New USCG Fast Response Cutter to be named for Emlen Tunnell

The honors keep coming for the late great Emlen Tunnell:
At the beginning of 2017, the Sports Legends of Delaware County museum commissioned sculptor Jennifer Frudakis Petry to create a seven-foot bronze statue to the memory of the WW II and NFL hero. The committee has been pleasantly surprised that its foresight has been validated by a number of honors conferred on Emlen since that contract was signed:
In July 2017, NFL analyst Gil Brandt selected Emlen as the top NFL safety of all time. This occurred just prior to Emlen’s fans celebrating the 50th anniversary of his being the first African-American inducted into pro football’s Hall of Fame.
Next came during the Delco Veterans Freedom Medal Award Dinner in November, when a special video tribute produced by SLDC board member Brad Nau was played in his honor.
Now, and most recently, comes the announcement from the United States Coast Guard that a new Sentinel-Class Fast Response Cutter designed to serve a multi-mission role will be named for Delaware County’s own Steward’s Mate 1st Class Emlen Lewis Tunnell.
These announcements truly attest to the fact that one of America’s hidden heros will not remain hidden much longer. His statue unveiling, scheduled for June 2, 2018, will represent a fitting Delaware County tribute to a man who is fast becoming a person of national acclaim.
Jim Vankoski,
610-909-4919

Emlen Tunnel WWII Medals

This Sports Rarity of the Sports Legends of Delaware County (SLDC) museum is the Life Saving Medal given to US Coast Guard Steward’s Mate First Class Emlen Tunnell. This medal is given by the Coast Guard to individuals that put their own life in danger to save another. According to Rear Admiral Joseph Castillo, Tunnell was twice cited for exceptional acts of heroism during his service. In 1944, while aboard the USS Etamin, a Japanese torpedo blew a hole in the side of the ship. Tunnell came to the aid of shipmate Eddie Shaver, who was on fire. Tunnell carried him to safety, sustaining burns of his own in the process. He saved the life of another man in 1946, when shipmate Alfred Givens fell overboard into 32-degree water and nearly drowned. Tunnell jumped into the water to his rescue. The medal is on loan from David Lyons via Emlen’s late sister Vivian Robinson and her daughter, Catherine Robinson, of Radnor. It, along with many other medals and awards bestowed on Emlen, was given to the Tunnell family as he was posthumously honored by the Coast Guard when the gym at Coast Guard Island, Alameda,California was dedicated to him in 2011. The dedication of the gym is appropriate, since Tunnell, in addition to his meritorious military service, is also a member of the Pro- Football Hall of Fame! The medal, along with other medals and awards given to Tunnell, can be seen in a first-floor showcase of the All-Star Atrium of the SLDC museum at 301 Iven Road in Radnor PA every Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm. Saturday’s hour are from 11am to 2pm. See the Emlen Tunnell heading for more information.

The Bo Ryan Emlen Tunnell Statue Fund Challenge

The Sports Legends of Delaware County museum, located at 301 Iven Avenue in Wayne, PA, just completed a very successful Delaware County Cavalcade of Stars luncheon. The purpose of the luncheon was to acknowledge local sports excellence, helping to preserve the heritage of our local sports history by recognizing and rewarding such excellence.
There was a variety of athletes present–white and black, men and women, both mature and youthful–a diverse group of individuals representing fourteen different sports. The audience mirrored the athletes: White and black, men and women, both mature and youthful. During the program, the organizers of the luncheon brought out that the museum was currently raising funds for the raising of a statue to honor one of Delaware County’s Hidden Figures–the late Emlen Tunnell. Emlen was a WWII hero and the first African-American to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty throughout his lifetime are values we can all embrace.
One of the athletes being honored at the luncheon was Bo Ryan. Bo, an accomplished three-sport athlete at Chester High School, grew up in Delaware County and was a three-year starter on the Wilkes College basketball team. He is most notable as the former coach of the University of Wisconsin basketball team, retiring with the highest winning percentage in the history of Big Ten Basketball. We are proud to have him as a member of our statue advisory committee.
After the event, Bo asked, “Of the 75,000 dollars needed to pay for the statue, how much more is needed?” When told that we have raised $55,000, leaving $20,000 to go, his response was immediate: “Let’s get this done. If there is an individual, club, organization, business or company willing to donate $10,000, I will match it with a donation of the final $10,000.”
Hearing this, Jim Vankoski, president of the SLDC, added that if a successful Chester High graduate like Bo is willing to support this worthwhile project with such a gift, there must be other successful individuals from Emlen’s home town of Radnor or home county of Delaware willing to step up to the plate, singly or collectively, to get this done. As a war hero, Emlen Tunnell’s contributions to our country are national in scope and it is only proper that we celebrate the legacy of this Delaware County native.
If there is anyone who would be willing to respond to the challenge presented by coach Ryan, contact SLDC president Jim Vankoski at 610-909-4919 or vankoski21@comcast.net.

Emlen Tunnell Color Me


And the Winners Are:

In keeping with our mission of acknowledging excellence, preserving the heritage of our local sports history by recognizing and rewarding such excellence. The Sports Legends of Delaware County museum is happy to announce the winners of the Emlen Tunnell “Connecting Generations” coloring contest, held in conjunction with the fund-raising efforts of the Emlen Tunnell Statue Fund. The contest was open to all third, fourth and fifth grade students.
There was a total of 484 entries for the review team judges–all of whom are professional artists–to review. The team consisted of professional sculptor Jennifer Frudakis Petry; Art on The Avenue of the States board member Courtlandt Craig; Choice Marketing designer Dan Falone; Child Program Cordinator of the Wayne Art Center, Tessa Downs and Resident Artist of the SLDC Museum, James Corcoran.
The first place winner, from Drexel Neumann Academy, is Keon Powell. Keon’s teacher is Rita Morrow.
Second place winner, also from the Drexel Neumann Academy and taught by Rita Morrow, is Su-meer Alleyne.
The third place winner, from the Westbrook Park School, is Alina Thomas. Alina’s teacher is Mr. Fazio.
Congratulations to all three.
These top three winners, along with special category winners, were awarded gifts donated by Harvey and Sandra Burman; the Wayne Art Center; Wayne Art Supplies; Robert Zienkowski and the SLDC Museum. The students’ winning entries will be placed on display at www.emlentunnell.com. website.
Jim Vankoski,
President, SLDC Museum
610-909-4919

A note from Raymond Berry

A Letter From Tom Greene


Emlen Tunnell Article








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