Leo M. Glover
Lt. Col.
U. S. Army
Korean War
Pilot, Defense Communications Agency

Leo was born in Hall Summit, Louisiana, to Mon T. and Mary Azalea McWilliams Glover. His parents divorced when he was a small child during the Depression. He spent his early years with two grandmothers. "I would go back and forth between them at times and attended Hall Summit School," he remarks. Leo eventually moved to Tenaha, Texas, to live with his mother and her new husband, Virgil Duke. There he attended high school and worked on the family farm and its dairy. He arose at 3:30 or 4 a.m. each morning to milk "about twenty to twenty-five cows by hand," he recalls. While a senior in high school he ran another dairy on his own. Leo finished high school in 1948, moved to Houston with his mother and stepfather, and worked in the mail department for Texas Manufacturers Association until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in September of 1948. After boot camp in San Diego he was selected for aviation, trained in gunnery, completed electronics school, and became an aviation electronics technician. He was sent to a carrier air group based at Alameda Naval Air Station in Alameda, where he did preflight checks of radio and radar equipment. He was later placed as a crewman on a PBM, an aircraft with a crew of "eleven to thirteen" at Naval Air Station, North Island in San Diego. Based at Iwakuni, Japan during the Korean War, he began serving as a radio and radar operator on a PBM aboard USS Pine Island (AV-12), a seaplane tender. Leo flew dusk-to-daylight missions, scanning China's coastline to determine which ships were going in and out of the country. Based at Sangli Point in the Philippines, he also flew missions over to the Pescadores Islands in the Taiwan Strait where a training base for Chinese troops was located. In all, he served in four campaigns of the Korean War. Leo left the Navy when his tour of duty ended in 1952 and entered the University of Houston, majoring in radio and television. (He would finally earn his degree in 1964.) On December 19, 1953 he married Joy Nell White. (They would have two children.) Leo entered the U.S. Army in January of 1956 as an enlisted man. After basic training at Fort Ord near Monterey, California, he trained in artillery at Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith, Arkansas, then completed Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant in late 1956. He was placed in the Signal Corps because of his radio and television training. "I never once got near a television camera for the next twenty-five years," he says. Applying for flight school, he was accepted and took basic flight training at San Marcos, Texas, then advanced training at Fort Rucker near Dothan, Alabama, where he received his wings. At Strategic Communications Command at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, he tested new communications equipment for both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. In 1959 he was sent to helicopter school at Mineral Wells, Texas. From 1960 to 1963 Leo served at Pirmasens, Germany where he piloted an L-19 in support of artillery at the U.S. Army Depot. Returning to America he completed the Advanced Officers' Course for Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Assigned to U.S. Army Pictorial Center in New York City he flew an L-20 out of the Fort Bennett Naval Air Station, testing television equipment. In 1964 Leo was sent to Fort Benning, where he was assigned to 1st Cavalry Division and placed as battalion signal officer in headquarters of the 229th Aviation Battalion, consisting of Huey helicopters and gunships. He arrived in South Vietnam in early 1965 and helped erect An Khe, a division base. "We had thousands of helicopters there," he says. Leo served on several big campaigns including "the biggest one of all" in the Ia Drang Valley, during which he came under mortar attack at Koteka Tea Plantation, a fuel and ammunition base. Returning in July of 1966, he was sent to Germany, where he served twenty-three months at 7th Army Communications Command. He was commander of an aviation company assigned to the 97th Signal Battalion, the main "division communications outfit of the 7th Army." Bringing wife and children along, the Glovers lived in Benjamin Franklin Village in Mannheim, with other American support forces and their families. "They would be painted in various sundries of colors so we always called them Easter egg villages," he says. He was sent back to Vietnam in the summer of 1968. The first six months he served with the 52nd Aviation Maintenance Battalion at Phu Loi Army Airfield, where he worked in Aircraft Recovery Unit for I Corps picking up helicopters that had crashed or could not fly. The next six months he served with the 1st Aviation Brigade Headquarters at Long Binh where he was responsible for the support line or maintenance line of all the Avionics equipment in the country. He recalls there weren't as many attacks as on his previous tour. "We were just not making progress and you could usually tell that there was not anything gained and not anything lost," he says. Back in America at Fort Huachuca, he served as base signal officer, where he was in charge of all security in communications, then was transferred to Strategic Communications Command (STRATCOM) as S-4, or supply officer, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel. After completing Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth Army Base in Kansas, he was sent to Defense Communications Agency at Fort Meyer near Washington, D.C. to test Autovon (Automatic Voice Network), the military telephone system. When Leo retired he moved the family to Winnsboro, Texas, where he opened a White's Auto Store. The Glovers later moved to Tyler, Texas, where he worked as distribution manager for a milk company for a few years before retiring from that position. Leo received a total of eight Air Medals for service in the Korean War and Vietnam War.