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Jack Martin "Flying Jack" Cloud

Male 1925 - 2010  (85 years)

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  • Name Jack Martin "Flying Jack" Cloud 
    Born Jan 01, 1925  Britton, Oklahoma county, Oklahoma, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Residence Feb 1973  Annapolis, Anne Arundel county, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died Jun 2010  Annapolis, Anne Arundel county, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • He was a freshman at William and Mary in 1946 (where he weighed 220 pounds and stood 5' 10" tall) and was an All-American football player at William & Mary.  He set a Southern Conference record with 45 touchdowns scoring five in a game.  He then coached 22 years at the Naval Academy including as football coach.  He was a running back in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins.  He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990 and Feb. 2006 received the Jim and Rae Morgan Award for his service to the Touchdown Club of Annapolis, MD.
      Former teammate remembers W&M All-American Jack Cloud
      June 26, 2010|By David Teel
      Flying Jack Cloud lived up to his nickname during World War II and on the dance floor. But on the football field?
      Not so much.
      "He ran low to the ground and just bulldozed his way," teammate Buddy Lex said of William and Mary's first three-time All-American. "He was a tremendous individual and football player."
      Cloud died last week at age 85 in his adopted home of Annapolis, Md., where he worked for 32 years coaching football and teaching physical education at the Naval Academy.
      He was the definitive and iconic player during an era, inconceivable to many, in which small academic powers such as William and Mary, Yale and the service academies could compete with the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma and Notre Dame.
      As a fullback and defensive back, Cloud earned All-America honors from 1946-48 and led the Tribe to a combined record of 24-6-2. William and Mary won the 1947 Southern Conference championship and played in high-profile bowls following the '47 and '48 seasons.
      The Tribe lost to Arkansas in the Dixie Bowl and defeated Oklahoma State, then Oklahoma A&M, in the Delta Bowl. The final Associated Press national polls ranked William and Mary 14th and 17th, respectively, in those seasons, ahead of Oklahoma one year, above Penn State the next.
      "William and Mary was the big cheese in the state," said Lex, a Newport News High graduate, from his Norfolk home. "We got all the publicity Virginia Tech gets now."
      In fact, the Tribe defeated the Hokies three times by a combined 100-7 during those halcyon years. Wrap your head around that notion for a moment or two.
      This was decades before television rights fees, luxury suites and recruiting ratings. This was a time when boys went off to war and, the good Lord willing, returned as men and enrolled in college.
      Cloud, from Norfolk's Maury High, and Lex walked that path. Lex was a foot soldier in the Battle of the Bulge; Cloud was a B-17 waist gunner, also in the European theater.
      Former high school rivals ? Lex laughed as he described Cloud "holding onto my britches" during basketball games ? they entered William and Mary in 1946, pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon and shared the backfield of coach Rube McCray's single-wing offense.
      "He was agile for his size," Lex said. "He was a good dancer. He could really jitterbug."
      Cloud's father was Native American, and the Flying Jack moniker was a nod to his heritage. That also prompted renowned sportswriter Grantland Rice to compare Cloud to another Native American athlete.
      The Daily Press, Hampton, Virginia
      Jack Martin Cloud, whose career as a coach and educator at the Naval Academy spanned more than 30 years and who later became a Navy football radio broadcaster, died June 19 of kidney failure in the hospice unit at Spa Creek Center in Annapolis. He was 85.
      Mr. Cloud, who was part Cherokee Indian, was born in Britton, Okla., and moved in 1935 to Norfolk, Va. He was an outstanding football player while a student at Maury High School in Norfolk.
      After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Army Air Forces and served as a waist gunner aboard B-17 Flying Fortresses in Europe with the 429th Bombardment Squadron.
      On his 10th mission, Mr. Cloud's plane was shot down over Italy, forcing him and his fellow crew members to bail out. They were able to elude capture and made it safely back to Allied lines.
      Mr. Cloud, who attained the rank of staff sergeant, was discharged in 1946; his decorations included the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.
      After the war, he enrolled at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., where as an outstanding fullback, he set a school record during the 1947 season by scoring 102 points - including five touchdowns in a single game.
      Dubbed the "Flying Cloud," he was first named an All-American in 1947 as a sophomore, and then again during his junior and senior years.
      In 1948, he appeared on the cover of Street and Smith's Pictorial Football Yearbook. Sportswriter Jack Horner described Mr. Cloud as "215 pounds of dynamite" and added that "Durable is his middle name."
      Mr. Cloud's 45 college career touchdowns still remain an All-Southern Conference record, and in 1990 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Six years earlier, he had been inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
      "Jack Cloud might be the closest thing I've seen to Jim Thorpe," New York Times sportswriter Grantland Rice wrote at the time. "No fancy Dan, he is a throwback to the old style of head down and plow type who churns out yardage in chunks."
      When Mr. Cloud was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in a ceremony held in New York's Waldorf-Astoria, The Evening Sun reported that George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees, "ran clear across the room" to congratulate him.
      "You were my hero when I was a kid," he told Mr. Cloud.
      Mr. Cloud, who was 5 foot 10 and weighed 220 pounds, was the Green Bay Packers' sixth-round pick in the 1950 National Football League draft.
      He played for the Packers in 1950 and 1951 and the Washington Redskins in 1952 and 1953, before a knee injury brought his NFL career to a close.
      "He was a chunky guy and had been a darn good running back," said Bill Tanton, retired Evening Sun sports editor. "He was a helluva nice guy. No doubt about it, he was legit and had been in football all of his life."
      After leaving the NFL, he was an assistant coach at William & Mary for a year before being named head football coach and athletic director at the Norfolk Naval Station in 1955.
      Four years later, he arrived at Annapolis, where he spent the next 32 years as an associate professor of physical education and assistant to the director of athletics.
      He also had been plebe football coach, lightweight coach and assistant varsity football coach.
      "It seemed as though Jack had been at Navy forever and was always part of the scene. I really liked him," Mr. Tanton said.
      Mr. Cloud had been a next-door neighbor in Annapolis to Wayne Hardin, who coached varsity football at Navy from 1959 to 1964.
      "You can't say enough good things about Jack Cloud. He was a real trouper," Mr. Hardin said Friday from his Fort Washington, Pa., home.
      "Jack was a great athlete and a hard-nosed guy who did a wonderful job as a coach. He freely passed on his knowledge and never touched a kid that he didn't try to help," Mr. Hardin said.
      "He was also a master at keeping kids loose. They loved it when he'd tell them if a 'game gets tough, quit,' " Mr. Hardin said with a laugh. "There wasn't anything Jack wouldn't do for his kids."
      From 1984 to 1991, Mr. Cloud had a second career as pregame and postgame football commentator on WNAV-AM.
      "Jack was a person you couldn't help but like. He was such an upbeat guy and a great broadcast partner," said Ted Patterson, veteran sports broadcaster and author, who had shared duties with Mr. Cloud.
      "He was a Navy guy, a lifer all the way," said Mr. Patterson, who was later sports director at WCBM. "He didn't pretend to be the greatest analyst of the game. He just commented on the plays."
      Mr. Cloud retired from the Naval Academy in 1990.
      He had been an active member and a former president of the Touchdown Club of Annapolis, and when the club presented him its Jim and Rae Morgan Award in 2007 for his 53 years of service to the organization, those attending the ceremony were exposed to his self-deprecating sense of humor.
      He told those gathered that "I was once called Flying Cloud, now I'm more like Rolling Cloud," reported The Capital, an Annapolis newspaper.
      Mr. Cloud's hobbies included fishing, crabbing and building custom-made fishing rods. He was also an accomplished needleworker, specializing in tatting and macrame.
      A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today at Mariners Church, 1592 Whitehall Road, Annapolis.
      Surviving are his wife of 52 years, the former Charlotte Barwick; a son, Jack M. Cloud Jr. of Severna Park; two daughters, Patricia C. Hasenei of Annapolis and Wendy Siedlecki of Chesapeake, Va.; a brother, Charles Cloud of Norfolk; nine grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
      The Sun, Baltimore, MD, June 26, 2010.
    Person ID I160429  mykindred
    Last Modified Aug 27, 2012 

    Father Riley Hamilton Cloud,   b. Nov 16, 1904, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory (Oklahoma), USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Apr 02, 1989, Norfolk, Norfolk county, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Mother Gertrude Martin,   b. Dec 06, 1898, Adrian, Oldham county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 07, 1990  (Age 92 years) 
    Married Mar 22, 1924  Guthrie, Logan county, Oklahoma, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F52769  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Charlotte Barwick,   b. Jan 12, 1931, Easton, Talbot county, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 11, 2016  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 1944  Highlands county, Florida, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Living
     2. Living
     3. Living
    Family ID F52796  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Cloud, Jack 'Flying'
    Cloud, Jack "Flying"
    Cloud, Jack 'Flying'
    Cloud, Jack "Flying"