glenn miller
glenn miller

Miller goes missing in action

Did you know that Glenn Miller had more number one hits than Elvis Presley or The Beatles?

An unprecedented string of hits from 1939 to 1942, included versions of numbers like “In The Mood” (1939), “Tuxedo Junction” (1939) and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (1941), as well as Miller’s self-penned signature tune, “Moonlight Serenade” (1939).

The trombonist and bandleader was the biggest star on the American pop-music scene before World War II, but he turned his back on it all to serve his country as leader of the USAAF dance band.

It was in that capacity that Captain Glenn Miller boarded a single-engined aircraft at an airfield outside of London on December 15, 1944 that went missing over the English Channel en route to France for a congratulatory performance for American troops that had recently helped to liberate Paris.

The wreckage of Miller’s plane was never found and his official military status remains Missing in Action.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra played its last-ever concert under Miller’s direction on September 27, 1942, in Passaic, New Jersey, before Miller entered the Army.

After nearly two years spent stateside broadcasting a weekly radio program called I Sustain The Wings out of New York City, he formed a new 50-piece USAAF dance band and departed for England in the summer of 1944, giving hundreds of performances to Allied troops over the next six months before embarking on his fateful trip to France on this day in 1944.

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