Bud Townsend was a four-sport athlete at Napa High School, competing in football, basketball, baseball and track. He played on B football, basketball and track teams as a freshman and moved up to the varsity teams as a sophomore. He contributed to the success of track, baseball and basketball teams during his varsity career, but it was as a running back on the 1938, 1939 and 1940 football teams that Townsend really excelled. As a sophomore, he helped the 1938 team win an NBL title. In 1939, he was named the outstanding back on the team, and in 1940, he was Captain, outstanding back and All-North Bay League. In 1941 Townsend was awarded the All-American Blanket for outstanding leadership, scholarship and athletic ability. He was awarded a Blue Blanket for his fourth athletic letter. Townsend was offered two football scholarships after graduation and chose St. Mary’s, where he was Captain and a standout halfback on the freshman team, and a running back on the varsity team as a sophomore, before joining the Air Force during World War II. He flew 34 missions over Europe as a Bombardier/Navigator. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three clusters, and the Purple Heart. His war wounds ended his football career and football scholarship.