Dec 15th, 1944 - Glenn Miller Goes Missing

Glenn Miller

On a foggy afternoon, December 15, 1944, a plane carrying Glenn Miller and two other passengers took off from Bedford, England heading for Paris, France. The plane vanished over the English Channel and Glenn Miller was never seen or heard from again.  

Miller's disappearance was not made public until December 24, 1944, when the Associated Press announced Miller would not be conducting the "AEF Christmas Show" scheduled for the following day. Jerry Gray, who at that time was the band's deputy leader, had the unenviable task to conduct the band in Miller's absence.  The live performance was broadcasted by the BBC.


Listen to audio of BBC Radio reporting that Glenn Miller has gone missing.

Glenn Miller traded in his huge commercial success stateside for a military uniform to entertain US troops in Europe during World War II.  Major Glenn Miller was flying to Paris to make arrangements to move his entire band there in the near future.  His plane, a single-engine UC-64 Norseman, disappeared while flying over the English Channel and Miller never arrived in Paris.  The two other people on board were Lieutenant Colonel Norman Baessell and the pilot, John Morgan.

There are many conspiracy theories that have floated around about his disappearance, but it's most likely that Miller's plane flew into cold weather and experienced carburetor icing, causing the aircraft to lose power and ditch in the cold water. Any survivors would have died of hypothermia within 20 minutes.

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Miller left behind his wife and two adopted children. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, presented to his wife Helen in a ceremony held on March 24, 1945.

December 15th is always a sad day at Swing City Radio.  Glenn Miller has always been and will always be one of my favorite Big Band artists.  You can listen to the music of Glenn Miller right here on Swing City Radio.

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