No. Player POS College Tenure (Years w/ PIT)
55 Coleman (Coley) McDonough QB North Carolina State 1939-1941; 1944
0 Johnny Clement QB Southern Methodist 1946-1948
48 Joe Gasparella QB-DB Notre Dame 1948-1951
7 Jim Finks QB-DB Tulsa 1949-1955
35 Bill Dudley HB-QB-DB-K Virginia 1942; 1945-46
22 Jerry Nuzum HB-FB New Mexico State 1948-1951
35 Joe Geri HB-K-P Georgia 1949-1951
77 Bob Gage TB-DB Clemson 1949-1950
22, 12 Fred (Dick) Riffle FB Albright 1941-1942
37, 17 Joe Hoague FB Colgate 1941-1942
27 Tony Compagno FB St. Mary’s (CA) 1946-1948
Steve Lach FB Duke 1946-1947
49 Jerry Shipkey FB-LB UCLA 1948-1952
George Papach FB Purdue 1948-1949
20 Wilbur Bill Sortet WR West Virginia 1933-1940
33 George Platukis WR Duquesne 1938-1941
18, 45 Walt Kichefski WR Miami (FL) 1940-1942
31 Tony Bova WR St. Francis (PA) 1942-1947
33 Charlie Seabright WR-DB West Virginia 1946-1950
28 Bob Davis WR-DE Penn State 1946-1950
81 Elbie Nickel TE Cincinnati 1947-1957
54 Val Jansante TE Villanova 1946-1951
21 Chuck Cherundolo C-LB Penn State 1941-1942; 1945-1948
57 Frank Sinkovitz C-LB Duke 1947-1952
56 Bill Walsh C Notre Dame 1949-1954
17 John Perko G Duquesne 1937-1940; 1944-1947
29, 44 Jack Sanders G Southern Methodist 1940-1942
48 Elbie Schultz G Oregon State 1941-1944
12 Nick Skorich G Cincinnati 1946-1948
44 Elmer Merkovsky G-T Pittsburgh 1944-1946
William (Red) Moore G Penn State 1947-1949
62 Steve Suhey G Penn State 1948-1949
17 Armand Niccolai T-K Duquesne 1934-1942
36 Ed Karpowich T Catholic 1936-1940
28 Ted Doyle T Nebraska 1938-1945
24 Joe Coomer T Austin 1941; 1945-1946
75 Jack Wiley T Waynesburg 1946-1950
79 Frank Wydo T-DT Cornell 1947-1951
75 John Mastrangelo T-G Notre Dame 1947-1948
55 Charley Mehelich DE-WR Duquesne 1946-1951
84 Bill McPeak DE Pittsburgh 1949-1957
78 Carl Samuelson DT-T Nebraska 1948-1951
63 Darrell Hogan LB-G Baylor 1949-1953
11 Howard Hartley S Duke 1949-1952
17 Joe Glamp K-HB LSU 1947-1949
45 Bob Cifers P-HB Tennessee 1947-1948


Coaches through the 1940’s (1940-1949)

Walt Kiesling (1940-1941; 1942)

Aldo Donelli (1941)

Bert Bell (1941)

Jim Leonard (1945)

Jock Sutherland (1946-1947)

John Michelosen (1948-1949)


Starting Lineups:


QB 0 Johnny Clement

RB 35 Bill Dudley

FB 27 Tony Compagno

WR 31 Tony Bova

WR 33 Charlie Seabright

TE 81 Elbert Nickel

LT 28 Ted Doyle

LG William Red Moore

C 21 Chuck Cherundolo

RG 39 John Perko

RT 75 Jack Wiley



LE 55 Charley Mehelich

DT 79 Frank Wydo

DT 78 Carl Samuelson

RE 84 Bill McPeak

LOLB 22 Jerry Nuzum

MLB 63 Darrell Hogan

ROLB 57 Frank Sinkovitz

CB 35 Bill Dudley

CB 7 Jim Finks

FS 11 Howard Hartley

SS 77 Bob Gage

Special Teams

K 17 Armand Niccolai

P 45 Bob Cifers

RET 35 Bill Dudley



For me, leaving off center Bill Walsh from the starting lineup was an extremely difficult move. At the same time, ignoring Chuck Cherundolo’s excellence as a blocker and his quickness in the 40’s, it was his decade of dominance. Walsh came to prominence in the 1950’s while playing with the Steelers his whole career. No doubt “Bullet” Bill Dudley was the superstar player in Pittsburgh during his tenure in the 40’s with quarterback Johnny Clement (the only player in Steelers history to wear jersey number 0). Jim Finks, on the other hand, climbed his way to the starting quarterback gig in the 50’s. Therefore Clement gets the nod for the starting QB in the 40’s as he led Pittsburgh to their first ever playoff appearance in 1947. For me, making the defense was much an easier call; Dudley excelled at picking off opposing quarterbacks, Howard Hartley was a hard hitting safety and Sinkovitz was the stalwart at linebacker. Other than Dudley, defensive end Bill McPeak was as good as any other end in the league, being a mainstay on Pittsburgh’s devastating, bruising defense in those early years. Washington Redskins legend Sammy Baugh once said in an interview, “we hated playing Pittsburgh, their defense; whenever we played them- we’d leave hurt and bruised.” The head coach manning this ship would be Jock Sutherland; unfortunately, Sutherland died in the summer of 1948 of a brain tumor while on a scouting trip. During the decade, Pittsburgh had their first ever playoff appearance in 1947, playing against inter-state rival Philadelphia. Pittsburgh got shutout 21-0. Steelers wouldn’t find their way to the playoffs until 1972; a 25-year drought. There were so many “what-ifs” for Pittsburgh when Jock Sutherland passed away, as Pittsburgh may have had their head coach for the long term. During the 40s, Pittsburgh also featured joint teams, including the “Phil-Pit Steagles” (Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers combined teams for the 1943 season) and the “Card-Pitt Carpets” (Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers combined teams for the 1944 season) due to World War 2 as more professional athletes joined to fight for the cause.


  1. Is there a 1940s full roster photo? If so please help me find it. A link or whatever ot takes. Please please let me know.


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