In Search of Underage War HeroMarch 24, 2010
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 610-499-4246. I hope to eventually tell the rest of the story of this veteran’s life. — Sam Starnes, Editor