Glover Pugh was born in March 1925 in Coffeeville, Alabama. His parents separated when he was in the eighth grade, and his mother raised him. Pugh worked on a farm while attending school to provide income for his mother. Pugh graduated from high school with perfect attendance. He was too young to know much about the attack on Pearl Harbor [Annotator's Note: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941]. He did not want to join the service. He was deferred from the draft for one year because he provided his mother's income, but was drafted into the Army the day after he graduated high school. He attended boot camp in Florida. It was hard. His mother hated to lose him. After boot camp, he was sent to Texas to join the 10th Mountain Infantry [Annotator's Note: 10th Mountain Division] which was composed mainly of yankees [Annotator's Note: slang term for American northerners]. Pugh was the youngest person at the base. Since he had been a farmer, Pugh was familiar with working with mules, which the Army used to transport supplies up mountainous terrain, so they used him to work with the mules. He remained in Texas for a few months, then the unit left on Christmas Eve [Annotator's Note: 24 December 1944] to go to Italy. They were near the Swiss-Italian border when the war ended [Annotator's Note: 8 May 1945].
Glover Pugh [Annotator's Note: serving with the 10th Mountain Division] arrived in Italy [Annotator's Note: in December 1944]. His unit was sent up into the mountains to relieve another outfit which had suffered a lot of casualties. As he neared the foxholes, the Germans started shelling them. The men in the foxholes told him to jump in with them, but the next shell hit them directly, killing one of the men and busting Pugh's skull. He was still able to carry the other man's body down the hill. Pugh was hospitalized for 18 days before he was sent back to the front line. He remained in Italy for the remainder of the war. It took the unit 12 hours to get up the first mountain. It was so snowy that Pugh never reached dirt through the snow while digging his foxhole. A lot of men were killed there on the mountain. Pugh was the youngest man in the unit, and was often made to aid the sergeant. One man was killed by a sniper shot to the head. Pugh helped bring his body down the mountain. He was sent home when the war ended [Annotator's Note: 8 May 1945]. He was wounded a second time, and notified a doctor that he was having nosebleeds and headaches. An x-ray revealed he had a crushed skull, so they operated on him and removed part of his skull. The doctor gave Pugh the part they removed, and he made a necklace out of it. When Pugh returned him, he enrolled in college using the G.I. Bill [Annotator's Note: the G.I. Bill, or Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, was enacted by the United States Congress to aid United States veterans of World War 2 in transitioning back to civilian life and included financial aid for education, mortgages, business starts and unemployment] and studied agricultural science. He wanted to teach, as he liked being around kids and helping out. He taught high school. His students would ask him about the war, and Pugh enjoyed talking about it. He also taught fellow veterans. He taught for 32 years before retiring.
Glover Pugh was selected for his job because he was so small, only weighing 120 pounds. The sergeant took him under his wing and took care of him. Pugh was overseas with the Army [Annotator's Note: serving with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy] for nearly two years. He was in the Army for a total of 884 days, and in the hospital for 189 days [Annotator's Note: after a combat injury to his skull]. His service changed him a lot. He grew up and learned to take care of himself. It was nice to come home after the war was over. There were parades. His three next door neighbors never made it home, they were killed. He went to college when he got home, and would send a check to his mother every month. He made good grades in college, and was a member of the student council. He continued going to college at Mississippi Southern [Annotator's Note: the University of Southern Mississippi in
Hattiesburg, Mississippi] at night while teaching during the day. Then he went to Auburn [Annotator's Note: Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama] to get his master's degree. Pugh believes World War 2 should be taught. Pugh still corresponds with one of his old teachers who took him under her wing and helped him when he failed eighth grade. She helped him all through high school as well.
Glover Pugh was lucky to get through the war. He has been married three times. He had six children with his first wife. She was killed in an accident, and he had to raise their children by himself. He remarried and had four kids, and she already had one child, so they had to get 11 children ready for school every day. He was going to night school at Mississippi Southern [Annotator's Note: the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi] to get his degree at this time. It has been a hard life, but he has gotten by. Pugh was discharged from the Army with the rank of PFC [Annotator's Note: private first class] and two purple hearts. He has been very active in several community and charity organizations after the war.
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