“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.
A note from Jane Campbell, CAPT, U.S. Navy (OF-5), ISAF Joint Command:
“Yesterday we hosted ADM & Mrs. Mullen & the USO Holiday Troop Tour (Comedian – Dave Attell, Tennis legend – Nick Bolletierri, Tennis star - Anna Kournikova, and Country Music star – Billy Ray Cyrus).
MCC Craig Strawser who was the star of the day — literally. Chief Strawser is a huge fan of Billy Ray Cyrus. He captured several hundred
images of Billy Ray signing autographs & standing with soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. As the autograph session wrapped up, I walked over and suggested that I take a picture of Chief and Billy Ray. They both smiled.
Billy Ray Cyrus and U. S. Navy Chief Mass Communication Specialist Craig P. Strawser
Chief then asked Billy Ray if he could tell him why he was such a fan. Chief relayed the story that about 10 years ago that he had the opportunity to talk with him following a concert at a fair in California. Evidently somebody tried to interrupt that conversation, and Billy Ray stopped them — informed them that Chief was a Navy man — and that he didn’t want to be interrupted.
Amazingly, Billy Ray responded to Chief’s story by saying — “Yeah, we walked over by the Corn Dog stand and finished the conversation.” Chief was shocked that Billy Ray remembered. I think most of us standing around were shocked — and more than pleasantly impressed.
We wrapped up the session, and took Mrs. Mullen and the USO Tour over to our cafeteria for lunch.”
Just another day in the life of a USO Celebrity Tour! Click here
for other tour photos and be sure to read this article
from Black Anthem Military News.
Santa Claus makes a surprise appearance and hands out candy to audience members during a holiday concert featuring the U.S. 7th Fleet Band and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Band Dec. 11, 2009, in Yokosuka, Japan. The concert is celebrating the holiday season and showcasing the alliance between both the countries' navies. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Charles Oki/Released)
Sure, Navy won – again! – against Army in this most beloved of football games, but did you notice that guy on the sidelines? You know, USO’s very own CEO and President, Sloan Gibson? Sure, he might have attended West Point, but he has a special message for everybody watching the game!
On Wednesday, November 25, the U.S. Naples Forces Europe Band performed at the US Naval Forces Europe & Africa Thanks for Giving Holiday Concert, in downtown Naples. At the event, Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa formally recognized the superb work of USO Naples and it volunteers for outstanding support to the members of the command, and thanked USO for its support of Troops worldwide. About 20 staff and volunteers attended and were seated in VIP seating for the concert, which included a medley of music from the last 68 years in sequence with a USO picture slide show. We heartily congratulate Center Manager Sabrina Pullido and her team. Walter Murren, Vice President, USO Operations (Europe) had this to say: “I could not be more proud of the accomplishments of Sabrina and her team. Clearly such recognition at such an important Italian-American event says volumes about the impact USO programs are having here.” Keep up the great work!