Medal record
Frank Cuhel
Frank Cuhel
Men’s athletics
Competitor for the Flag of the United States.svg.png United States


Silver 1928 Amsterdam 400 metre hurdles

Frank Cuhel (Frank Josef Cuhel; September 28, 1904 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – February 22, 1943 in Lisbon, Portugal) was an American athlete who competed mainly in the 400 metre hurdles.

At his alma mater University of Iowa, Cuhel was a three year letterman, playing football in addition to track. In 1928 he set the NCAA record for 220m hurdles.[1] He was elected to the U of I Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.

He competed for the United States in the 1928 Summer Olympics held in Amsterdam, Netherlands in the 400 metre hurdles where he won the silver medal.

His success in the Olympics was such that upon graduation he took up work as a business envoy for a number of Dutch firms doing business in America. Eventually this business sent him to Java in Indonesia, which is where he found himself at the start of World War II.

As the islands became a more important strategic theater for World War II operations, Cuhel was hired by Mutual Broadcasting Systems to serve as a war correspondent, issuing radio reports of any action or newsworthy items. When Java fell to the Japanese, Cuhel and other correspondents made a daring last minute escape.

Cuhel was killed in the crash of the ill-fated Boeing 314 called Yankee Clipper into the Tagus River on the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal on February 22, 1943 (the same flight which badly injured Jane Froman and served as the climax to her biopic With A Song In My Heart). That December, a freighter was christened the Frank J. Cuhel in his honor.

References Edit

  1. National Iowa Varsity Club - Letterwinner at
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