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Underage World War II Hero Mystery Solved

January 19, 2012

Almost two years ago while researching stories about Widener and the military, I put up a post on this blog seeking information about DeSales A. Glover entitled “Search for Underage War Hero.”   Glover had been a student at Pennsylvania Military Prep School — the high school component of Widener predecessor Pennsylvania Military College — from 1945-1947.  He studied at the school after the Army discovered that the gunner who had served for two years and had flown missions over Europe had enlisted at fourteen years old. Other than a later reference to his serving in Korea in 1951, I could find nothing. I had just about given up hope of finding out what happened to him later in life.

But as luck would have it, the combination of that blog post and a high school project of Glover’s grandson solved the mystery. Peter DeSales Lynch, Glover’s 16-year-old grandson in Syracuse, N.Y., found my blog post while working on genealogy research for a class.  His mother and his aunt — both Glover’s daughters — contacted me.

Here’s the short version of the missing story:  He changed his name to Allen De Sailles Glover in 1957, making it difficult to for me locate him (an earlier name change may have to do with his underage enlistment).  According to his daughters, Lynn Lynch and Carrie Paskowksi, he reenlisted shortly after World War II and served more than 20 years in the Air Force, including serving in Vietnam.  He retired as a master sergeant in the late 1960s at the age of 40 and worked in packaging and management for Del Monte Foods in Northern California and then for Anheuser-Busch, relocating with the company to Upstate New York in 1982.

He retired in the early 1990s and he and his wife, Linda, moved to Foley, Ala., near Pensacola, Fla., in large part because he liked to be near military bases.  He died of colon cancer in 1998 at the age of 70, succumbing very soon after the diagnosis.  His widow, fifteen years younger, still lives in Alabama.  His daughters said he rarely talked about his war experience, except to proudly show where he had taken flak in his arm. He also sometimes mentioned that he had been in the same flight school class as movie star Clark Gable.  They recalled him as a very hard worker who loved jazz and big band music, the Pittsburgh Steelers (he was a native of Pittsburgh), and the Air Force, often taking his two daughters and son onto bases and to air shows.

His sister, Rhoda (Glover) Hamilton, is still alive and lives in Robertsdale, Ala., about 20 miles from Foley.  She moved from Florida to Alabama a number of years ago and was able to reconnect with her brother.

You can look for more about him in forthcoming issue of Widener Magazine, most likely in the fall 2012 issue.   — Sam Starnes, Editor

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One comment

  1. Very intereresting. Thanks for posting this and also for solving the mystery.



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