Stepping high is USO girl Peggy Jean, national champion baton twirler, who performed between halves of the game


HERE HE IS! Cpl, John (Big Six) Moody, former Morris Brown All-America playing yesterday for the 5th Army, just about to be brought down by (left to rIght) Capt. Arthur Cranman, Savannah, Ga., and Ptv. Gerald V. Haston, Amarillo, Texas, as he fInished one of his dazzling jaunts through ihe 12th AAF line. 




Cpl. John Moody excels as Mudders win, 20 - 0

  • 1ST QTR. 0 - 0
  • 2ND QTR. 7 - 0 ( TD Moody RUSH - XP 1 Moody )
  • 3RD QTR. 13 - 0 ( TD Moody INT - XP 1 Moody - TD Lemke REC - XP no good)
  • 4TH QTR. 0 - 0

Attendance: 25.000

LIFE MAGAZINE - Gameday, Stadium in Florence (Italy)

By Pvt. MEL DIAMOND - (Stars and Stripes Staff Writer)

SPAGHETTI BOWL, Jan 2-The 5th Army Mudders crushed the 12th AIr Force Bridgebusters, 20-0, in yesterday's Spaghetti Bowl football classic played before 25,000 fans in Florence. The victory ended a year in sports for the 5th Army athletes during which time, they have either won or tied for five of the seven theater sports crowns.
Clear titles were taken in boxing, swimming, basebafl and now football, while in the second boxing championship of the year they notched a tie with the North African Zone team. Only in softball and track did the 5th Army stalwarts fail to emerge victorious.
Hero of yesterday's victory was Cpl. John (Big Six) Moody, 230-pound Negro fullback who was all- America at Morris Brown several years ago. He tallied the first marker on a three-yard plunge through the center of the Air Force line; intercepted a pass in the third period and shook off several would be tacklers to speed 20 yards to paydirt, and his booming punts kept the Bridgebusters in the hole all afternoon.
The final 5th Army touchdown came on a 31-yard aerial from Pvt. Frank Buell to 1st Lt. Arthur Lemke who gathered the ball in on the 15 and scampered across for the score.
All the Spaghetti Bowl needed was a break from the weather to assure its success from the standpoint of attendance figured, and what it got was better than a break - it was a blessing.


Cheering for football

The sun was strong in a bright clear sky, and the wind was brisk without being biting. As a result, officers, G.I.s and interested Tommies began swarming into the stadium in Florence an hour before the opening whistle.
The pre-game atmosphere in the stadium was 100-percent American. It had all the spirit of a traditional college, with bands, cheer-leaders and team mascots- a long horned steer for the 12th Air Force and a mule for the 5th Army- all conspicuously garbed.
It was easy to forget you were in Italy when you looked down on a well-marked gridiron, spotted the goal posts and hear loud, good-natured cracks from all parts of the stands from G.I.s who probably remembered other days when they were making the same cracks at hIgh school and college tilts.
Thousands of dollars in Italian lire were bet but none of it was smart money since practically nothing was known about the ability of either team the betting was strictly partisan.

LIFE MAGAZINE - And the crowd goes wild !


After a scoreless first quarter, the Mudders took over on an exchange of punts on their own 25. Moody went off tackle 30 yards to the AAF 40 on the first play. He picked up two more through the center of the line and then broke away for another 30 yards going to the Bridgebusters 8.
Gene Stauver, halfback from Indianapolis, picked up two yards. Beull added three and then Moody crashed over for the score. Moody's kick was good and the 5th led 7-0
The second score came late in the third quarter when Moody intercepted an aerial from Art Faircloth, Washlngton, D.C., on the 20 and shaking off a couple of tacklers, went all the way to score. He again added the extra point, making the score, 14-0 for the Mudders.
Three plays later the 5th Army made it 20-0. The Bridgebusters punted on the first play following the kickoff and the 5th gridders were penalized 15 yards to midfield, on the next play. Bud faded back and threw a 35-yard pass to Lemke who galloped across for the score. A bad pass from center ruined the attempted conversion.
The 5th Army got rolling again in the fourth quarter and went all the way to the Bridgebusters 12 from where a fourth down field goal attempted by Moody was short by inches. (fm STARS & STRIPES, Wednesday 3rd January 1945)

LIFE MAGAZINE - On the gridiron !

TIME - Monday 15th January 1945


Hot dogs were plentiful, two 56-piece bands blared, a barelegged drum majorette shivered and strutted, two queens held court at halftime. Italy's Spaghetti Bowl football game at Florence last week (attendance: 25,000) had all the trimmings of any superduper New Year's Day bowl game—and an extra fillip in a cover of P-38s, precaution against a threatened visit from the Luftwaffe.

LIFE MAGAZINE - Big attendance at the Stadium

The intramural offensive was sparked by 230-lb. Corporal John Moody of the Fifth Army Krautclouters, onetime Negro All-America fullback at Atlanta's Morris Brown College.

LIFE MAGAZINE - Drum majorette, Peggy Jean Roan, performed

Early in the game, "Big Train" galloped 50 yds. in three plays for a touchdown, later intercepted a pass for another, kicked two points after touchdowns, did the punting as well as most of the running. Halfback Private Frank Buel of Nutley, N.J. pitched a fourth-period pass to End Lieut. Art Lemke, a former Georgetown University footballer, for another six-pointer. Final score: Fifth Army 20, Twelfth Air Force 0. The overhead sideshow was called off when the Germans failed to show up.

LIFE MAGAZINE - End of the game