The Herald Bulletin

July 13, 2013

Don McAllister: A man who led us to a better story


The Herald Bulletin

---- — Every day starts a new story, and we’re always on the lookout for one more. After a shutdown with a broken tripod head we’re back in business thanks to Bryan Adams and Duncan Video.

Most of our interviews come from folks who tell their veteran family and friends, “Hey, you ought to do an interview.” There’s no charge for this recording of their life history. I hear there’s a WASP in town. We’d sure like to interview her, if anyone has her contact information.

Marine PFC Glenn Moore was one of our best helps. Glenn and Claire opened their summer cottage in Maine to us for two days in 2007. We’ll ever be in their debt for the memories if nothing else. Glenn led us to six outstanding interviews along the East coast including his own. Glenn reminds me so much of Henry Brown and Jim Bridges — who are in that “best guys you’d ever want to know” category. When Glenn smiled it was with his whole being. He loved people. He loved meeting people. He loved for you to meet these people in turn. Glenn was a cheerleader for mankind, a shepherd, and an encourager.He came by his bright personality naturally. His parents both knew Morse code. Like parents who spell conversations when younger children are in the room, these two would tap out messages at the table with their silverware.Glenn, a physical education teacher, coach and AD., was a combination of MHHS’ Mr. Horevay and Mr. Bradford. Glenn coached Jim Kiick, who later went on to star for the undefeated Miami Dolphins.

When World War II started, Glenn jumped in and fought to get into the Marines. PFC Moore was a mortarman with the 29th Marines 6th Division. They trained on Guadalcanal where Glenn recalled a football game between regiments. There were several top college football players in the ranks. It was a real knockdown affair with that extra Marine drive.

On Okinawa, Glenn’s 6th Division was sent to the northern end of the island, fighting in such hotspots as the Motobu Peninsula and later the infamous Battle for Sugar Loaf Hill. It took 11 assaults 12 days, and chewed up most of three regiments, to subdue Sugar Loaf. On each assault the Japanese would counterattack and drive the Marines back with supporting fire from two adjacent hills. One night, Glenn’s mortar unit was being clobbered by the returning fire. Glenn left his foxhole to comfort another Marine who was really losing it. He sang church songs to calm his rightfully petrified comrade. While he was helping his friend a shell hit the hole where Glenn had been.

When we returned from our trip to see our new grandson I found a thoughtful note in the stack of mail from Claire Moore. Glenn was gone. It hit me hard. I truly loved Glenn, not just for his brave service, but because Glenn Moore always did his best to give this old world a better story.

Don McAllister directs the National Veteran’s Historical Archive. His column appears the second Sunday of each month. He can be reached at nvha01@hotmail.com and www.nvharchive.org.