Army Signal OCS - Candidate History

     Classmate Garlon Diehl Glover - Class 42-07    

A Story Of His Wife - Micheline Blum-Picard Glover

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, New York.  

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 of congratulations.

They moved to White Plaines, New York, in 1955.

The following is Micheline's story in her own words.

- - - - -

Michelene Glover - French resistance fighter - WWIII 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 Paris.

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 cetera.

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 food supplies.  

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 leave.  

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 into Germany.  

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.  

- - - - -

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.




Top of Page



Original Site Design and Construction By John Hart. Ongoing site design and maintenance courtesy Class 09-67.
Content and design Copyright 1998 - 2013, by Page updated 05/12/13.