A Sense Of Duty

Chesterfield “Moonlight Serenade” Broadcast (CBS) – Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Illinois, May 26, 1942

Chapter 1


Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, December 7, 1941 to September 26, 1942, describing Miller’s pinnacle of civilian success, accomplishments, circumstances of his decision to enlist in the Armed Forces and brief assignment to the Army Specialist Corps from October 7, 1942 to December 5, 1942.


Highlights of the September 23 and September 24, 1942 Chesterfield “Moonlight Serenade” broadcasts over CBS, and as presented in 2012 on “The Star Spangled Radio Hour.”


Glenn Miller arrives to take his Oath of Office, U. S. Army Recruiting Office, 39 Whitehall Street, New York, September 10, 1942


“Just as Miller was nearing his agreement with the Army, the trades speculated that discussions with the Navy had resumed based upon rumors attributed to Lt. Cdr. Peabody in Chicago. Miller’s publicist denied the reports. Apparently Miller may have been hedging his bet and playing the Army and Navy against each other to bid for his services.

“On September 4, 20th Century-Fox released Orchestra Wives. The band had the day off before traveling to Atlantic City for weekend appearances at Hamid’s Million Dollar Pier.

“On September 8 the War Department announced Miller’s appointment as a captain in the Army Specialist Corps, serial number S-397. His orders were to report for duty with the Seventh Service Command (Special Service) at Omaha on October 7. Two days later, Miller received a congratulatory telegram at his office, Room 3001, RKO Building, 1270 Sixth Avenue, New York: “Capt. Glenn Miller, your appointment announced, reporting date October Seven, full details reach you with orders, congratulations and good wishes, Howard C. Bronson, Music Officer.” He also received a formal notification letter from Army Adj. Gen. James Alexander Ulio with his Oath of Office enclosed.  Miller promptly took the oath with him to the Army Recruiting and Induction Office at 39 Whitehall Street in New York and signed the document. The paparazzi eagerly snapped photos of the popular bandleader leaving the building when word leaked that he had arrived to enlist.

“Miller now had to come clean with the band about his plans. The news their boss had for them was nothing short of stunning, although many had suspected something was up. During the Chesterfield rehearsal immediately after his enlistment, Miller ordered everyone out of the studio except the band. No amount of anticipation could prepare them for his announcement  …”

Capt. Glenn Miller, US Army Air Forces, Washington, DC, December 5, 1942