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Glen Hubert Sharp

Huntington Herald-Dispatch, January 27, 1944

West Virginia Veterans Memorial


Glen Hubert Sharp

"A leader is one who knows the way, shows the way, and leads the way."

John C. Maxwell

Glen Hubert Sharp was born on September 7, 1915, in Rockholds Whitley, Kentucky. Little is known of his early life:his childhood, his parents, his siblings, or his schooling. The earliest reliable record we have of his life is when he registered for the draft (U.S. Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947). There we learn that he had married Geraldine and had worked for Remington Rand.

But Glen Sharp was not drafted into the Army; instead, he joined the Navy. The next reliable record we have of Glen H. Sharp is a death notice in the Huntington Herald-Dispatch on January 27, 1944: "Machinist's Mate First Class Hubert Sharp was killed in an explosion which sank the destroyer Turner in lower New York Bay on January 3, the Navy has notified his widow, Mrs. Geraldine Sharp of Milton. He was previously listed as missing." ("Killed on Ship," p. 8.) The New York World War II casualty list indicates Geraldine's address was Brooklyn, New York, so perhaps she was staying nearby where Glen (or Hubert, as he apparently went by his middle name) was stationed.

Writing in the Washington Post on November 23, 2016, Cleve R. Wootson Jr. describes that fateful day:January 3, 1944: "Explosion after explosion rocked the USS Turner:detonations so powerful that they broke windows in the building near New York's harbor, more than a mile away.

A final and particularly violent explosion ripped the Gleaves-class destroyer in two. By 8:30 a.m. on Jan.3, 1944:less than two hours after the initial, internal explosion:the Turner was submerged in the Atlantic Ocean." ("A Military Historian's Find Could Unlock the Mystery of 136 Sailors Missing since WWII.)

According to Wootson, the official U.S. government position has been that the bodies of the sailors were not recovered, and the Pentagon still considers them missing. However, Ted Darcy, a military historian and Marine Corps veteran, indicates that some of the missing sailors may have been buried in a nearby Long Island veterans' cemetery. Darcy told The Post that four separate burials were made at the cemetery during salvage operations in 1943. Darcy believes more should have been done to honor the war dead of the Turner. There could have been a group burial, one massive grave, and all the names of the dead placed on a monument.

Wootson writes that the families of the dead were never informed about recovered bodies or burials in a New York cemetery, only that their relatives were missing. And the identification of the recovered bodies is not the only mystery:the Navy hasn't said what ignited the original explosion, while it is known that the crew were defusing munitions at the time.

A 2017 Associated Press article notes that the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is in the process of unraveling the mystery of the unknowns. This involves conducting archival research, identifying the files associated with the Turner unknowns. If relatives of the missing can be located, DNA analysis may make it possible to identify actual remains, in which case the bodies could be reburied in marked gravesites with full military honors.

Machinist's Mate First Class Glen H. Sharp is memorialized; he is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the East Coast Memorial. He had played a vital role in the war effort, having been one of those people who maintained control of the ship's important machinery. He died with great honor, showing bravery and leadership skills.
East Coast Memorial, Battery Park

Tablets of the Missing, East Coast Memorial, Battery Park, New York. Courtesy American Battle Monuments Commission

Olivia Lo and Kelsie Hill, George Washington High School, JROTC, contributed to this article.
December 2017


Glen Hubert Sharp

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