In Search of Underage War Hero

March 24, 2010

DeSales A. Glover. Photo from 458th Bombardment Group (H)

In the spring issue of the Widener Magazine due out in mid-April, a package of stories will focus on Widener and its long and continuing relationship with the military in preparing soldiers and serving veterans.  One story, however, that I was unable to complete is a feature story about DeSales A. Glover, a former Pennsylvania Military Preparatory School cadet from Pittsburgh, Pa.

Before he attended the high school attached to Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener) in Chester, he enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 14.  From October 1942 through July 1944, he flew 31 missions, mostly over Germany, earning a Purple Heart and many other medals, before his age was discovered and he was discharged at the age of 16, the PMC News reported in October 1945.
He apparently reenlisted when old enough, serving with the Air Force in Korea, according to a story on page 3 in The New York Times on Feb. 1, 1951.  “Based on the number of missions flown, a B-26 gunner, Sgt. Desales A. Glover of Pittsburgh, Pa., is the high man in Korea. As of Wednesday night, he had eighty-two missions, thirty-five of which were at night.”  The article goes on to quote him:  “In the early part of this war, we knocked out as many three trains a night and from fifty to eight motor vehicles carrying supplies on the road,” he told the Times.

But since that 59-year-old reference, I have not been able to find any information about him in databases or contact directories.  I even located and phoned a woman by the same name in Upstate New York who had never heard of Sgt. Glover.   Rebecca Warda, collection manager of the University Art Gallery and the PMC Museum, and I have struck out thus far in our reportorial efforts to find him.  We don’t plan to give up, however.  If you have any information, please contact me at jsstarnes@widener.edu, or call 610-499-4246.  I hope to eventually tell the rest of the story of this veteran’s life.    — Sam Starnes, Editor



  1. Hello – Have posted a page on Sgt Glover at this link on the 458th website: http://www.458bg.com/storiestaleoftwogunners.htm.

    I do not have any more info than that, but I would like to know what happened to him during the Korean War and later in life. He did not complete a combat tour in WWII, rather he divulged his true age after six missions and was sent home.

  2. Did you ever come up with any more info on DeSales Glover? I was looking for info on him when I came across this post.

    I became interested in him when I saw his picture in “The Mighty Eighth” by Roger Freeman.

    Always have wondered what happened to him.


    • Hello Dave,

      Nothing new as of this date. Hopefully someone will see this and give us some info soon. Thanks!

    • This is my father, born Desailles Allen Glover and later legally changed his name to Allen Desailles Glover. He reenlisted in the Air Force when he turned 18 and served 22 years. He passed away January 24, 1998 and was buried near where he and my mother retired at Barrancas at Pensacola Naval Base.

  3. Thanks for the query. No, I haven’t found out more about him, but I plan to keep looking. If anyone does learn more, please contact me. I want to write about him for Widener Magazine.

  4. Hello this is my Father and so exciting to see these pictures that I have never seen before. Unfortunately Dad passed away in 1998 at the age of 70. You probably had a hard time finding information because it is spelled DeSailles and he legally changed his name to Allen DeSailles Glover. Would love to exchange information. llynch@twcny.rr.com

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