Former game commission director Glenn Bowers dies
Glenn L. Bowers, PGC executive director from 1965 to 1982, was part of the Black Sheep during World War II.
By TED CZECH
Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 06/28/2010 12:21:14 AM EDT
Glenn Bowers (Submitted)
Toby Bowers said that throughout his father's life -- as a World War II pilot, zoologist, hunter and executive director -- ran the thread of integrity.
"If (he) said he was going to do something, then by God, he was going to do it," Toby Bowers said. "He'd never ask someone to do something he wouldn't do himself."
Toby Bowers said that, since his father, Glenn L. Bowers, died Friday, he's received numerous e-mails from those sending condolences.
One of them, an employee of Glenn Bowers' when he was executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, wrote, "Your dad was my hero, I would've followed him anywhere."
Glenn Bowers, of Dillsburg, was 89.
John Plowman, a close friend of Glenn Bowers', said of him, "He
Glenn Bowers in 1943 (Submitted)
could be so professional and dignified, and yet he could be very personable."
Glenn Bowers graduated from William Penn High School in 1939 and began studying at Penn State, where he played in the Blue Band and enrolled in the school's civilian pilot training program.
After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Navy as an aviation cadet and left Penn State to begin active duty in 1942. In late 1943, he became part of the Black Sheep, a fighter squadron led by Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington.
Glenn Bowers flew 28 combat missions with the Black Sheep and 58 missions with two other squadrons in the South Pacific. For his efforts, Glenn Bowers was awarded 11 air medals and three Distinguished Flying Crosses.
Toby Bowers said his father didn't often talk of the war -- that is, until the television series "Baa Baa Black Sheep" debuted in 1976. The show depicted the squadron as a group of "misfits and screwballs," but in reality, they were simply pilots taken from other squadrons to form one under Boyington, Toby Bowers said.
"Dad and his fellow living Black Sheep were outraged" at the show's inaccuracy, he said.
Still, the show gave recognition to a group of unsung heroes and, since then, his father had received requests for autographs in the mail several times a week, Toby Bowers said.
Returning from the war, Glenn Bowers finished his studies in zoology at Penn State and began working for the game commission.
"I don't think he looked anywhere else than the game commission; that was where he wanted to continue his research," Toby Bowers said.
After 17 years with the game commission, Glenn Bowers became executive director.
"My dad was a real thinker -- he never made any quick, irrational decisions," Toby Bowers said. "I know he lost a lot of sleep, thinking of the pros and cons before he made a decision."
Plowman, who met Glenn Bowers in 1965, worked for him as a game officer and later as a legislative advocate in Harrisburg.
"He was an excellent boss," Plowman said. "He was just a class act."