“PARIS, Dec. 24 (AP) – Maj. Glenn Miller, director of the Unites States Aire Force Band and a former orchestra leader, is missing on a flight from England to Paris, it was announced today.
Major Miller, one of the outstanding orchestra leaders of the United States, left England Dec. 15 as a passenger aboard a plane. No trace of the plane has been found.”
So read the December 25, 1944, page 4 article in the New York Times. Miller – perhaps the most famous of big band directors – was an accomplished trombonist and actor as well. At the height of his fame and fortune, Miller enlisted in the Army then transferred to the Army Air Force in 1942. He eventually formed a 50-piece Army Air Force band, which toured domestically and internationally, often to USO Centers.
He was on his way to entertain Troops who had recently liberated Paris when his plane disappeared. Still officially listed as “Missing in Action,” Miller’s story sparked the popular imagination of conspiracy theorists and Hollywood executives alike. His wife, Helen Miller, posthumously accepted a Bronze Star on his behalf in 1945.
No trace of the plane or any of the other passengers has been found in the last 65 years.