Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash – A researcher claims he can debunk decades of speculation about the disappearance of big band leader Glenn Miller during World War II.

According to Dennis Sprague, senior adviser at the Glenn Miller Archive at the University of Colorado Boulder, long-neglected military documents indicate that the small plane Miller was most likely traveling in when he disappeared there in 1944 crashed in the English Channel after stopping fuel. .

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

“There were three forms of icing: engine icing, carburetor icing and intake icing,” Sprague said. “And that’s a type of ice that forms on fuel tanks and fuel lines, feeding fuel to the engine.”

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Miller was born in Iowa and spent the latter part of his childhood in Fort Morgan on the eastern plains of Colorado. There, he played high school football and honed his skills on the trombone. He briefly attended the University of Colorado Boulder before giving up his music career.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

On the day of his disappearance, December 15, 1944, Miller, an army chief of staff, is believed to have boarded a UC-64A Viking in Bedfordshire, England, as a passenger. The ship was going to France, where Miller planned to hold a demonstration for the Allied forces.

Sprague has written a book on the subject of Miller’s disappearance, called “Solved.” It is scheduled for release later this year.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

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Sprague says the plane was flying low because of poor visibility. The engine shut down when the fuel lines froze, giving the plane’s pilot about eight seconds to react before it went into the water. Sprague says that because the plane is built mostly of lightweight materials, it probably broke up on impact, killing those on board instantly.

Sprague cites military documents to support his claims, some of which have been in the public domain for decades, but were previously examined by Glenn Miller researchers, he says.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

In the late 1930s, Miller was popular with hits such as “Tuxedo Junction” and “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”. Although Miller was in his late 30s and unlikely to be drafted for World War II, the band leader joined the army. Sprague says Miller applied partly out of patriotism and partly for practical reasons, including that the draft might make it difficult for Miller to keep young musicians in the band. .

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As a major in the US Army Air Forces Band, Miller directed musical performances broadcast from England and intended to boost the morale of the troops.

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Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

He also participated in anti-Nazi propaganda campaigns. In some recordings Miller speaks German, pronouncing words phonetically for a German audience. Such broadcasts, along with Miller’s work with British actor David Niven, Sprague, prompted theorists to suggest that Miller was a spy for the Allies and that he may have been murdered.

But there is no substantial evidence that Niven, who served briefly in an elite British military unit, worked with Miller as a spy, Sprague says.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

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“There’s a difference between giving music or intelligence to the enemy from England compared to being a secret agent in a field running around the continent putting yourself in danger,” says Sprague.

Another theory – one that is more widely accepted – is that the plane Miller was flying in was destroyed by friendly fire. This theory was first proposed in the 1980s as interesting evidence about the Viking ship came to light. It was discovered that 138 aircraft returning from an Allied bombing raid dropped their bombs over the English Channel, and the theory is that one hit Miller’s plane, causing it to crash.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

Citing US Air Force records, Sprague says that refutes that theory when the planes were over the Channel.

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It is more likely, he says, that another plane was crossing the Channel when the bombers were returning. It seems that the Vikings in the area at the time were a “case of mistaken identity”.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

Nine days later, the BBC and CBS news reported that the plane and its passengers, including Miller, were missing.

Sprague says military officials had answers to the engine ice problems given in reports at the time, but those answers were not shared with the general public. He began his research in 2009 at the behest of Miller’s son, Steven Davis Miller, who died in 2012.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

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“Steve was tired of spending most of his adult life dealing with conspiracy theories,” says Sprague. “And he said, ‘I trust you to get the ball rolling on this thing. this and go with it and if you want to do it, will you go, study this situation, go anywhere. You need to open any file where you need it. Open, ask permission to go anywhere, but find out what really happened.’

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Sprague tonight, July 8, at 8pm on PBS. appeared on “History Detectives Special Investigation: The Appearance of Glenn Miller.” MDT. American big band founder, owner, conductor, composer, arranger, trombone player, and recording artist before and during World War II, when he served as an officer in the US Army Air Forces.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

Glenn Miller and His Orchestra was one of the most popular and successful bands of the 20th century art and big bands.

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Glenn Miller and His Orchestra was the best-selling recording band from 1939 to 1942. Miller’s civilian band did not have a string section like his military unit, but did have a slap bass in the rhythm section. It was also a traveling band that played several radio broadcasts almost every day. Among their best-selling albums are Miller’s theme song – “Moonlight Serendipity” – and the first ever gold record, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”. The following songs are also on the best seller list: “In the Mood”, “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (printed on albums as “Pennsylvania Six-Five Thousand”), “A String of Pearls”, “Moonlight Cocktail”, “At Last”, “(I’ve Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo”, “American Patrol”, “Tuxedo Junction”, “Elmer’s Tune”, “Little Brown Jug”, and “Anvil Course”.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

Including “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, the five songs mostly produced by Miller and his orchestra were 1942 hits and can be found on the 1942 Billboard No. 1 Singles list.

In four years, Miller scored 16 number one albums and 69 top 10 hits, more than Elvis Presley (40).

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

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His musical legacy includes several Grammy Hall of Fame albums. His work has been performed around the world by swing bands, jazz bands, and big bands for over 75 years.

Miller is considered the father of the modern American military band. In 1942, he volunteered for the US Army to enlist soldiers during World War II and joined the US Army Air Force.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

Their workload was as heavy as a civilian band. Major Glenn Miller’s Air Force Orchestra, with a full string section in big band.

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Following standard procedure for the US military services, Miller was officially pronounced dead a year and one day later.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

An Army investigation led to an official death (FOD) for Miller, Norman Bessell and John Morgan, who all died on the same plane.

All three officers are listed on the missing plaques at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial in Cambridge, Gland.

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Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

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Unable to retrieve his body, Miller was allowed to place a memorial stone at the US Army-run Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

The son of Mattie Lou (née Cavder) Miller and Lewis Elmer Miller, Alton Gall Miller was born in Clarinda, Iowa.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

Like his father (Lewis Elmer) and siblings (Elmer Dean, John Herbert and Emma Eyre), Miller went by his middle name, Glenn, to WT.

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Confirms, “Miller needed his first name, Elton, for legal and military purposes, which is logical since it appears on formal documents such as his military documents, driver’s license, tax returns, etc. “

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

He is listed as Elton G. Miller in the Army Air Forces section of the Tablets of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial in Cambridge, Gland. His signature is Major Alton Glenn Miller, US Army (Air Corps) on the monument at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in Section H of his government-issued memorial ( GI). His last military unit has a memorial tree in Section 13 on Wilson Drive. American Holi was dedicated to Major Glenn Miller’s Air Force Band veterans on December 15, 1994, the 50th anniversary of Miller’s death.

He attended grade school in North Platte in western Nebraska. In 1915, his family moved to Grant City, Missouri. Around this time, he earned enough money from milking cows to buy his first trombone and played in the town orchestra. He played cornet and mandolin, but switched to trombone in 1916.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

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In 1918, Miller and his family moved to Fort Morgan, Colorado, where he attended Fort Morgan High School. In the fall of 1919, he entered F.M.H.S. Maroons, Colorado’s North American Football Conference winning high school football team in 1920. Named the best lefty in Colorado in 1921.

In every yearbook he edited, his name was spelled Gl with one n and Gln with a double n.

Big Band Leader Killed In Plane Crash

During his year, he became

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