It is with great sadness that Lt. Col. Glen D Gibson passed away peacefully on May 14, 2019, in Paso Robles, Calif. Glen was born in Rattan, Okla. on May 16, 1933, to farmer parents, Emerson Milton Gibson and Loyce Brock Gibson. He was the oldest of three. Sister Carolyn preceded him in death, and sister Barbara lives in Lancaster, Calif. In the early 1940’s the family briefly moved to Bend, Ore., then relocated to San Miguel, Calif. While Glen’s father worked at Camp Roberts Army Post, Glen sold newspapers to recruits, employees, and visiting USO entertainers. He was proud to have once received a one-dollar tip for a 5-cent newspaper from Red Skelton. Glen’s photo is in the Camp Roberts military museum as a WWII paperboy.
The family eventually moved into Paso Robles, where Glen completed his schooling and was a star quarterback and basketball center for Paso Robles High School. It was in Paso Robles that Glen would meet his childhood sweetheart and eventual bride, Marian Joy Goodale. Glen attended Cal Poly, playing basketball and studying architecture. After two years he enlisted in the Army where he became an officer and a helicopter pilot. A year later he married Joy, and the next 20 years of their lives were spent traveling the world with the military. Daughter Teresa Anne was born in Ft. Rucker, Ala. in 1956 and Margo Marie was born in Neuebrucke, Germany in 1958.
Glen was sent to Korea for a year with the 7th Infantry Division in 1963. In September of 1967, he was ordered to Duc Pho, Vietnam for a year. During this time, he was promoted to Major and became Commander of the 174th Assault Helicopter Company. This was a tumultuous time for the 174th, with action during the Tet Offensive and My Lai incident in 1968. During TET of '68, Glen’s hootch (living quarters) took a direct hit by an 82 mm mortar. The damage was minimal and he was not injured, but the blast caused hearing problems for him, which later proved to be serious. During 1967-68, the 174th was the leading Army Aviation unit in the country in total hours flown, aircraft availability rate, and missions flown, month after month. It also had the lowest accident-to-hours flown ratio and casualties-to-hours flown ratio, within the 1st Aviation Brigade. Pilots and crews were flying 180 hours in 20 days, resting for three (sometimes) and starting on the next 180. Glen’s memories of Vietnam and photos are documented on the 174th Assault Helicopter Company’s website.
Three years after returning home, the family was relocated to Taipei, Taiwan for an exciting two years. Glen was promoted to Lt. Col. and became the Chief, Aviation Section, MAAG China, Taiwan. Upon return to the states, the family settled in Napa, Calif. Glen retired from the Army in 1974. Glen received many commendations during his service, mostly as a result of his service in Vietnam. These include: The Distinguished Flying Cross (for heroism while participating in aerial flight), the Bronze Star, also for heroism, the Legion of Merit, Air Medal with 16 oak clusters, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Master Army Aviator Wings, Nationalist Chinese Army Aviator Wings, and Distinguished Unit Ribbon (174th AHC, Vietnam.) Glen’s flight suit is on display at the Camp Roberts military museum.
In 2005, Glen and Joy returned home to Paso Robles to enjoy retirement. They have lived at Creston Village assisted living facility for the past year, and Joy continues to reside there. Glen was a skilled golfer all of his life and enjoyed playing with friends and family. He was also a talented photographer and artist. His abstract paintings have been on display in a variety of locations and have sold across the country.
Glen was a true American hero and family leader. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joy of Paso Robles, his daughter Teresa Galli (Guido) of Altadena, Calif., daughter Margo Mosher (Gilbert) of Arroyo Grande, Calif., sister Barbara Ryckebosch (David), and grandchildren Travis and Grant Galli, Haley and Matt Mosher, and Sarah Holt (Sam). The family will hold a private graveside service at the Paso Robles Cemetery.