90-year-old Grantsville resident Glen Fowler engaged
the Japanese in South Pacific and as a Navy aviator
By Bob Weaver
Speaking of Americans during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.
"Newscaster, reporter and writer Tom Bokaw in his book, "The Greatest Generation," said "I believe it is the greatest generation any society has ever produced."
Brokaw said he learned about how a generation persevered through war, and were trained by it, and then went on to create useful lives and build the America we have today.
Over the years doing the Herald, I have been emotionally moved by Calhoun citizens from that "greatest generation" and Grantsville resident Glen Fowler, now 90, is among them.
Fowler recalls with clarity his missions dropping bombs on
Japanese targets, ships and subs, and the men who served with him
Fowler was among a large number of Calhoun citizens who went off to World War II during or after high school. In fact, by population per capita, the county had among the largest number of Americans serving in that conflict.
A pilot in the Navy, Fowler went on countless missions in the Pacific Conflict in the war against Japan, and even attended the signing of the peace treaty in Japan after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Fowler has kept his pilot training manuals
and records of engagements in scrapbooks
"It was quite an experience in flight school training and in combat to land a plane on what always looked like a postage-stamp sized ship," said Fowler.
"You learn trust very quickly from the men who signal your landing," the plane to be caught by a bungee-cord apparatus at the end of the ship.
Fowler's mission was to end the Japanese occupation along a chain of islands in the South Pacific. His crew, although designated as a torpedo squadron, bombed ships, runways, control towers, and radio stations, in addition to protecting the American fleet.
Coming from a large 11-person family, he recalls with clarity in 1941 listening to the radio in Grantsville as he was graduating from Calhoun County High School, about the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt said it was a day that would live in infamy.
Five of the Fowler boys, raised on Pine Creek Hill, served in World War II.
Calhoun High School "Clarion" clipping of Fowler in 1941
In 1946 he returned to Grantsville to marry his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Dye, now having been married over 65 years. They have two children, Terry and Joyce.
He began working for Calhoun County Bank as a bookkeeper, which expanded into a life-long career, working his way from teller to president of the bank. He retired in 1987, but has continued as a member of the bank board.
"I think the most important decision I made was to be a Christian. Holding close to the values taught in scripture has allowed me to lead a good life, and how I have tried to treat the people of my community," Fowler said. He has been a dedicated member of the First Baptist Church of Grantsville, serving in many different capacities.
At 90, he still plays golf and gardens.
In 2002, Navy pilot Fowler, who served active duty from 1943-1946 and then in the Naval Reserve until 1953, told his story at a Veteran's Day program at the Calhoun senior center in 2002.
See WWII AVIATOR GLEN FOWLER: IN HIS OWN WORDS
Also CALHOUN SOLDIERS IN GREAT NUMBERS WERE AMERICAN HEROES