Military Wiki
Hugh "Duke" Gallarneau
Born (1917-04-02)April 2, 1917
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died July 14, 1999(1999-07-14) (aged 82)
Northbrook, Illinois, U.S.

Hugh H. "Duke" Gallarneau (April 2, 1917 – July 14, 1999) was an NFL halfback from 1941–1942 and 1945–1947 for the Chicago Bears. He played college football at Stanford, where he was an All-American.

College career

Gallarneau attended Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois, but did not play high school football, opting instead for swimming, track, and baseball.[1] After high school, he was accepted to Stanford University on an academic scholarship, and decided to try out for the football team for the 1938 season and made the team.[1]

In 1938, Stanford's team was 3–6, and the next year, fell to 1–7–1. The next year, 1940, new head football coach Clark Shaughnessy introduced the T formation, and the Indians were transformed in a winner. Gallarneau, along with quarterback Frankie Albert, halfback Pete Kmetovic, and Norm Standlee, were the core of a team known as the Wow Boys, which went undefeated and beat Nebraska 21–13 in the 1941 Rose Bowl. In that game, Gallarneau scored two of Stanford's touchdowns, on a 10-yard run and a 40-yard pass reception. Gallarneau was named an All-American in football, was on Stanford's rugby team, and won the Pacific Coast Conference heavyweight boxing title.[1]

NFL career

In the 1941 NFL Draft, Gallarneau was selected in the third round by the Chicago Bears. He played for the Bears for the 1941 and 1942 seasons. Gallarneau still holds the Bears' record for the longest punt return in a postseason game, returning a punt 81 yards for a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional playoffs to help lead the Bears to the 1941 NFL Championship game.[2] The return also remains the third-longest in NFL postseason history.[3]

In 1943, Gallarneau joined the Marine Corps to fight in World War II, where he fought in the Pacific Theater and rose to the rank of Major.[1] He was a member of an Air Warning Squadron during the Battle of Okinawa and was responsible for directing night fighters to intercept incoming Japanese aircraft[4] He returned to the Bears for the 1945 season, and played three more seasons before retiring in 1947.[1]

After football

After leaving football, Gallarneau remained in Chicago, working for Marshall Field's and Hart, Schaffner & Marx, where he retired as a vice president in 1985.[1] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and is a member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame and the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. He died in Northfield, Illinois in 1999.



  • De Chant, John A. (1947). Devilbirds – The Story of United States Marine Aviation in World War II. New York: Harper & Brothers. 

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