Bandleader Glenn Miller Disappeared Over The English Channel
The 40-year-old was on a flight on December 15th, 1944 from England to France. He never arrived and instead is speculated to have crashed somewhere over the English Channel due to inclement weather. Originally, Miller was supposed to fly to France on an authorized Army aircraft but instead flew with a friend of his on a small plane. Army officials did not realize this until it was too late and are often blamed for Miller’s disappearance.
A missing-aircrew report was filed on December 16th but the news didn’t break until Christmas Eve that America’s beloved bandleader who’s show tunes entered the hearts of audiences throughout the war, was missing.
The news shocked many but gave little time for reaction since the Battle of The Bulge on Christmas Eve in Belgium and France.
Miller’s band members knew something had happened to their leader when he didn’t show up in Paris to conduct. His band members, labeled the best of their time, were devastated and furious with those who hadn’t kept track of his flight activity.
Also on the plane was lieutenant colonel, Francis Norman Baessell as well as the pilot John R.S. Morgan. As mentioned, Miller wasn’t originally authorized to travel on that plane but wanted a quicker trip to Paris. Miller’s whereabouts are still unknown as his body, as well as the bodies of the accompanying passengers, were never found. He would be 117 today.
Still, Miller’s story is known as one of the great American mysteries. Many still honor his legacy around the holidays by playing his classic tunes including In The Mood, Moonlight Serenade, A String of Pearls, and many more.
His disappearance is associated with those the deaths of Buddy Holly, John Lennon, and later Michael Jackson. Miller is gone but not forgotten. His music comforted and brought hope to many during the war and still serves as a jazz classic today, soothing audiences around the world.