Friday, July 11, 2014

PBS History Detectives Look for What Happened to Glenn Miller-- Part 3

Earning $10,000 to $20,000 a week as the leader of his band, Glenn Miller nevertheless volunteered for service during World War II.  It was decided to have him lead his band to play for the Armed Forces to boost morale.    He was in England as Christmas approached and was scheduled to have a radio broadcast in newly liberated Paris at Christmas and wanted to go ahead of his band to make sure things were in order.

He boarded a small, single-engine C-66 Norseman plane, took off on December 15, 1944, and was never heard from again.  The flight to Paris was not supposed to happen because of bad weather there.  As a matter of fact, the weather was bad all over Europe that day.  As a matter of fact, the Germans used the bad weather that kept Allied planes grounded, to launch their offensive that became known as the Battle of the Bulge the next day.  The pilot was ordered not to fly, but a superior officer, also going on the flight, overruled the order.

Glenn Miller was noted for his fear of flying, so it is not likely he would have wanted to take off under such conditions.


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