Garlon Glover's story revolves around his wife, Micheline Glover.
Micheline wrote her own bio, which Garlon kindly provided. The following
is her story.
Introduction: A French war bride who followed her husband to the United
States, Micheline was awarded a citation after the war from Gen. Dwight
D. Eisenhower for her help in rescuing Allied airmen from the Nazis. She
was born in Paris on Nov. 29, 1923, to Lambert Blum-Picard and Josephine
Berthet. She was raised in France and learned to speak English at summer
school in English boarding schools.
While many French chose to remain neutral during the German Occupation
or actively collaborate with the Nazis, Micheline was among the minority
who chose to fight. “She really believed in her country, and it was the
right thing to do,” said her daughter, Christiane Glover of Ossining,
Her family moved to Montlucon in the central section of France, and
Micheline soon joined a Resistance cell run by Pierre Kaan, a Jewish
philosophy professor who was later killed in a Nazi death camp. As a
pretty 18-year-old woman, Micheline made an ideal courier for the
Resistance, taking trains all over southern France with messages for the
underground strapped to her back. She always chose to travel in
compartments where German soldiers were seated.
Towards the end of the war Micheline joined a combat unit of the
Resistance as a medic. After the Allied liberation of France began in
1944, she took part in the fighting that drove the Germans from her
village. She finished the war as an interpreter and liaison officer with
Canadian and American military units and was awarded a Croix de Guerre
from the French government.
During a Red Cross dance in Paris, Glover met her future husband, Garlan
Glover, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. “She was a very
good-looking woman. I saw her dancing with someone else, and I cut in,”
Garlan Glover said of his wife.
Though he was due to be decommissioned and shipped back to the United
States in a matter of days, Garlan Glover decided to stay in Paris as a
civilian. The two were married in Paris in September, 1946. Gen Charles
de Gaulle, the future president of France, sent them a handwritten note
They moved to White Plaines, New York, in 1955.
The following is Micheline's story in her own words.
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I am one of quite a few French women in the United States who lived in
occupied France through World War 2. I have many French friends, each of
whom has had a different experience according to circumstances; a
relative prisoner of war in Germany, a home being destroyed by bombing
forcing them to move far away, a relative having fled to join the French
free forces, another having to hide because of being Jewish, or because
they fought in the Underground.
In my story I will go back before the war. After the 1st World War, the
League of Nations decided that the Saar Territory, which is spread along
the French/German border, would be under French control until 1935. At
the time, its inhabitants would vote to become French or German. In 1930
my father was appointed by the French as a high official in Saarebruck,
the capitol of the Saar. So all of my family moved there. Already the
Nazis had started their propaganda, marches, and riots in the Saar. A
French school had been provided for the French children. Everyday a bus
would pick up the children. Actually the bus was a military truck, well
covered, as the German children would regularly throw stones at the
vehicle. So at the age of six, I had my first experience of German
Nazis. No use telling you then that the vote in the Plebicite in 1935
went for becoming full fledged German again.
So back to Paris my family went. My father had been notified that the
Germans had made a Black List of all the high French officials who had
run the Saar.
Nineteen Thirty-Nine came with all the threats of war. As a precaution,
we moved to the southwest of France, where we were when the war broke
out. My father, who was part of the French government, had stayed in
France was being invaded by Germany. Thousands of refugees were fleeing
through the country. After a while, after the French government had fled
to Bordeaux, and De Gaulle gone to England, we decided to go back to our
home in Paris. Because of many destroyed or damaged areas, we made a big
detour, staying a day in Marseille where we were bombed by the Italians
who had then decided to declare war on France.
Back in Paris, life started again with all the restrictions the Germans
made. At the time I was sixteen. My first gesture of rebellion was to
take part in the students’ march to the Arc of Triumph on November 11th,
Armistice Day, which the Germans had prohibited. We were thousands there
and the Germans were not able to control us, so they started to machine
gun us. From that time on, German soldiers were attacked in the subway,
in the streets at night, and repressions, arrests and strict regulations
were in effect.
My father decided that it was not safe for him anymore and for us to
move to the “Unoccupied Zone” of France. There was no way to get a
border crossing permit; so each of us, father, mother, my sister, my
brother, and I, passed that border line separately, one in the trunk of
a car, another with the crossing permit of a friend, in a train, et
We settled in the city of Montlucon in about the middle of France, not
too far from Clermont Ferrand or Vichy. My father had an executive job
with a half private, half government, company and we three kids were put
in school. The only high school in Montlucon was for boys only. So I was
the only girl in a class of forty. My younger sister and brother were
put in a religious school. I soon discovered that in my English class I
was very much ahead of the others, mostly because as a child I had spent
summers in England in a boarding school. Therefore, in order to advance
my English studies, I asked my English teacher to give me private
lessons. Eventually I discovered his political and patriotic views, and
he mine. I asked him if there was any way I could do something to help
our cause. After a while, the answer was yes. Thus I found out he
belonged to the Resistance Movement, a network called “Liberation.” He
became my “Chief.” The group was very well organized. Any individual
knew only two or three others, for security reasons. The head of our
group was a philosophy teacher, a well known personality, who eventually
was caught by the Gestapo and sent to his death in a concentration camp.
I became a courier receiving important messages from him to take to
other cities and bringing back others. Very soon I was traveling to such
cities as Clermont-Ferrand, Vichy, Moulins, Lyons, et cetera. I traveled
mostly by train. It was best to pick a compartment where German soldiers
sat as the German military police checked all passengers frequently.
Meanwhile, my father decided that he must leave France and he wished to
join De Gaulle’s government in London. Through my connections, he was
able to get the right contact and the English sent a plane to pick him
up. He made it alright. My mother was told that the best answer she
could give to the Gestapo would be to say that she did not know where he
was, his having left her for another woman. In large part, I became the
head of the family. I had to decide to quit school as I was traveling
all the time.
Often I derouted because the railroad tracks had been blown up by a
Maquis, or there was an early curfew in the city I was in and I could
not risk being picked up because of the precious papers I was carrying
strapped to my body. I spent a lot of time dodging German patrols late
at night, sleeping in railroad stations or in the armchairs of the
apartment of my contact. I would meet my correspondent in very different
places, for instance a café, the German military cemetery in Clermont, a
church, or walking along a river, supposedly with an amorous boyfriend.
A big surprise one day was to ring at the apartment of an old lady one
evening in Lyon, and after giving the password, walking in and finding
six or eight men armed to the teeth with machine guns and all, some of
them asleep on the floor, others discussing quietly their next move.
Another time I met a young man, about my own age, in a café frequented
mostly by German soldiers. We sat down in the back of the place. He was
carrying a large package, packed in badly torn paper. After exchanging
our envelopes, he whispered to me, “Help me refold this rubber raft.” It
was obviously an item dropped by plane to the Partisans. We rewrapped it
in this place full of German soldiers.
Another time I was sent to a remote, small village by train. The train
was an old, slow one, just one big car with a stove in the middle that
the conductor fed every so often (that made me think of an American
Western movie). I had never seen a French train like that before. When I
got off the train and stepped on to the main street, I saw several
civilian men carrying guns and machine guns everywhere I looked. They
regarded me very suspiciously as I did them. I thought they could be the
Milice, which was the French equivalent of the Gestapo, a bunch of
hoodlums and jailbirds drawn to that business by money. I finally, very
cautiously, met the man to whom I relinquished the message and found
that it was a Maquis which invaded the village (no Germans there) for
At one time, our home (actually the garage) became a warehouse for
clothing for the Maquis. My mother did her share; she was asked by my
superior if she could hide, feed and clothe a Canadian O.S.S. who needed
shelter for two nights. A few days after that the Americans bombed the
huge Dunlop factory in Montlucon which had been taken over by the
Germans and was working full-time for the German army. I was out of town
when this occurred but on getting back the day after, was able to
provide the Allies with lots of pictures of the destroyed factory.
Another time, my Chief called me and asked me to take over care of two
young American flyers who had been shot down. I found clothes for them,
sheltered them in different villages, and moved them to different areas.
All this movement had to be done on bicycles and these two had not
ridden a bicycle since their early youth. They also looked so American
that I was very glad we did not meet any German patrols on our way.
After many days, another member of the Resistance took them on, on the
way to Spain. Unfortunately, I found out later in a letter written by
his parents to me here in the states that one of them was killed in a
skirmish with the Germans.
Also, some friends of mine from Paris contacted me looking for a way to
reach a Maquis, and I was able to help them. I was also able to forge a
few false identity cards. Speaking of identity cards, this is what
happened to me. Once on a mission to a certain town, I took the train as
usual, but the train was suddenly stopped and derouted, as the
Resistance had blown up the tracks. We came to a halt in a small town
and to our dismay, the platform was covered with German soldiers. We
were ordered to get off the train, get in line one by one and present
our identity cards to the German officer in charge.
As I got closer to him, I realized I had forgotten my I.D. A French
identity card shows a picture and fingerprints. The only thing I had was
a Red Cross card which had none of that. Of course, the officer saw that
at once and he ordered me to stand aside. The line of passengers was
dwindling down and I was still the only one put aside. I could not risk
being interrogated and searched. As the last “checked” passenger joined
the line going back to the train, I started walking behind him,
expecting a loud halt or a shot. These few minutes were the longest of
my life. My normal breath came back only after the train started to
I must confess how I almost took part in a burglary. My Chief told me
one day, “We are going to raid the big country home of a well known
collaborator who has accumulated provisions of food for the Germans.”
The Maquis close to our town needs the food. Do you want to be part of
our raiding group? Of course, I said yes, but I found out that the
collaborator was the father of a young man who was in the high school I
had attended, in fact, in the same class so he knew me well, of course.
So I decided to wear a mask in order not to be recognized.
The raid was to take place at night. I started making a mask but
unfortunately, my mother walked into the room while I was working on it
and I had to confess. She was very upset, talked to my Chief, and I was
left out, very unhappy. I returned to my usual missions. A few months
after that, word came from London that I had to stay low for a while. I
did, but quickly resumed my activities.
In four years, we only heard once from my father who was in De Gaulle’s
government. When he followed the General to Algiers, he managed to get a
letter to one of my cousins in Switzerland, who brought it to the border
where my mother picked it up. Meanwhile in Paris, three of my cousins
had been arrested by the Germans. A German official had been killed in a
street, so the Germans picked up fifty French in an area of one block an
deported them. My cousins did not even reach a concentration camp but
died in the train.
Then the moment we were all waiting for finally came. On the B.B.C. came
the secret message for our area. The Allies were going to land. It was
also the signal for the resistance to start the open fighting. The
middle of France where we were was not going to be freed by the Allies
from their landings in Normandy or the south of France. So it was up to
us, all the different Maquis, to start the fights in our areas.
My group, an intelligence outfit, was not involved in actual combat.
Therefore, I decided to try to join the nearest Maquis which was an
F.T.P Maquis, the Partisans, mostly made up of men who had fought in the
Civil War in Spain, that is to say of Communist tendencies. I didn’t
care. They were going to fight so I applied right away.
“Sorry,” said the Chief of the Partisans, a Major, “We do not accept
women. Only a nurse can apply.” As I had a diploma from the Red Cross as
a paramedic, I was accepted as a nurse but was informed that the Germans
didn’t recognize the Partisans (F.T.P.) as legitimate fighters so if I
was taken prisoner, I would be automatically shot.
I was armed with a rifle, revolver, and hand grenades. I joined the
Battalion which consisted of 300 men and two nurses. Our fighting
started around the town of Montlucon where I had left my family and we
soon took the town. In the Army barracks which had been occupied by the
German troops, we found the basement rooms spotted with blood and other
human debris from the hostages the Germans had tortured. Our reward was
the joy of the crowds as we drove through the town after the running
Germans – we kept after the Germans all the way.
Then came the day. A message came for me from my mother. “Your father is
back in Paris with General De Gaulle, we will be escorted back to Paris
and he is asking you to come back.” I was demobilized, said goodbye to
my companions who kept on their advance to the East of France until they
were incorporated into the free French forces or F.F.I., and went on
I reached Paris, still in my Partisan uniform, rucksack on my back.
There must have been a shocked receptionist when I walked into the
exclusive Claridge Hotel which had been requisitioned for the French
government executives and families. Our family was back together again.
But the war was still on. I joined an outfit made up exclusively of
women who had been in the Resistance and became a liaison officer with
the Canadians. I worked for a while at the French Army Intelligence
Headquarters in Paris. Then I was sent to the north east of France where
the fighting was still going on. When the Allies finally crossed the
border into Germany, I served as liaison officer between the Prefect of
Moselle and the Americans.
Back to Paris where I didn’t stay very long as I was sent back to
Lorraine to a military intelligence outfit. There, one day, I got a ride
into Sarrebruck, the capital of the Saar, where as a child I had been
stoned by the Germans. The city was still burning. I could not even find
the street on which we lived.
Then the D.G.E.R., the equivalent of G2, sent a group of officers,
myself included, to the British Occupied Zone of Germany, but that was a
very short stay. I went back to Paris, working with the Canadians again
until our women’s outfit was disbanded in June 1946. I left very good
friends with whom I still have contact. I have memories I will never
forget. I live in America now with an American husband, six children and
six grandchildren, but France is still my home.
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Micheline Glover, onetime French resistance fighter, died in 1999.
Micheline and Garlon were truly part of America's greatest generation.
We all owe them deep gratitude for the freedoms we hold today.