For the baseball pitcher Charles Frederick "Petie" Behan, see Petie Behan.
Charlie Behan
Date of birth: (1920-08-04)August 4, 1920
Place of birth: Crystal Lake, Illinois, United States
Date of death: May 18, 1945(1945-05-18) (aged 24)
Place of death: Okinawa, Japan 
Career information
Position(s): End
College: Northern Illinois
Playing stats at

Charles "Charlie" Edward Behan (August 4, 1920 – May 18, 1945) was a professional American football end for one season for the Detroit Lions.

Football careerEdit

Behan caught 4 passes for 63 yards in 1942, his only year with the Lions.[1]

Behan enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces in 1942 and served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. In late 1944, when Behan was fighting with the newly reformed Sixth Marine Division on the island of Guadalcanal, he played in a hard-hitting "touch" football game on Christmas Eve between teams representing the 4th and 29th Regiments. Behan was the 29th Marines' player-coach and team captain in what the roster sheets passed out that day labeled "The Football Classic." The game ended in a scoreless tie.[2]

Death at OkinawaEdit

Most Marine players and spectators involved in "The Football Classic" were shipped to Okinawa in April 1945. During the Okinawa campaign, Behan took part in the Battle of Sugar Loaf Hill. During the battle he was hit with shrapnel in the mouth. Insisting to stay on the front lines, Behan applied cotton to his mouth and changed it out regularly. After tossing grenades at a Japanese machine gun nest, Behan was hit by enemy fire and died.[2]

Behan was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.[2][3]


External linksEdit

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