One of the freshman sensations that led Georgetown to the brink of the 1943 NCAA title, Lloyd Potolicchio played guard and small forward for the Hoyas. His season high came in the 1943 semifinal versus DePaul, where his half court shot at the end of the first half brought Georgetown within five at the break, 28-23.

After basketball was suspended in 1943 for the war effort, Potolicchio entered the U.S. Air Force, serving in World War II and Korea, earning the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters. On Jan. 17, 1966, serving as the boom operator on a KC-135 performing mid-air refueling on a B-52 bomber flying along the Spanish coast, the two planes collided, killing Potolicchio and six other crewmen. Less reported, but more ominous, was what became known in military history books as the Palomares Incident.

The B-52 was carrying four active hydrogen bombs, each of which landed near the small Spanish village of Palomares. Three of the bombs landed on the village, one into the Mediterranean. Conventional explosives on two of the bombs detonated, causing radioactive contamination over a one square mile area, but the nuclear reaction did not take place. The fourth weapon was the subject of a urgent yet classified effort to retrieve the bomb, 2,500 feet beneath the sea and with no radar to identify its whereabouts. After 80 days, the U.S. Navy recovered the "broken arrow" without further incident.

Potolicchio is buried at Chattanooga National Cemetery.

 

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG

FGA

%

3FG

3GA

%

FT

FTA

%

Off

Reb

Avg

PF

Ast

Blk

Stl

Pts

Avg

1942-43 25 117 4.7
Totals 25 117 4.7
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