1929 WPCD Team
The 1929 West Point Cavalry Detachment team members were identified based on the labeled team picture that appeared in the Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide for 1930. Eight members of the 1929 West Point Cavalry Detachment team were on the 1925 team and another eight were on the 1928 team. Those men are listed below, but their profiles are on the 1925-1926 team page or 1928 team page. The available biographies and/or images of the remaining 1929 players, coaches, and others are below.
The 1929 team played in the West Point Enlisted Men's Football League, winning the championship. The only known outside game was a 31-0 win over the Kingston (NY) Yellow Jackets.
1929 Team Members
Alexander, James. position. (b. April 12, 1900 in Tampa, FL / m. married and divorced before 1930 / d. unknown / i. unknown) Alexander grew up on a farm near Linton Mills, Florida. He enlisted before the 1928 football season -the only season in which he played- and was still at West Point in 1930. He left the service and was living in Baltimore in 1942.
Bell, Percy A. See 1925-1926 team page.
Benefield, William R. See 1925-1926 team page.
Blandford, Earl Franklin. position. (b. July 12, 1904 in Elmira, NY / m. December 14, 1929 to Marion E Burgess in Highland Falls, NY / m. April 1, 1950 to Julia Ann Reavis in Emporia, VA / d. December 14, 1987 in Richmond, VA / i. Arlington National Cemetery) Blandford was raised in Elmira, New York, reaching West Point by 1929. He moved to Fort Benning to attend the Medical Sanitation School, and appears in 1942 newspaper articles while with the 727th Medical Sanitation Company at Camp Kilmer. He then appears to have left the service, then reenlisted before being discharged in 1953. Highest rank: First Sergeant
Brown, William. Fullback / quarterback. (b. abt. 1907 in New Jersey / m. unknown / d. unknown / i. unknown ) Very little is known about Bill Brown. Newspaper reports indicate he was a 220-pound fullback and quarterback who also played on the detachment basketball team. He appears to have arrived at West Point in 1929, played through the 1932 season, and was a civilian living in Atlantic City by 1935.
Chambers, Richard N. Left tackle. (b. abt. 1904 / m. Lucille in 1925 / d. May 17, 1966 in Valley Cottage, NY / i. Mount Repose Cemetery, Haverstraw, NY) Chambers arrived at West Point in 1928, played football that year, and coached baseball in 1938. Promoted to sergeant, he left the detachment in 1942 when he entered officer training, emerging as a warrant officer. He served overseas during WWII and spent an additional three years each in Germany and Japan after the war. He returned to West Point for his final years in the service, before retiring in 1958 and settling in the area. Highest rank: Chief Warrant Officer 4
Corbin, Harold Francis. See 1928 team page.
Dean, Milton Taylor. Master Sergeant. (b. April 12, 1880 in Shreveport, LA / m. Ollie after 1912 / d. August 30, 1945 in Los Angeles, CA / i. Los Angeles National Cemetery) Perhaps the most interesting man associated with the Cavalry Detachment teams, Dean was born in Louisiana, but attended school in Washington, D.C. where he was a lieutenant and adjutant in the Colored High School's military training program. He enlisted in the 9th Cavalry in 1903 and by 1912 was a Squadron Sergeant at Fort Russell in Wyoming. Stationed in the Philippines from late 1914 until June 1917, he was sent to Fort Des Moines, the Army's sole officer training location for black soldiers. Commissioned a captain upon graduation, Dean shipped to France, was promoted to Major while commanding the 317th Ammunition Train of the 92nd Division (a black unit), which served under French command during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Dean was the third highest-ranking black officer in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWI. He returned to the States and taught military science at Howard University before being discharged and serving as Howard's Athletic Director. Dean returned to the Army as a Master Sergeant, serving at West Point until 1931. (Wartime ranks are commonly reduced in peacetime, but having a "recess appointment" involve a drop from Major to noncommissioned status was unusual.) Dean's final assignment was at Fort MacArthur in California, Discharged with the status of a Major in 1935, Dean served on various committees during WWII, often focusing on race relations among workers in California's war industries. Highest rank: Major
Ellis, Leon. See 1928 team page.
Ellis, James Samuel. End / tackle. (b. January 7, 1906 / m. Gracie Louise on October 10, 1931 in New York, NY / d. April 30, 1976 in Jayuya, Puerto Rico / i. unknown) Born and raised in New York City, Ellis worked in a broker's office before enlisting in 1926. He remained in the Army until 1935 and was working for the post office in New York City in 1940. Little else is known other than his relocation to Puerto Rico where he resided at the time of his death. Highest known rank: Private
Fenter, Alconley or Al Conley. See 1928 team page.
Foote, Thomas Jerome. See 1928 team page.
Benefield, William R. See 1925-1926 team page.
Gibson, unknown. No other information.
Graves, Lee Andrew. Back (b. April 9, 1911 in NC / m. unknown / d. September 29, 1951 in South Korea / i. Mount Hope Cemetery in Topeka, KS) Graves was born in North Carolina in 1911, but little else is known about him prior to his arrival at West Point in 1929. Over the next five years, he played several backfield positions in football, forward in basketball, and was playing second base for the Detachment baseball team as late as 1938. His role during WWII is unknown, but he was commissioned a Warrant Officer in 1949 and Chief Warrant Officer in 1950. Graves was killed in action in Korea in September 1959 while serving with Company L, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. Highest rank: Chief Warrant Officer
Green, Charles, Jr. Quarterback. (b. January 30, 1908 in Americus, GA / m. Dorothy / d. May 7, 1993 in Levittown, PA / i. unknown) Green enlisted in June 1928 but did not join the football team until 1929. He played in 1930 as well and was playing right field for the detachment baseball team as late as 1938. Green was a Corporal by 1939, remaining in the Army through WWII. He appears to have been discharged in 1945 but reenlisted in 1948 and served until 1953. Highest rank: Corporal
Harper, Henry C. See 1925-1926 team page.
Benefield, William R. See 1925-1926 team page.
Hall Jr., Moses. position. (b. July 4, 1906 in Dothan, AL / m. Mildred / d. January 9, 1990 in Arlington, VA / i. Arlington National Cemetery) Born in Alabama, Hall enlisted in 1928 and remained in the service until 1948, transitioning to the Air Force when it became a separate branch in 1947. No other information about Hall has been located. Highest rank: Master Sergeant
Jackson, John Leroy. See 1928 team page.
Long, Aaron Roger. See 1928 team page.
Mason, unknown. See 1928 team page.
McGowan, Perry Clease Allison. End / tackle. (b. June 11, 1909 in Ella, AL / m. Eloise E. Williams in June 1950 in New Jersey / d. January 12, 1992 in Plainfield, NJ / i. unknown) McGowan grew up in New Jersey and joined the Cavalry Detachment in 1928. He started for the football team, played guard in basketball, and was a sprinter in track. McGowan remained in the service through WWII. Discharged in 1945, he reenlisted in 1946, ultimately settling in New Jersey. Highest rank: Sergeant
Morris, Elmer. (b. abt. 1907 in West Virginia) No other information available.
O'Neal, Monroe. See 1928 team page.
Payne, Matthew. See 1925-1926 team page.
Pryor, Robert. See 1925-1926 team page.
Smith, Leroy. See 1928 team page.
Thomas, unknown. No other information.
Tucker, John E. Unknown position. (b. February 1, 1896 in VA / m. Margaret Moss on August 1, 1931 in Newburgh, NY / d. unknown / i. unknown) Born in Virginia, Tucker’s family moved to the West Point area where he worked as a farm laborer before entering the Army, serving during WWI. He was at West Point by 1920, remaining there as a Private in 1939. Highest known rank: Private
White #3, unknown. No other information.
Williams, John. Left end. See 1925-1926 team page.
Coaches and Officers
Boye, Frederick William. Commander, Cavalry Detachment. (b. October 19, 1891 in New York City / m. / d. October 10, 1970 in Fauquier, VA / i. Arlington National Cemetery) Born in New York City. Boye went to West Point, playing basketball and captaining the team as a senior. He graduated with the Class of 1915, known as "the class the stars fell on," since he class included Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, and fifty-seven others who became generals. (Largely due to being at the right age during WWII.) After being commissioned, he went to Mexico with the Punitive Expedition, but spent WWI in the U.S. Following the War, he taught military science at the University of North Carolina, while also serving as UNC's basketball coach for the 1920 and 1921 seasons. Intermixed with field and staff roles, Boye returned to West Point in 1929 to command the Cavalry Detachment. After instructing at West Point, he rose to take command of the 12th Cavalry, but Pearl Harbor required him to dismount his men and prepare them for war in the Pacific. In 1944, he led the 12th in an Admiralty Island campaign and was then assigned to the Chinese Theater. An avid polo player throughout his career, Boye served with the 1952 U.S. Olympic for equestrian sports. Highest rank: Brigadier General
Groninger, Homer McLaughlin. Senior Instructor in Cavalry. (b. July 24, 1884 in Milford, PA / m. Gertrude Pomeroy on September 19, 1914 in Port Royal, PA / d. September 26, 1963 in Port Royal, PA. / i. Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery in Mifflintown, PA) Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Groninger attended West Point, captained the baseball team, and graduated in 1908. He held various cavalry posts before serving under Pershing during the Mexican Punitive Expedition. He also served in France for six months during and after WWI. After graduating from the Army War College in 1926, he was assigned to West Point as an instructor, then moved to other cavalry positions. The highlight of his career came in WWII when he commanded the New York Port of Embarkation where he oversaw that transportation of three million troops heading to African and Europe, as well as much of their supplies. Near the end of the war, he took a similar role in San Francisco. His administration of the largest logistical effort in history led to his earning the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. Highest rank: Major General
Kinsolving, Arthur Barksdale. Chaplain / coach. (b. September 13, 1884 in Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil / m. Edith Wharton Lester / d. June 15, 1964 in Carmel, CA / i. Trinity Episcopal Columbarium, Phoenix, AZ) Born and raised in Brazil, Kinsolving came to the U.S. to attend the University of Virginia before joining the French Foreign Legion as an ambulance driver in WWI. He became a lieutenant and earned the French Croix de Guerre. After the war, he entered the seminary and was soon named the chaplain at West Point. He coached the Cavalry Detachment football team from 1928 to 1932 before taking more traditional church roles. Kinsolving was the Episcopal Bishop of Phoenix from 1945 to 1962. Highest rank: Lieutenant, French Foreign Legion
This page will be updated as additional information about these men becomes available.