THE DISAPPEARANCE OF GLENN MILLER
Glenn Miller Declassified is the highly anticipated true story of bandleader Glenn Miller, who disappeared at the height of his fame on December 15, 1944. Weaving together wartime social and military history, Dennis M. Spragg presents a narrative that reads like both a mystery and investigative journalism. This is the definitive story of what really happened to one of America’s most iconic musical legends. The new book is available from Potomac Books and University of Nebraska Press.
“… A remarkable feat of historical investigation, technical analysis and cultural retrospective …”
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SOLVING A MYSTERY
Glenn Miller, the most popular musician in the world, boarded a military airplane in England on Friday, December 15, 1944 for a flight to France. The airplane took off but never arrived. Since that day, his disappearance has been a magnet for speculation. Was he really aboard the airplane? What route did the pilot fly? How or where did the Noorduyn C-64 “Norseman” apparently crash? Why was Glenn Miller in England and traveling to France? Did the Eighth Air Force and Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), search for the plane or investigate what happened? Did they cover up the details?
Dennis reveals all the facts for the first time in Glenn Miller Declassified.
Why Glenn Miller set aside his lucrative entertainment career to join the United States Army Air Forces is a remarkable patriotic story. Dennis reveals the encouragement that Miller received from Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gen. Henry H. Arnold and other important officials. Lt. Col. David Niven was Director of SHAEF Broadcasting and Miller’s close associate. Dennis documents Niven’s key role for the first time anywhere. He clearly illustrates the important responsibilities and stress that led Miller to board the fateful flight. He also describes in detail Miller’s activities with organizations including the Army Air Forces, SHAEF, the BBC and the Office of War Information.
ICON AND PATRIOT
Glenn Miller became America’s number one bandleader through a combination of skill, intuition, and good fortune. He successfully met public taste with musical integrity. Volunteering for the armed forces, he then established a new standard of musical leadership and unparalleled public service. Skillfully utilizing the unlimited wartime resources of the government, he put together the very best musical organization that ever existed. Enduring an exhausting schedule to bring American music to GIs overseas, his Army Air Forces Band was the embodiment of American culture for the Allied forces, the British people and Europe.INTERVIEW
UNCLE SAM PRESENTS
THE ARMY AIR FORCES TRAINING COMMAND ORCHESTRA
DIRECTED BY CAPT. GLENN MILLER
Broadcast worldwide by the Office of War Information
Recorded Saturday, February 26, 1944, NBC Radio City Studio 6-A, New York
ALTON GLENN MILLER (1904-1944)
From Glenn Miller Declassified
LEARN WHAT REALLY HAPPENED
“On December 15, 1944, Maj. Alton Glenn Miller, Air Corps, Army of the United States, commanding officer of the Army Air Forces Band (Special), assigned to Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), boarded Eighth Air Force Service Command Noorduyn C-64B “Norseman” aircraft 44–70285 at the Royal Air Force Twinwood aerodrome, Clapham, Bedfordshire. Piloted by Flight Officer John Robert Stuart Morgan, the aircraft was destined for Ninth Air Force aerodrome A-42D, Vélizy-Villacoublay, France. Miller accepted an invitation from Lt. Col. Norman Francis Baessell, liaison officer for VIII AFSC with the U.S. Strategic and Tactical Air Forces Europe, to accompany him on the routine flight. The aircraft departed Twinwood at 13:55 British Summer Time (GMT+1). An aircraft described as an AAF C-64 was observed passing over the south coast of England at Beachy Head between 14:30 and 14:45 BST. The aircraft and its occupants vanished.
“To this day the United States Air Force classifies Miller, Morgan, and Baessell as missing in action. SHAEF did not know Miller was aboard the aircraft until December 18, 1944. Eighth Air Force launched a search and investigation on December 19. Considering witness testimony and verifiable details and with absence of evidence to the contrary, Eighth Air Force concluded that a catastrophic event occurred over the English Channel, determining the probable causes of the apparent accident to be pilot disorientation, mechanical failure, and/or bad weather. No one has ever found any trace of the aircraft or its occupants.
MEET THE REAL GLENN MILLER
“Glenn Miller was one of the foremost popular music celebrities of the twentieth century. The creative musician and successful businessman was remarkably intuitive and organized, but far from perfect. His instincts were uncanny, although like any human being, he made mistakes. His record sales, radio popularity, and box-office success at theaters and dance halls across the nation were unsurpassed. He had not come to fame and fortune without struggle and was often judgmental and stubborn. He had remarkable insight into public taste and was not afraid to take risks. To understand Miller is to appreciate his ideals and authenticity, essential characteristics of a prominent man who came from virtually nothing. He sincerely believed he owed something to the nation he loved and the fellow countrymen who bought his records.
“A complex and gifted artist, Glenn Miller continually challenged himself and those around him to excel. His ability to organize, edit, and perform with precision reveals a keen and critical mind. Prior perceptions about Miller’s career, military service, and disappearance are not necessarily reality. Brought back to human form, his true story is more compelling and enduring than his legend.”
Glenn Miller Declassified
University of Nebraska Press