin, came to honor this veteran teacher, as did J.B. Murphy, who had retired in 1989 after 50 years at SI. Members of the faculty and the judges all wore dunce caps as they sat in on Uncle Frank’s last detention period.
At the party, Judge Mallen recalled his senior year history class with Corwin. “He had one of the greatest scams going. By the time I got to my senior year, I thought I was ready for a break. But Mr. Corwin, on the first day of class, announced that anyone who caught him in a mistake would receive an automatic A for the semester and an exemption on the semester exam.
“From that point on, I sat glued to my chair listening to his every word. Two-thirds through the year in one of his lectures, he referred to Abraham Lincoln who ‘served as a colonel’ during some battle. I raised my hand. ‘Mr. Corwin,’ I asked. ‘Do you remember the promise you made at the beginning of the year?’ He said he did. ‘Abraham Lincoln was a captain, not a colonel during that battle.’
“Mr. Corwin looked in his text and announced, ‘You’re absolutely correct!’ He took out his grade book, marked an A in it under my name, and announced that I was exempt from the exam. From that point on, I didn’t hear another word of history in that class.”
Fr. John Murphy, SJ ’59, an extraordinary English teacher at SI at the time of Corwin’s retirement, told the story of being in Uncle Frank’s class during the 1956-57 paper drive. The winning class, he noted, won the title of the “Loyalty Class.” “Mr. Corwin gave threats, appeals and humiliations as motivation to be that class. For instance, he assigned a long term paper that could be waived by meeting our individual quota. We were determined to be the Loyalty Class. To do this, we hired a truck and one of the parents drove. And from early in the morning until late in the afternoon on a fall Saturday, the 30 of us canvassed the Richmond District. We went systematically from Arguello to the beach using Clement as our axis and fanning out and bringing the papers back to the truck by hand and with wagons. The truck got full. In fact, our one class had collected more newspapers than the rest of the school together.
“Well, such a great event could only be capped by an unauthorized, unexpected visit to Mr. Corwin’s home. So late Saturday afternoon, sweaty and smudged, we rang the doorbell. When Mrs. Corwin saw us, she called to Frank who came out with some alarm on his face. We presented him with a truckful of paper. Realizing there was no danger to his person or family from us, he assumed his habitual role as omniscient, rotund professor and said, ‘Gentlemen, in the history of my years at St. Ignatius, this is an historic event. All records have been shattered. You have done yourselves proud. I am sure the principal and administration will be stunned by such a performance. Thank you gentlemen. I will see you Monday morning.’”
In a Genesis IV interview, Frank insisted that his greatest honor was not the recognition he received from San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos a week before his retirement, when he received an honorary proclamation from the City of San Francisco, but the fact that he taught at SI. “I’m very trite,” he said. “I’ve known I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to teach at this kind of school. I’ve taught in public schools where no one seemed to care about anything. Here, there’s plenty of care, concern, and most importantly, love.”
George Moscone & Leo McCarthy
Two of SI’s best known politicians graduated in the 1940s — George Moscone ’47 and Leo McCarthy ’48.
George Moscone’s senior yearbook caption included the following: “A devotee to athletics and ROTC, he was mentioned on several All-City basketball selections, having played on various school teams since his freshman year. He won the first year elocution contest and was a three-year baseballer. The ‘Bambino’ will attend St. Mary’s with Herman Wedemeyer.”
Born to working-class parents November 24, 1929, Moscone went on to SI where he excelled at basketball, earning all-city honors and an athletic scholarship to college. He played for Phil Woolpert, and, along with Cap Lavin, helped the team earn its second AAA championship. He was also a good speaker, as his victory in the Frosh Elocution Contest indicated.
After graduating from college and Hastings Law School, he married Gina Bodanza, his childhood sweetheart, and they had four children. (Two of those children, Chris Moscone ’80 and Jonathan Moscone ’82, were in class at SI the day their father died. His granddaughter, Zea Moscone, is a member of SI’s class of 2008.)
He became involved in San Francisco politics through John and Phillip Burton and won elections for supervisor, state senator and San Francisco Mayor. A champion for civil rights and the interests of the poor and working class, Moscone was a popular mayor. On November 27, 1978, he and Supervisor Harvey Milk were gunned down by former Supervisor Dan White. That night, 40,000 people marched in a candlelight vigil to honor Moscone and Milk. (More on this in Chapter XI.)
Leo McCarthy was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and immigrated with his parents to California when he was 3 years old. At SI he made the track team and competed in shot put. He later earned a Bachelor’s degree in history from USF in 1955. He married Jacqueline Burke, and they have four children, two of whom attended SI — Adam ’83 and Niall ’85. (Leo’s grandchildren Courtney Allen ’97 and Kevin Allen ’00 also attended SI.)
In 1964, he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (along with Moscone) and later served as California Assembly Speaker for six years in the 1970s followed by a 12-year stint as Lieutenant Governor. In his many years of public service, he is credited for his efforts in education, health and the environment. (He also made a point of driving to his San Francisco home every day from Sacramento to be with his family.) He is a longtime SI supporter who attends many of the school’s events and was a featured speaker at a Downtown Business Lunch in the 1990s.
Remembering Saint Ignatius
By J. Hugh Visser ’47
In September 1941, Holy Name School opened with 10 boys and 19 girls in the seventh grade, the highest class. Some three months later, December 7, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and we were suddenly thrust into a new and frightening world. San Francisco, and particularly the outer Sunset, seemed vulnerable to a sudden attack. Volunteers became air-raid wardens; there were blackouts and air-raid drills and, in a short time, rationing of gasoline, red stamps for meat and blue stamps for sugar and butter.
In the spring of our seventh grade year, the school had a newspaper drive, and we collected hundreds of pounds of paper. The money went for a Mass kit for an Army chaplain. One of our parish priests went into the military.
In the following year, when I was an eighth grader, our teacher, Sr. Canisius told me that there was to be a scholarship examination for Saint Ignatius High School and that she wanted me to take it. Both of my parents were immigrants from Europe and had no knowledge of high schools. Students from the outer Sunset usually went to Polytechnic High School, which we passed on the “N” Judah line as we took the streetcar downtown.
We had to find out where SI was and how to get there.
On the appointed day I went to SI and took the scholarship exam, which was also an entrance examination. The exam was given in various classrooms, each of which had a platform about 6 feet by 8 feet and raised about a foot above the floor. On this was a desk and chair for the teacher. On the wall of each classroom was an old-fashioned loudspeaker about three feet in diameter over which some of the instructions for the exam and the words to be spelled were announced. At one point after the exam, we were taken into an auditorium and shown movies of school activities, including a basketball game starring Kevin O’Shea. He was a senior at SI and an all-city player, but I had never even heard of him. So far as I knew, none of my Holy Name classmates had ever been to a high school football or basketball game.
A few months later the school received word that I was among the eight winners of a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to SI. I still have the newspaper clipping listing the names of the eight and the value of the full amount — $390 for the whole four years. That August, I went to register for school and met the office staff at that time — two secretaries.
The First Day
On the first day of school, we freshmen found our names and the classrooms to which we were assigned on the main office bulletin board. We found our way to class and took seats. Soon a young Jesuit came into the classroom, took roll and had us sit in alphabetical order. These were to be our seats for the year; we remained in the same classroom and the teachers changed. He told us that he was our registry teacher, that this was a class in Latin, and then told us some of the school rules. Schoolwork was to be done in pencil, homework in ink. Fountain pens and knives would be confiscated on sight. (Ballpoint pens had not been invented yet.) The young Jesuits on their way to the priesthood were “scholastics” and were to be addressed as “Mister.” And going out to your locker, except at recess and lunchtime was an offense punishable by JUG, which went from 3:15 to 5 p.m. Greater offenses were punishable by Saturday JUG — from 9 a.m. to noon.
He also wrote a long word in German, zusammengehörigkeitsgefühl, across the entire front blackboard. He explained that it meant a feeling of working and belonging together, and this was what he wanted his class to develop. He never did tell us his name. Later we found a schedule of classes and teachers on the class bulletin board and discovered that he was Mr. James Markey, SJ. At that time he stood, while teaching, at the back of the class. A student who misbehaved might find himself hit by a tennis ball or an eraser, which he then had to pick up and carry back to Mr. Markey.
The School Day
The school day consisted of two periods, recess, two more periods and lunch. After lunch came activity period for which the registry teacher reappeared. During this half-hour, you could go to school club meetings or stay in the room and study. Two more regular periods completed the day.
Early in the year we carried home to our parents a notice that if we were not doing at least three hours of homework a night, it was not because it hadn’t been assigned.
The curriculum in those days was standard for everyone. We all took Latin, English and math for four years. Freshmen took PE and a study period, though it was possible to take a semester of typing instead of study period. Mr. Tonge, also the 130s basketball coach, taught us to type on the old-fashioned standard machines.
At the end of our first year, those of us who had done well academically were put together in 2A or 2B, and Attic Greek was added to our classes. This was not a choice. About 32 of us who had taken two years of Greek did choose to take third year Greek from the same teacher. This and typing (instead of study period) were the only electives during the four years.
The science class taken by all freshmen was General Science. As juniors, we took chemistry, and as seniors, physics. No course in biology was ever given. At the same time, no modern language was offered. Some of our classmates could speak Italian, but because of the war and the government posters saying, “don’t speak the enemy’s language,” they didn’t advertise this ability. I’m sorry that we didn’t get a chance to learn another language at an early age.
Memorization and Translation
Our ability to memorize was valued and stimulated by having to memorize all of the vocabulary words in Latin and Greek together with the various changes in declensions, conjugations and tenses. Our English teachers also frequently had us memorize a daily stanza or two of poetry. You would be called on in class to start or continue the poem. One of the poems assigned by Mr. Willis Egan, SJ (whose less handsome brother was in the movies), was “Mia Carlotta.” It was written in Italian-English dialect, but perhaps to avoid hurting the feelings of some of our classmates, it was typically recited very prosaically. But then Mr. Egan called on Aldo Bozzini. Aldo, who later starred in our senior class production of Henry IVand went on to direct plays at Holy Names College, stood up and with voice and gesture gave a very dramatic presentation of the poem. He had set a new standard, and from then on everyone followed his example.
One day during our senior year Mr. William Richardson, SJ, our American History teacher, announced that we were going to memorize the names of all the presidents in order. The class emitted a loud groan. He replied, “It’s easy. It’s like a speech from Shakespeare.” Then in a rhythm and using some names as verbs, he had us recite with him:
“It’s two –four –two.
Jefferson Madison Monroe Adams
Harrison Tyler Polk Taylor
Fillmore Pierce Buchanan
Oh! Lincoln to Johnson Grant Hayes
Garfield Arthur, on to Cleveland,
McKinley Roosevelt Taft Wilson
tell him not to be so
Harding on Coolidge
For Hoover, Roosevelt and King Harry.” (Harry Truman was then president.)
In 15 minutes everyone in the class knew the presidents in order.
On another day in our senior year, Mr. Thomas Flynn, SJ, our Greek teacher, assigned in class a short passage for translation. He then collected the papers. The following day he had students write certain chosen translations on the board. We then voted for the best translation. When one was chosen, he asked the author to stand. No one did. He asked again that the author should not be bashful — that he should stand. Again, no one did. Then he said, “Maybe the author is standing.” He, of course, was the only one standing; it was his translation.
The faculty in 1943 was made up of some Jesuit priests, a large number of young Jesuit scholastics, and a few laymen. The principal was Father James King, SJ, a mild-mannered man, probably a little under 6 feet, who spoke with a slight lisp. He was, however, definitely in charge. On one occasion when I happened to be standing in the main corridor, I heard him speak to a member of the senior class, a student who was a football player and oarsman who stood a good 6 feet, 4 inches. Fr. King looked up at him and said, “child,” and then reprimanded him for some transgression. With that one word, I felt he had cut that boy off at the knees. When Fr. King was reassigned during our junior year, a farewell tribute in Greek, written by our teacher, Mr. Thomas Flynn, SJ, was delivered by Jim Fitzpatrick.
Lay faculty members included Mr. Bernie Murphy and Mr. Bernard Wehner, both long-time and excellent math teachers; Mr. Michael McNamara, an elderly teacher who was rumored to have been wounded in the Boer War; and Mr. “Red” Vacarro, Mr. Alex Schwartz and Mr. Walt Tonge, all of whom both taught classes and coached. After the Second World War ended, the school hired a great English teacher, Mr. Warren White, and a physics teacher, Mr. Ward. As seniors in 4A, we thought that Mr. Robert Ward was barely a page or two ahead of us in physics and sent a delegation to the principal, Fr. Ralph Tichenor, SJ, asking that we get Fr. Raymond Buckley, SJ, a long-time physics teacher, instead. He was not at all sympathetic to our plea and essentially told us that he made those decisions, period.
On another occasion the Class of ’47 made Fr. Tichenor very angry. As seniors, we made a closed three-day retreat at El Retiro in Los Altos. Nearing the school on the return bus, someone began singing, “Onward Christian Soldiers,” and this continued as we started to climb the school steps. Fr. Tichenor came out of the front door, shouted for us to be silent, and threatened to expel anyone who sang or spoke on the way back to our classrooms.
The Jesuit faculty consisted of both priests and scholastics. Fr. William O’Farrell, SJ, the Prefect of Discipline, was known to the students as “Wild Bill.” He prowled the corridors reputedly on crepe-soled shoes, and if he caught you out of class, you were sure to end up in JUG. Also among the Jesuits was Fr. Charles McKee, SJ, who taught religion, a short, stocky man who was said to have been a boxer in his youth, who was also the guardian of the front door at noontime. It was the senior privilege to be allowed to leave the building during the lunch break, but you had to pass Fr. McKee, who stood at the front door checking senior IDs. He took no guff from anyone and made all decisions about your leaving. When we did leave at noontime, we often went a few blocks to Rossi Playground to play catch or talk.
Smoking was also strictly forbidden, and if caught doing it, a student would be expelled. Nonetheless, it was reported that at the market across Stanyan you could buy a single cigarette for 5 cents. A pack at that time was about 20 cents. It was, however, a “do as I say, not as I do” rule. Any student who went to the teachers’ lounge to speak to a teacher during recess or lunch time would, when the door was opened, be greeted by a huge cloud of smoke.
Another priest who taught religion was Fr. Charles Largan, SJ. He had a hearing problem and wore a hearing aid, a box about two inches square, on his lapel. Sometimes our class would make a low humming sound, and he would start to adjust the controls. A similar reaction followed when a student who had been called on would stand and silently mouth his answer. Several years later, a surgical operation was able to cure the cause of his deafness and he was able to discard the hearing aid.
The Jesuit scholastics were mostly about 8–10 years older than the students. Most of them had themselves gone to SI and were familiar with the school’s rules and customs. They taught various subjects, and while some were excellent teachers, others were not. They were, however, devoted to the school and the students, and, in addition to teaching, took on many other jobs. They served as athletic coaches and as moderators of the Sanctuary Society, Sodality, the debating societies and the Red and Blue school newspaper. They also coached participants in the Freshman Elocution and Sophomore Oratorical Contests. Some would go with small groups of students to Mill Valley, from where we would hike to Muir Woods or Muir Beach.
At least twice on Holy Thursday, after the Blessed Sacrament had been moved to the Altar of Repose, Mr. Vince McGinty, SJ, led a group of us from St. Ignatius Church across the street to the Carmelite Chapel and then on foot to visit the Altars of Repose at several other churches, a total walk of perhaps 4 or 5 miles.
Mr. McGinty was also the moderator of the Red and Blue, the school newspaper. Under editor John Jay O’Connor III, assisted by John Motheral, Watt Clinch, Jim Fitzpatrick and several others, the paper came out once a month. As business manager, I tried to get ads from various stores at $1 per column inch. Roos Bros., Ashley McMullin Undertakers and a barber shop on Grove Street took out an occasional ad. We took the typed stories to Flores Press in the Bayview, got the galley proofs and corrected them, and then returned them to the printer.
With every report card period the school gave ribbons for first and second honors. If your average was between 85 and 92, you would receive a red ribbon for second honors. An overall average above that earned a blue ribbon for first honors. Names of the winners were announced over the loudspeaker system, and the students who were called went to the principal’s office to receive their ribbon.
The week of review work before exams was called “repetitions.” If a student kept an “A” average all through the second semester and through repetitions, he could, except for his senior year, be excused from the final exam in June. If you got all “exemptions” in June, you got out of school a week early and got a head start on finding a summer job.
In due time, we became aware of the many extracurricular activities in which we could participate. One of these was the Sanctuary Society (the “Sanc”) whose members served Mass at Saint Ignatius Church. The Jesuit scholastics served the 5:30 and 6 a.m. Masses, and for about one week out of every month, each altar boy was assigned to serve a 6:30 or 7 a.m. mass daily at one of the side altars or at the domestic chapel in the Jesuit Residence. At about 8 a.m. each day, a breakfast was served behind the residence. Anyone who went to communion had fasted since midnight and was hungry.
Under the main altar was a large room with chairs and a pool table. Here the members of the Sanc could read or play pool or billiards between Masses and before school. Some became real “pool sharks.” At the end of the school year there were prizes given to the Sanc members who had served most often. The used basketballs from the intramural games were given to us. You got your pick; those who served most chose first and got the best balls. Bill Healy was often a winner.
On each First Friday, the entire student body attended the 8 a.m. Mass, which was frequently a missa cantata and some of us, directed by Mr. Leo Havorka, sang the Gloria, Credo, Kyrie and responses. After Mass there was time to go for a quick breakfast; Jeanette’s Donut Shop on Geary near 16th was a popular spot for that.
Fr. Alex Cody, SJ, directed the Junior Sodality. At some point, Fr. Cody spoke with each of us about becoming a Jesuit and several of our class did enter the Society. It was custom that on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day, the city officials, mayor, supervisors, fire and police chiefs and so on would go to St. Anne’s Home on Lake Street and serve as waiters for the elderly residents. Many were long-time San Franciscans who were delighted by this. Fr. Cody brought a group of boys from the Sodality to wash dishes for the day. At Christmas he had a group of Sodalists prepare a short play and some songs which were performed at Notre Dame School on Dolores Street for the girls who were from foreign countries and wouldn’t be returning home for the holidays.
The school also had three debating societies: Sophomores belonged to the Congress, juniors to the House, and seniors to the Senate. Each group had a Jesuit scholastic as a moderator, and we participated in inter- and intra-school debates. In the spring, a team from the House debated a team from the Senate in the Gold Medal Debate. One reason to join the debating societies was to be able to attend the House-Senate Dance.
Although various parishes sponsored dances for any high school student, at SI you couldn’t attend a school dance until your junior year. The House and Senate held a dance in the fall for members only. There was also the Junior Prom to which juniors or seniors could go, and the Senior Exclusive. These dances were all held at either the school auditorium or the USF auditorium and a bid cost about $3 or $4. The committee hired a band, usually made up of college students, for the evening, and the boys came in tuxedos rented from Selix or Uptown Clothiers for about $5. Mr. Murphy stood at the door to enforce the “no corsage” rule. If a boy bought his date a corsage, she was asked to leave it at the door. This prevented competition and saved each student at least $4 or $5. After the dance, we often drove to Mel’s Drive-In on Geary for a milkshake or root beer float before taking our dates home.
Ken Innes was one of the people who pushed to bring back the yearbook in 1946. His father took the individual pictures of the students.
During our second and third years, we were required to take ROTC. We were under the command of Capt. Harold Hamilton, whom we called “Cosmo.” The origin of the nickname was his frequent threat that if we misbehaved, he would have us there on Saturday cleaning cosmoline, a thick and tenacious grease, from the M1 rifles. On Wednesdays, the entire ROTC marched in formation. You were supposed to wear your uniforms to and from school, but some students found this onerous, and like Bob Matson, crammed their uniforms into their lockers. The wrinkled uniform then had a “locker press.”
At the south end of the field were some telephone poles topped by a transverse piece of lumber from which hung four ropes each about 2-inches thick. As part of our R.OTC training, we had to climb these ropes. We handled real rifles but never fired them. The school’s rifle team, which shot .22s, practiced in a range in the school basement.
Although only the freshman class at SI took physical education — and this was a mild exercise class because there was no gym and no facilities to shower — there were many opportunities to participate in athletic activities. The intramural program went on all year, but as the courts were outdoors, rain cancelled many games.
On the asphalt-covered yard on the northeast corner of the campus there was a daily noontime softball game. Homeruns were made when the balls went over the fence, and the players were often indebted to passersby who threw the balls back onto the field. The noon hours were also filled with basketball games, and each year there was a competition for which every registry class fielded a team. The games, played in the center court behind the school building, were well attended and hotly contested. A registry class that happened to have a couple of the stars of the thirties or varsity teams usually did very well and would often emerge as the winner.
Both SI and Sacred Heart were members of the AAA, the Academic Athletic Association. Varsity football games were played at Kezar Stadium and sometimes on the fields of Washington or Balboa High Schools. St. Mary’s, USF and Santa Clara also played at Kezar, but there were no professional teams at that time. I still remember our game against Sacred Heart that opened the season in 1945. The grass at Kezar, especially compared to the field at SI (now Negoesco Field), was so soft and lush that there was little incentive to get up after having fallen or having been knocked down. That was the first game of the season in which SI won its first AAA football championship.
Mr. “Red” Vacarro coached the “thirties,” the freshman-sophomore team, also known as the “goof squad.” The varsity had been coached by Mr. Alex Schwartz until he left for the public school system. Under Mr. John Golden, the varsity won SI’s first city football championship in 1945.
The school supplied shoulder and hip pads as well as pants and jerseys. There were perhaps 25 or 30 helmets for the team. Each player had to find one that fit him, and if you were sent in as a substitute, you either had to find a suitable one or use the one from the player you were replacing. We supplied our own socks, cleats, mouth guards and supporters.
The basketball teams — thirties and varsity — practiced at the Page Street Gym, now the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club. At the time, it was a barn-like building with few amenities. The lightweight teams practiced outside in the schoolyard.
In an effort to equalize competition, basketball players were divided into teams by “exponents.” So many exponents were given for age, height and weight. Basketball teams played as the 100s, the 110s, the 120s and the 130s. If a player wanted to make the 130s and was close to the limit, though he couldn’t control his age or height, he might, as some did, fast, dehydrate himself or even take laxatives for a short period before the weigh-ins.
Basketball games were played at Kezar Pavilion on Stanyan Street near the stadium. Before big games it was not unusual for a large number of cheering students to march down Stanyan from SI to Kezar. In fact, before basketball and football games, rallies were held at school. Fr. Giambastiani, who was from Italy and taught at USF, was sometimes invited to perform. He would stand in his cassock on the platform that was at the top of the steps above the basketball courts, jut out his chin and have the whole student body standing in the courts below raising their fists in the air, shouting, “Duce! Duce! Duce!” Then he’d quiet the crowd, pretend to give a speech in Italian, pause, and then the students would again shout, “Duce! Duce! Duce!” and this would go on for 10 or 15 minutes. Another frequent speaker was Donald Gordon ’43, a member of the U.S. Marines and a former football player at SI. The band, under Mr. Orlando Giosi, played at some rallies and most games, regaling us with renditions of the fight song.
The swim team practiced at a pool in the basement of the YMI Building on Oak Street.
Each year the student body put on a school play under the direction of Mr. James Gill. A large professional-looking glossy program was put out for the play, and students sold ads for the programs. The student raising the most money got a prize. Bob Mitchell, son of the Chief of Police, was a frequent winner. The money from the ads was to help build a gym, but our class had been out of school for a number of years before a gym was finally built.
Our parents came to school events such as the Elocution and Oratorical Contests and the school play; they also came if invited to the principal’s office to discuss a son’s problems. Mothers of boys at SI and USF also formed the Loyola Guild, and although they held an occasional tea, their main purpose was to raise funds for scholarships. They held an annual rummage sale, first at Polk Hall at Civic Center, and later at the Hall of Flowers. When my mother discovered the source of my scholarship money, she joined the Guild and worked in the furniture section of the sale for the next 40 years.
When we were juniors Mr. McGinty asked several of us to help move furniture and other large items for the sale. Our efforts were rewarded; the Guild had him take us to lunch at the Golden Pheasant and then to see The Student Prince at the Curran. This wasn’t my first visit to a stage play. During freshman year, Mr. Felton O’Toole SJ, our English teacher, suggested that for extra credit we go to the Geary Theatre to see The Merchant of Venice. While sitting in the upper balcony, I recognized several other SI freshmen nearby also watching John Carradine play the merchant.
Our junior class (3A) also decided to have a picnic at Searsville Lake near Stanford. Each of us put in $3 or $4. The war was over, and someone whose father had connections to a meat market bought T-bone steaks, and someone else bought spaghetti. A couple of us who had driver’s licenses went down to a truck rental place on the corner of 9th and Market Streets and arranged to rent a stakebed truck. We invited our registry teacher, Mr. Maurice Belval, SJ, and our chemistry teacher, Mr. Frank Koenig, SJ, to go along.
On the appointed Saturday, we got the truck, drove to SI to pick up the Jesuits and our classmates and drove to the lake, where we swam or played ball and stuffed ourselves, finally coming home in the late afternoon. No one worried about written permission, insurance or liability then. We never knew if the school administration was aware of the picnic or whether the scholastics told anyone.
There was no college counseling of any type at that time. Some fellows who wanted to be engineers went to Santa Clara; some from the East Bay enrolled at St. Mary’s; a half a dozen went to Cal or Stanford; and the rest of us moved up the hill to USF.
Our graduation ceremony was held twice. In the morning a ceremony was held at St. Ignatius Church, and in the afternoon, as part of a ceremony for all Catholic High Schools, we were given our diplomas by the bishop.
I think we were fortunate to have been at SI when we were. The friendships we formed with our teachers and with each other have lasted for over half a century and are still ongoing.
Chalk-Dust Memories: The 1940s
In 1943, I was in my second year at SI. We had Greek class first period each morning. Mr. Joseph Geary, SJ, then a scholastic, was our instructor.
One Monday morning he came to class a bit early and announced: “No matter what I say, do not turn in any homework for the rest of the week.”
He left the room abruptly and returned a short time later.
On Thursday morning of that week, he opened the class with by announcing, “I do not know what is going on here, but no one has turned in any homework so far this week.” He then turned to Martin Woods, one of the best Greek students in the class, and asked him if he knew what had happened.
Martin said: “Mr. Geary, on Monday you told us not to turn in any homework this week.”
With a huge smile on his face, Mr. Geary said, “Oh no! My twin brother was here this past weekend and got to class before I did.” His identical twin brother, John, was a scholastic at Bellarmine down the Peninsula.
— Joe Stevenot ’46
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In 1946, my freshman religion teacher was Fr. Charles Largan, SJ. Fr. Largan had a hearing problem and wore an old-fashioned hearing aid of that time which consisted of an earpiece with a wire band across the top of the head, much like a hands-free cell phone. At the end of the band opposite the earpiece a cord ran under one’s shirt, or cassock in the case of Father, and ended in a microphone-amplifier, clipped on the shirt front. Occasionally a fly would buzz around Fr. Largan’s chest near the microphone, and he would wave his hand around his ear attempting to swat the fly. Hilarity ensured.
Each classroom had a two-way communications system to the school office, which consisted of a black box hung up high on the wall. During each period, a voice would ask, “Attendance, please,” and the teacher was expected to reply with the names of absent students. Of course, Fr. Largan couldn’t hear well enough, so some wise guy would point up at the box, even though no one had asked for attendance, and Father would dutifully report the absences. And, as you might guess, when the office did ask for attendance, no one would call Father’s attention to the request, which would drive the office batty.
As one might imagine, a few of us matured to the point that these sophomoric (or is it freshmanic) actions were later regretted. At a reception for the Class of 1950 not too many years ago, who should show up but Fr. Largan, and thanks to the wonders of modern science, he had undergone an operation that restored his hearing. With a few of us gathered around him, Father told us, “I remember you guys and all the tricks you used to play on me.” But he said it with such good grace and a twinkle in his eye that we knew we were forgiven.
— I.P. “Bunk” Sicotte, Jr. ’50
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During my freshman and sophomore years at SI, I had a part-time job of running the telephone switchboard at USF. As a result, I got to know not only all the Jesuits who were associated with St. Ignatius High School, but also, to some degree, most all the Jesuits associated with both St. Ignatius Church and USF.
In September 1946, my mother died suddenly. My father had her body prepared for burial at Carew and English, a few blocks away from USF. The evening before her funeral Mass, the rosary was said for my mother. I was totally taken by surprise when Jesuits started appearing for the rosary. I didn't even know that most of them knew that my mother had died. My guess is that there were well over 60 Jesuits who said the rosary with us for my mother. A number of those Jesuits barely knew me. I shall never forget the spiritual support that they gave my father and me.
—Donlan F. Jones ’48
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During Oakie Days, we would break the dress code by wearing old clothes and gather in the field at lunchtime to show how we were dressed down. The school grew concerned about our unofficial practice and clamped down on us, threatening to send home anyone who didn’t dress properly.
When it was time to order our class rings, we noticed the design had changed. The new design made it look like a girls’ school ring instead of the design we were used to. A group got together and found someone to redesign the ring and take orders, which the administration did not appreciate.
— Tom Bertken ’50
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At the old SI on Stanyan Street, we had to walk up 15 stairs to reach the entrance to the school. From this vantage, you could see into one of the new homes across the street. Inside was a young lady who took her shower every morning at 7:30 a.m. Ordinarily, there would be no one at school that early, and she was in the habit of undressing in front of the curtainless window, showering and then drying off. Mysteriously, students began arriving at school at 7:30 each morning. Mrs. Harrington, the principal’s secretary, walked up the stairs one morning, looked at us, looked across the street, and said, “Haven’t you boys ever seen a naked lady before?” How could we answer that? If we had said, “No,” it would show that we were not men of the world. After hearing only total silence, she walked inside. Fr. Gerald Leahy, SJ, the prefect of discipline, wrote a note to our neighbor suggesting she buy shades. All of a sudden, the show stopped.
— Jack Riordan ’44
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Mr. Carlin was my favorite teacher. In his first year teaching at SI as a scholastic, we used to like to fool around with him. We named him Nilrac — that’s Carlin spelled backwards — and everywhere we went, we wrote “Nilrac was here” on the blackboard. He took it in good humor.
Fr. Raymond Buckley, who taught chemistry and physics, stood about 5 feet tall. We respected him because he was really tough. My mother was active in the school in those days, and she had an ulcer as did Fr. Buckley. They would speak to each other about home remedies. After class one day he asked me, “How’s your mother’s stomach today?” I responded, “That’s pretty personal, Father!”
In those days, we had corporal punishment. If any trouble occurred between students or between a teacher and a student, the ROTC sergeant would say, “I’ll see you in the armory at 3 p.m., and we’ll settle it with gloves on.” Whatever disputes we had, we used our fists. Most of the time, the teachers won, but once in awhile, one of the big Irish football players would win.
— Dick Raffetto ’44
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No one had an automobile in those days. We all had rationing stamps during the war and people used to trade gas for sugar and meat. We took streetcar 31 to school, which went by Turk and Stanyan. The motorman drove the streetcar and the conductor stood in back and collected fares. If the streetcar trolley came off, the conductor got off, put it back on the wire, got in and rang two bells. One time, in front of SI, someone pulled the trolley off, and the conductor got out. As soon as he hit the wire, someone rang two dings, and the driver went off, leaving the conductor behind.
— Jack Goodwin ’49
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We used to have ROTC every Wednesday where we marched in a parade in uniform, which included a white shirt and black tie. One day, we were told we weren't going to have a parade but physical exercise instead. They said, “Everybody, take off your coat.” Here is this vast sea of white shirts, with the exception of one guy. He had taken a white shirt, cut out the collar portion that was visible, and wore it with tie under his uniform coat. When he took off his coat, he exposed a t-shirt with large blue and white stripes. He stood out like a sore thumb.
One day, I was thrown out of class for spelling a word right. Fr. Joseph Dondero, SJ, taught sophomore English. He asked the class how to spell “acknowledgment.” He went around the class, and when several students spelled it correctly, he said, “That's not right.” I quietly borrowed a dictionary from the guy next to me, raised my hand and told him respectfully that the word had been spelled correctly. He threw me out of class and sent me to the principal’s office. I told Fr. James King, SJ, that I was thrown out of class for spelling a word right. I didn't want that class to go through life not knowing how to spell that word. [Editor’s note: The Miriam Webster Dictionary shows two alternative spellings for the word “acknowledgment,” either of which is correct.]
— Claude Boyd ’45
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I really had a strong desire, even as a student at St. Cecilia’s, to go to SI. I knew I would know a lot of fellows there, and they helped me when I ran for student body president. One day, after I had made an announcement regarding class pictures, Fr. King said, “Mr. Molkenbuhr, pitchers are what you put water in. Pictures are portraits.”
I played football for one year under coach Red Vaccaro. He was a driver. Boy, you had better be pushing all the time. One time he went out on the field, and he saw a guy laying on the ground. He gave him a kick and told him, “You’re not hurt. Get up.” He got up! Alex Schwartz took over coaching the next year in 1942. He was an all-coast end for USF, first string all conference there. He sure inspired us. He was clean cut and a real gentleman.
My classmates and I talked about what service we were going to enlist in after we finished school. The four years at SI were the best I had. Even though I had to transfer three times on Muni to go there, it was worth it. My mentor was a scholastic, Cornelius “Con” McCarthy. He encouraged me to run for president of the student body, telling me, “Val, you can do it.” SI had other really fine Jesuits, holy men, such as Fr. Cody.
I took ROTC from Sgt. Storti, and that helped me when I joined the Marines. He was a short guy who gave us instructions in weapons and drilling. I was a battalion commander, and my good friend Jack Schimelpfenig ’43 was in charge of the whole ROTC unit.
— Val Molkenbuhr ’43
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One of our history tests was administered by our ROTC sergeant. Before he came in, someone wrote out a cheat sheet on the blackboard all in Greek. When the sergeant started to erase the board, we told him he couldn’t because our Greek test was next. He didn’t have a clue what was going on. We all did well … too well. The priests knew we had cheated but didn’t know how. They asked the sergeant how he could let an entire class cheat. As I recall, we all had to retake the test.
Later that year, the day before Christmas vacation in 1949, I found myself in Fr. “Skipper” Largan’s religion class. Someone brought to class one of the very first portable radios, about half the size of a toaster. Shortly after the opening bell, the strains of Christmas carols filled the room. Father was somewhat deaf but heard the music. He just could not identify the origin. He was aided in this by our pointing to the public address system. He closed his book and told us that as long as the office was going to pipe in music, we might as well enjoy it. Unfortunately, a commercial broke in.
At the second commercial, Father got up and left the room, and someone placed the radio on a windowsill. The class then quieted, and we looked very busy. Father returned, said nothing, just opened his book and resumed class with perfect aplomb. The very next class, Fr. Pierre Jacobs, SJ, picked off the culprit immediately as he walked into chemistry. But that is another story.
— Bill Kennedy ’50
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The Jesuit Educational Association conducted an evaluation of SI between March 4 and 8 of 1946 and submitted the following in its report:
“One of the most notable things about the high school this year is the lack of tension both among the students and among the faculty. As a result the pupils are apparently working harder with better results and the faculty is much more content than it was last year…. At the same time St. Ignatius’ high scholastic standing is being maintained. Graduates entering the University of California last year obtained the highest rank of all those entering from private schools. Two students won awards in the Westinghouse Science Search Tests. In other national and local contests the representatives of the school have given a most satisfactory account of themselves.”
The report did offer this mixed evaluation of one teacher: “Mr. ––––– has matured considerably during the past three years, but he is apparently unable to adapt himself to the mentality of first year high school students. I doubt that he has any enthusiasm for the subject, and certainly has not communicated any to his pupils; rather, he dampens their enthusiasm by refusing to answer questions.”
As to discipline, the report faulted SI for its lack of proper playground facilities: “As a consequence pupils are allowed to come into the school building before classes begin in the morning and to remain in it during the two recess periods. The result is bedlam in the corridors. I hate to think of what it is going to be like if an additional 300 freshman are admitted next year!”
The report also noted the difficulty teachers had “settling the boys down when they have entered the classroom. The boys are supposed to be quiet when they enter the classroom, but that is an almost impossible regulation to enforce … after shoving one another around in the corridors.”
The report also mentioned the contents of one bulletin board, which “for some unknown reason contains the picture of some woman swimming champion!”