American Football Database

St. Hyacinthe-Donnacona Navy was a Canadian football team during World War II. They won the Grey Cup in 1944.

So forgotten were the Navy Combines squad that a quarter of a century passed by before CFL officials decided that the they should get recognition for their feat during the war years when regular team play was suspended.[1] St. Hyacinthe-Donnacona Navy beat the Hamilton Flying Wildcats 7-6 before a sparse crowd of 3,871 at Hamilton’s Civic Stadium, marking the last year that a service club won the Grey Cup.

The Combines started out as a pick-up crew, a bunch of sailors who liked to mess around on the football field. Playing coach Glen Brown moulded four seniors (himself included), a number of intermediates and a group of high schoolers such as McFall into a reputable defensive unit with many players traveling 40 miles to attend team practices.
The team was a combination of two HMCS units: St. Hyacinthe, located 40 miles from Montreal and Donnaconna based in downtown Montreal. Before playing in the Grey Cup game, the Combines got ready by playing games against other Quebec teams, including McGill.[2]

Grey Cup Championship roster (bold denotes the player played in the Grey Cup game):

Charlie Ellis, Wally Charron, Curly Hiltz, Ginger O’Brien, Bucko McLeod, Glen Brown (Coach), Roy Kirbyson, John Taylor, John Crncich, Steve Levantis, Jack Wedley, Al Hurley, Wally Patch, Malcolm Baker, Hal Chard, Tom Bainbridge, Ian Barclay, Sam Abbott, Whitey Leonard, Dick Swarbrick, Pat Santucci, Dutch Davey, Mickey McFall, Dave Kotavitch, Al Symms, Jim Spicer, Des Campbell, L. Raymond, W.O. John Montague, P.O. George Reid, Bill Kydd, Louis Segatore, Fred Porter, Surgeon Lt. Comdr. Richard Lane, Lt. Christopher Ellis, Moe Segal, Paul Kenwood, Milton Scully, Juan Sheridan [3]

QRFU season-by-season

Season W L T PF PA Pts Finish Playoffs
1943 6 4 0 61 43 16 3th, QRFU
1944 3 0 0 56 12 6 1st, QRFU Won 32nd Grey Cup


  1. Combines won Montreal's second Grey Cup, Montreal Gazette, November 25, 2005 In 1969, thanks to the help of then CFL commissioner Jake Gaudaur, members of the team were given the opportunity to buy championship rings for $300 apiece.
  2. [1] Former Navy vet was one of youngest to win Grey Cup title (Mickey McFall) by Danny Gallagher, the Oakville Beaver, July 22, 2011
  3. Combines won Montreal's second Grey Cup, Montreal Gazette, November 25, 2005 The team roster is taken from their championship team picture, and the Grey Cup roster is taken from the game day programme. Ginger O’Brien, Louis Segatore, Al Symms, and Milton Scully were listed on the Grey Cup programme but did not dress.