following is a statement from the University of Colorado-Glenn
Miller Archives, following the release of the book 'The Glenn
submitted by Alan Cass and Denis Spragg. It has been reviewed
by Ed Polic and Steve Miller.
the limitations of the posting format, the document may not reproduce
faithfully to its original format. A copy of the formal document
will be posted to the Glenn Miller fans web site as a file for
Due to the nature
of the claims made by the author of this book, we believe strongly
that it is important for us to come forward with a factual analysis
to set the record straight The book, in its entirety, particulars
and in all respects, is false. The book is poorly written, researched
and documented. It is filled with egregious and obvious mistakes.
It is based essentially upon incomplete third party hearsay, and
seriously flawed, irrelevant, incorrect, unidentified or non-existent
primary research. True facts and evidence, easily available, which
conclusively and easily rebut his claims, are set aside-by the
author in favor of fiction.
We arc disappointed with the author. We honor all veterans and
do not seek to impugn his integrity, although we question his
judgment. We are troubled by the editor, publisher, radio personalities,
commentators, web site bloggers and all others who promote or
endorse the book. It is grounded primarily upon the unsubstantiated,
incomplete prior assertions of Wilbur Wright and correspondence
from Sid Robinson. It is the product of gossips who have inflamed
one another with ever-more sensational fantasies that feed upon
themselves in an ever-escalating circle of myth. These fantasies
are the foundation for the claims presented by the author.
The book confuses and misquotes as experts and witnesses persons
who have never met or spoken with the author, including Alan Cass
and Ed Polic. If the author, Wright or others had simply taken
the time to visit the archive in Boulder, learn and understand
the truth, the public would have been spared years of bizarre
disinformation. The author is repeatedly and pointedly dismissive
of all the unquestionable evidence, logic, official histories,
scholarship, or recollections that do not support, and utterly
disprove, his outrageous allegations.
We share the stated desire of the author to honor Major Alton
Glenn Miller. However, unlike the author and his advocates, we
believe that the actual truth demonstrates the greatest respect
for Glenn Miller. No one is more concerned than we about the legacy
of Glenn and Helen Miller. The Glenn Miller Archive is the official
repository for both private Miller family and all United States
government documents involving Glenn Miller. We have a unique
perspective, authorization and access to the most complete information.
We speak for Glenn Miller.
The assertions of the author
include the following, in his own words, which speak for themselves:
Page 75: "... but in one
respect, the war never ended - the war to discover what realty
happened to Major Glenn Miller ... the two competing theories:
(1) loss in a single-engine plane over the English Channel and
(2) being hit by a lone bomb jettisoned by a Lancaster - have
been so soundly rejected by students and scholars that their probabilities
are ludicrous, I can claim to be th" very first researcher
into Glenn's vanishing. And along with others listed here, I'm
among the last. This book is predicated not in comfortable fiction
but in facts. That Glenn Miller was involved in 'Operation Eclipse.'
Given the dates and testimony is undeniable. That he gave his
life in combat is admitted, and you don't win the Bronze Star
unless you can prove combat."
Page 148: "Some loggerheads still swear by the "Twinwood
farewell" of 15 Dec 44. Whoever claims that as "expertise"
is a generation slow to the mystery's solution and is copying
long discarded rumors"
Page 161: "I was walking with a lot of ghosts pushing me
... Jack Taylor, Herb Miller, John Edwards, Clive Ward, Dennis
Cottam, Wilbur Wright and dozens more Miller researchers, not
to count those still alive: Dale Titler, Sid Robinson, EdPolic,
We completely disagree with
Here is a summary of the major claims made in
the book along with our comments. Our observations are submitted
applying common sense, facts and access to all relevant documents,
including Glenn Miller's "201" file and medical records,
which are confidential and only available to the actual person,or
their next of kin, if they are deceased. The author and his predecessors
were not granted access by the family.
For further detailed information, we recommend the essential two-volume
history of the Glenn Miller AAF Band, "Sustineo Alas,"
by Edward F. Polic (The Scarecrow Press, 1989).
Glenn Miller did not lead a secret double life as a regular officer
in the Army of the United States. Miller did not save the life
of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and he does not qualify for the Medal
Miller was not awarded the Bronze Star
The Bronze Star is awarded for meritorious
service. It is awarded for non-combat as well as combat
achievements. Glenn Miller's Bronze Star was not a posthumous
award. It was in process for his achievements prior to 15 Dec
44,"... for meritorious service in connection with military
operations during the period 09 Jul 44 to 15 Dec 44." Note
that the Bronze Star was also awarded to Capt. Don Haynes, by
Col. A. H. Rosenfeld, on 21 Jul 45; and to T/Sgt Ray McKinley
and T/Sgt. Generoso Graziano (Jerry Gray) in late Sep 45. The
McKinley and Graziano citations read: "...performed his duties
in such wholly professional and exemplary manner as to gain the
admiration and complete cooperation of the members of his organization.
His able and talented leadership contributed notably to the quality
of the programs given for the Allied Expeditionary Force and reflected
high credit on the United Sates Army."
Maj. A. Glenn Miller and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower were not acquainted.
Miller did not share Elsenhower's German ancestry. Miller did
not speak German. He was not descended from Amish who settled
in the Amana Colonies of Iowa. His family did not change their
name from Mueller before settling in Page County, Iowa, near the
town of Clarinda.
Eisenhower and Miller would only have met, in passing, at a Miller
musical performance on 04 Aug 44 (Fri.) when the Miller band performed
at Sharpner (SHAEF "Forward"), Thorney Island, near
Portsmouth. England (one hour concert for Gen. Eisenhower and
staff, under camouflage netting, attendance 850).
o The Miller family ancestry is English. His direct
ancestors arrived from England probably well before American independence.
They are documented back at least to Ohio in 1803 Miller did not
have Amana Colony Amish ancestry on either side of his family
tree. Miller never spoke or learned the German language. The closest
family member to study a foreign language was his wife, Helen
Burger Miller, who took French at CU (we have her transcripts
on file). The Miller family was never named Mueller. The Burger
family of Boulder, Colorado never passed through or settled in
Page County, Iowa. We have the Burger and Miller genealogies on
Glenn Miller did not volunteer his services for
the OWI or OSS. The OWI was not the same service as the OSS. Miller
had no connection with the OSS.
o Miller enlisted as a Captain in the Army Specialist Corps. Within
weeks he was a regular (not reserve) officer in the Army of the
United States. His military duties were with the Army Air Forces.
This was not an accident, Senior officials within the AAF, up
to and including Gen. H. H. Arnold, knew exactly who Miller was.
and what value he brought to the AAF. The ultimate goal of Arnold
and his officers was the establishment of a service completely
independent of the Army.
o When the Miller unit was requested by Elsenhower for assignment
to the ETO. it was for the purpose of giving the new SHAEF Broadcasting
Service (AEFP) the best available live and recorded popular programming.
The AAF released the unit under the condition that it retained
"ownership." and that upon release from the ETO the
Miller unit would return to the USA as AAF property (which it
indeed did). Miller's entertainment mission was a full-time occupation.
o The Office of War Information was created 13 Jun 42 to consolidate
government information services. It had domestic and foreign information
services. Elmer Davis of CBS News was the director. Besides coordinating
the release of war news for the domestic use, the office operated
an overseas unit, led by the playwright Robert E. Sherwood, which
ran a major information campaign abroad. The OWI is the ancestor
of the current United States Information Agency (USIA), a civilian
agency, which amongst its responsibilities operates the Voice
of America (VOA) (Department of State).
o The Office of Strategic Services was created 13 Jun 42 and led
by Gen. William Donovan. The OSS is the ancestor of the United
States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). During WWII the OSS
trained and conducted covert information gathering and espionage
operations worldwide against the Axis powers. It employed military
personnel. It gathered information from enemy nations. The OSS
was not responsible for all intelligence activities. The FBI had
jurisdiction for Latin America and the military services retained
their respective intelligence assets.
o Miller never met Gen. William Donovan.
o The OWI and OSS had distinct missions and they were completely
o Formerly classified information about all OSS personnel were
declassified and made public in 2007 and 2008. Included was the
late popular chef Julia Child. Miller was not on the list.
Glenn Miller did not record a series of weekly German language
"psy-ops" radio programs beginning in 1943 for the "combined
OWI and OSS." Miller's regular NBC programs were not used
o Miller recorded only seven German language programs, from 30
Oct 44 to 27 Nov 44, in the UK, for the OWI ABSIE network. The
scripts demonstrate that Miller's instructions were expressly
written in phonetics with English meanings so Miller could understand
hislines. Native German speakers laugh when told that Miller spoke
their language. They know otherwise.
o ABSIE broadcast over transmitters and with programming aimed
at the German Armed Forces The signals did not consistently penetrate
into Germany nor did Miller ever speak to the German people.
o There were no German language programs or insertions recorded
by Glenn Miller in 1943 or 1944 while he and his unit were located
in New Haven and recording or broadcasting in New York. The Miller
unit had access to state-of-the-art recording equipment at NBC
which was also used by the NBC Symphony, but nothing else.
o The "Music from America" programs recorded by the
Miller AAF band for the OWI from NBC were programmed without any
announcements (only music). These were shipped by the OWI overseas
for use at local stations in many nations across the globe using
local announcers in their native languages. Miller's voice was
not heard. The transcriptions were sent to U. S. embassies and
distributed to local radio stations. The distribution of the transcriptions
to local radio stations was handled solely by the embassies.
o The "Uncle Sam Presents" programs recorded by the
Miller AAF band at NBC were for use by AFRS-AFN and programmed
for the enjoyment of allied military personnel worldwide. All
of Miller's announcements are in English.
o The popular "I Sustain the Wings" programs
broadcast by the Miller AAF band on Saturdays were for the American
domestic audience. Their mission was to help the public understand
what the AAF was. what its needs were, and to encourage young
people to join that service. They were broadcast, in English,
over CBS until 11 Sep 43 and over NBC from 18 Sep 43 to10 Jun
The author claims that Broderick Crawford was a Military Police
Officer with the rank of Major. He was not. Crawford was also
not assigned by either Washington or SHAEF to be Glenn Miller's
The photo of Broderick Crawford that appears as Exhibit C, p.
220 of the book as evidence is actually a publicity photo from
the 1965 20th Century Fox film "Up from the Beach,"
in which Crawford played the role of a Military Police Major.
The author uses the photo to falsely establish that Crawford held
the rank of Major and was a military police officer.
o In reality, Crawford entered the service on 23 Nov 42 as a Private.
On or before 06 Fob 43 he was assigned to Atlantic City, NJ. On
08 May 43, he was attached to one of Miller's units as an announcer,
and was a jujitsu instructor at Yale when he did not have announcing
duties. He became a PFC on 05 Jun 43, a Corporal on 01 Jul 43
and a Sergeant on 29 Feb 44. When the Miller AAF band arrived
in England, Miller no longer had any use for Crawford. Crawford
was transferred to AFN London 17 Jul 44. where he became an AFN
announcer and radio program regular. At that point Crawford no
longer had any contact with Miller or the band.
o On 07 May 45 Crawford was assigned to the band in Paris as an
announcer. On 23 Jul 45 he was transferred to the band for the
purpose of shipment back to the USA. He wasdischarged 16 Nov 45.
The highest rank he attained was Sergeant. Crawford was a friend
of Miller's at Yale and a drinking buddy with several of the band
Col. David Niven was not Miller's commanding officer in the UK.
Miller's direct report was Col. Ed Kirby, ETO chief of broadcasting
(USA) stationed in the UK and coordinator for AFRS-AFN and AEFP.
Kirby reported to Gen. R. W. Barker o1 SHAEF (AEFP) and Col. Tom
Lewis. AFRS (AFN). Gen. Barker was located at SHAEF HQ and Lewis
at AFRS, Los Angeles. So, in reality, Miller's direct line of
reporting actually led back to Hollywood, California once the
AAF agreed to allow the transfer of his unit from New York to
o Niven had been a commando combat officer before British authorities
found him more suited for entertainment work, which greatly upset
Niven. He worked for the British equivalent of AFRS-AFN and as
such was an associate of Miller and de-facto superior, although
Niven and Miller were more informal in their relationship. Niven
was essentially Kirby's British broadcasting service counterpart.
o AEFP was led by Maurice Gorham of the BBC, to
whom Kirby, Miller and, principally, Niven were also responsible.
o Kirby, Barker, Lewis and Gorham, amongst all the other officials,
announcers and engineers that worked directly on a full-time basis
with Miller in the UK are never mentioned in the book whatsoever
(except Niven and Crawford).
Glenn Miller did not fly from the UK to France regularly on the
* Miller flew the SHAEF shuttle twice before his 15 Dec 44 disappearance,
a 13 Nov 44 flight to Paris and an 18 Nov 44 flight back to London.
Those are the only two SHAEF shuttle flights that Miller was ever
Glenn Miller was not based in London and separated from his unit
while the band was based in Bedford, England. Miller maintained
an extensive and exhausting work schedule of personnel appearances,
broadcasts and recordings with his band. He did not simply record
voice-overs from the BBC at Bush House while spending time with
supposed "OSS duties."
o Miller kept an extensive regular schedule of personal appearances
and broadcasts with his full orchestra ("The American Band
of the AEF"). His UK schedule is thoroughly documented, on
a daily basis, in the official unit history, Ed Polic's "Sustineo
Alas" and several first-class books by Chris Way.
o Confusion may be understandable since the Miller AAF band had
various sub-units led by others, including T/Sgt Ray McKinley
("The Swing Shift"). Sgt. Mel Powell ("The Uptown
Hall"), Sgt. George Ockner ("Strings with Wings")
and Sgt. Johnny Desmond ("A Soldier and a Song"). Miller
kept a room at the Mount Royal Hotel for London appearances with
the full orchestra and his normal administrative duties, which
dealt with music and broadcasting. His broadcast appearances were
live and not voiced-over. The voice-over confusion may actually
be that Miller's voice itself had to be edited out of recorded
broadcasts following his disappearance. Unfortunately, several
programs got out with his voice still on them.
"Operation Eclipse" as described by the author, is a
o "Operation Eclipse" was a post-war plan for the civil
occupation of defeated German Reich, including plans for governance
and public utilities, including food distribution, sanitation,
water, electricity, etc.
o The William J. Casey book "The Secret War against Hitler"
(Regnery Gateway, 1988) and the many books about Alien Dulles
(OSS. Berne, Switzerland) do not mention any such operation on
or before 16 Dec 44 aimed at effecting a German officer revolt
and overthrow of the Nazi regime. Quite the contrary, following
the collapse of the 20 Jul 44 plot against Hitler, officers and
others complicit in the plot had been rounded up and either executed
or imprisoned. By their own admission, Dulles. Casey and other
Allied intelligence officials were frustrated by their failure
to better penetrate Germany and were surprised by the launch of
the 16 Dec 44 Ardennes counter-offensive by Hitler.
o It is well documented that the German counter-offensive, aimed
at seizing Antwerp and cutting Allied forces on the western front
in two, was conceived far in advance, with greater pro-active
planning, secrecy and military coordination than the author cares
Glenn Miller was not at Bovingdon (Station 112) 16 or 17 Dec 44
as claimed by the author. Miller was not flown to France either
day aboard a SHAEF shuttle aircraft by a SHAEF shuttle crew. He
did not meet with Eisenhower. There was no secret mission. Miller
was not then flown on to OB West HQ (Krefeld) as Eisenhower's
emissary to Field Marshall Von Rundstedt the evenings of 16 or
17 Dec 44. There was no plan for Miller to continue to Flughafen
Berlin TempeDiof, appear over Dcutsche Rundfunk (radio) and announce
to the German people that the war was over. Miller was also not
additionally tasked with finding German atomic and guided missile
scientists (such as Drs. Heisenberg, Domberger or Von Braun) and
inducing them to surrender to the United States, rather than being!
captured by the Soviet Union. Therefore, there was no SS trap,
no interrogation of Miller and no unsuccessful attempt to assassinate
Eisenhower. Miller did not save Eisenhower's life and Miller was
not murdered or dumped on the street outside a Paris bordello.
o The SHAEF shuttle, located at Bovingdon (Station 112), was grounded
and did not operate from 14 Dec 44 to 17 Dec 44.
o There is no evidence or documentation whatsoever in any government
records to support the author's claims and various conflicting
timelines of supposed events.
o No sane allied officer, let alone Milter, would fly alone to
German OKW HQ. No one person could have handled so many alleged
tasks. The Krefeld and Berlin tales defy logic and common sense.
o The recollections of the SHAEF shuttle pilots
and driver, as reported to the author's sources, are not accurate
(see above for the only two SHAEF shuttle flights that Miller
was ever on).
o The German civilian public had not generally heard Glenn Miller's
voice and would largely not recognize him. Allied transmitters
did not consistently penetrate German territory until 1945, when
they got closer. Broadcasts were jammed and listening to allied
programming was against the law.
o Miller was too valuable a public figure to risk in any secret
mission for which he was completely unqualified or where there
was the possibility of capture. Please note the orders given to
Clark Gable by the AAF regarding filming combat missions over
Germany in 1943.
o The book "Von Braun, Dreamer of Space, Engineer'of War"
by Michael Neufeld (Knopf, 2007) documents the Apr-May 45 surrender
and assimilation of the German guided missile scientists by the
USA/UK in great detail. David Niven and Glenn Miller are not mentioned
and were not at all involved.
o Also see the book "Heisenberg's War," by Thomas Powers
(Knopf, 1997) for additional corroboration about which Allied
officers actually took the atomic scientists into custody in Apr-May
45 and what regions of Germany the atomic scientists were eventually
rounded up in (southern Alpine regions, not eastern regions near
Berlin). Niven and Miller are not mentioned and were not at all
o When the author supposedly attempted to speak with former SS
commando Otto Skorzeny at a Spanish restaurant in 1974, or David
Niven on a movie set in Rhodes. Greece. both refused to speak
with him about Glenn Miller. The author interprets both non-replies
confirmation of a conspiracy.
o The author produces innocuous German documents that supposedly
show Glenn Milter's
clearance into Kempten at 2350 16 or 17 Dec 44 and return with
Skorzeny via captured US aircraft. One document is stamped 1134
(AM) 15 Dec 44. The document is over one day too soon to fit the
author's timelines. Below the 1134 time is displayed 2350-0030.
15 Dec 44 (not 16 or 17 Dec 44) and another time, 0015 16 Dec
44. These times are completely out of sequence with the author's
argument The author says "chef is code for Adolf Hitler but
offers no evidence. The documents could be describing any sort
of routine activity and prove nothing (p. 254-255, exhibits AF-AG).
o The author produces three innocuous Allied documents (p. 218.
exhibit A) supposedly showing aircraft movements 15 Dec 44 and
16 Dec 44. Message 467 (top) is dated 16 Dec 44 0440, Message
497 is dated 15 Dec 44. 2356 and Message 762 is dated 27(?) Dec
44. 0855. They do not fit the author's timelines. Neither specifies
aircraft type, origin or destination. They prove nothing.
o There was no deathbed confession from a German Dr. Buttron.
The real Dr. Otto Buttron is a friend of Ed Polic. Dr. Buttron
is very much alive and was not a member of a Skorzeny SS commando
unit. He would perhaps be amused to hear of his premature demise
and his alleged activities.
The author speculates that a wounded Glenn Miller (or his corpse)
were flown back to Wright Field, Ohio, Miller died there of his
wounds (if not already deceased). Miller may be interred with
his wife at the family gravesite in California, and that all these
details remain classified by the United States government.
o All Miller documents except the family-private 201 and medical
files were declassified by the United States government between
1948 and 1958.
The author claims that Helen Miller received an "official
but mysterious" telephone call about Glenn on 17 Dec 44,
according to Herb Miller (Glenn's younger brother), who said he
was with her at the family home in New Jersey. The author goes
on to say that the call was probably from David Niven. The author
adds that after the war, Helen Miller wandered military cemeteries
in the USA and Europe looking for Glenn. Herb Miller gave Wilbur'
Wright, the author's source, permission to investigate if Glenn
is buried in California with Helen (who passed away in 1966).
o Helen Miller was informed of her husband's disappearance by
telegram and a personal telephone call from the Commanding General
of the Army Air Forces. H. H. "Hap" Arnold.
o Helen Miller never teft the United States, and withdrew to her
home in California following the war to raise her children.
o The 17 Dec 44 Herb Miller story is a fantasy. Herb Miller did
not have the authority to grant Wright access to the gravesite-
Access was understandably denied by Glenn and Helen's children,
and they so advised Herb Miller in a very direct and firm manner.
The author concludes that there was no official
investigation into the Miller disappearance because a cover-up
was necessary to "protect the hierarchy" from an investigation
of "Operation Eclipse." He asserts that the cover-up
included SHAEF, Washington, and was coordinated by Stephen F.
Early, President Roosevelt's White House Press Secretary.
o There was no such thing as "Operation Eclipse," therefore
there was no cover up.
o The 8" AAF and SHAEF both conducted immediate investigations
into Miller's disappearance.
o Following the 18 Dec 44 realization of a missing aircraft, communications
between SHAEF and Washington consisted of the following: SHAEF
was concerned about notifying Mrs. Miller, due to the upcoming
25 Dec 44 Christmas broadcast and the need to make a press statement.
Washington wanted confirmation of the accident before telling
Helen Miller or approving any statements.
o Col James F. J. Early, the Commanding Officer of the 8th AAF
Service Command, Milton Ernest, who was responsible for the 2nd
Strategic Air Depot, 35th Repair Squadron, 35th Air Depot, aircraft
#44-70285 and F/0 Morgan, clearly signed several official memoranda.
Stephen F. Early did not.
o Washington and SHAEF simply could not understand how they may
have lost Glenn Miller They were naturally horrified, and at the
same time quite busy dealing with the "Battle of the Bulge."
Lt. Don Haynes was not the only witness to the events at RAF Twinwood
Farm 15 Dec 44.
Lt. Col. Norman F. Baessell (passenger) disappeared with F/0 John
R. S. Morgan (pilot) and Maj. A. Glenn Miller (passenger) on 15
Dec 44 aboard UC-64A a/c ^44-70285, of the 2nd Strategic Air Depot
35th Repair Squadron and 35th Air Depot. Baessell did not vanish
and reemerge in Rhodesia as a CIA operative.
From 1315 to 1355, 15 Dec 44, Morgan flew the UC-64A a/c #44-70285
from Alconbury (Abbots Kipton) to RAP Twinwood Farm.
o The Haynes diary was edited in the 1950s prior
to its use in conjunction with the production of the film "The
Glenn Miller Story." The diary matches the official report
and testimony that Haynes gave to the 8th AAF and SHAEF in Dec
44 and Jan 45. In any event, the alterations in the diary are
minor. They involve grammar and spelling, but also redact certain
comments Haynes made about personalities, many English, that he
thought should be removed. We have studied the version Haynes
prepared for Universal-International, which was donated to the
Library of Congress, and the book manuscript version (with some
very minor revisions of that manuscript). Haynes did not change
whatsoever the essential details or his official testimony about
the events leading up to or the day of 15 Dec 44.
o Whatever Haynes was or was not, he did not lie about 15 Dec
44. He did know Baessell (and Morgan), and introduced Baessell
to Miller, so he does play a role in why Miller boarded the aircraft.
o Haynes was actually supposed to fly ahead 14 Dec 44 on the SHAEF
shuttle to make arrangements for the band in Paris. Miller was
to accompany the band on 16 Dec 44 via their regular dedicated
o Miller felt it urgent to meet with Gen. Barker at SHAEF to negotiate
the permanent assignment of the band to the Continent. Their order
for Paris was for only six weeks. Miller told Haynes to "un-cut"
his orders so that he (Miller) would go ahead, not simply to arrange
transport and accommodations (Haynes had already set up the accommodations
on a previous trip). Miller was anxious and in a hurry to see
Barker and get the band permanently assigned to the Continent.
o The SHAEF shuttle was grounded before and during 14 Dec 44.
which frustrated Miller and led him to consider hitching a ride
with Haynes' acquaintance Baessell.
o General Donald R. Goodrich, former CO of the 8th AAF Service
Command at Milton Ernest and Baessell's superior, knew about the
flight of 15 Dec 44 before it departed. Goodrich had been ill
and bed ridden (and thus replaced as CO of the 8th AAF Service
Command on 05 Dec 44 by Col. Early).
Miller was anxious. In a hurry, and clueless of
the risk he was taking (see next section, following).
o If Baessell was not aboard the aircraft, how did he escape to
o Haynes actually should have been the one on the
plane that day with Baessell and Morgan.
o The testimony of pilot Harry Witt (and quoted in the book) is
believable. Witt may have seen the aircraft charted that day at
Villacoubiay, France, since Bovingdon ATC had put it up on the
tracking board (see following). Witt would not have known Morgan
had stopped at RAF Twinwood Farm.
o George Ferguson. another pilot who flew with Morgan, testified
to Morgan's poor qualification to fly in the conditions and circumstances
of 15 Dec 44. Ferguson instinctively knew the worst had happened
when told that the aircraft and passengers were missing.
o RAF Twinwood Farm was a satellite training airfield, which was
used by Beaufighter night fighter and Mosquito Pathfinder units.
o On p. 253 (Exhibit AE) the author shows a document that displays
a "no flying today" notation for 15 Dec 44 to support
his claim that UC-64A #44-70285 could not have landed at RAF Twinwood
on 15 Dec 44. The exhibit describes the status of the night fighter
and pathfinder units that used the airfield. This document is
not the aircraft movement record of the tower or Air Traffic Control
o The 2nd Strategic Air Depot at Abbots Ripton (Station 547) did
not operate its own airfield. It shared the base and control tower
of the 482 BG (Heavy) at Alconbury (Station 102). The Air Depot
occupied facilities on the southeast side of the Alconbury base.
The Air Depot came under the jurisdiction of the 8th AAF Service
Command HQ located at Milton Ernest (see Col. Early, above). To
distinguish strategic air depot sites and avoid confusion with
combat group facilities, the depots were given separate names
in Feb 44. Hence, the Air Depot located at Alconbury became Abbots
Don Hope, who was on duty 15 Dec 44 at the 482 BG Alconbury (Abbots
Ripton) tower, as approached by Morgan in the morning for clearance
to depart. Morgan was denied. Later, with somewhat improved weather,
Morgan again asked and was only granted dearance for local flying.
The Miller band generally traveled by air to performances from
the base of the 8th AAF 306th BG (Heavy) at Thurieigh (Station
111), which was six miles north of Bedford, because ^AF Twinwood
Farm did not have runways long enough to accommodate the larger
aircraft in which the band often traveled. These included B-17
and B-24 aircraft. For closer trips, the band took ground transport.
o The AAF operated in the UK using British (home country) flying
rules to avoid confusion.
The Actual Events of 15 Dec 44
Here is the factual account, based on AAF records,
eyewitness testimony as made by personnel during the AAF investigation
and SHAEF Board of Inquiry (18 Dec 44-20 Jan 45), as well as the
oral histories available in our archive. For a concise summary
of 15 Dec 44, see Ed Poiic's "Sustineo Alas
RAF Twinwood Farm was fogged and closed for operations the morning
of 15 Dec 44. Maj. Miller had lunch with Lt. Col. Baessell 15
Dec 44 at the Milton Ernest Officer's Club. During lunch F/0 Morgnn
called Baessell, told Baessell that he had received clearance
to depart Alconbury (Abbots Kipton) and would pick them up at
RAF Twinwood Farm within an hour. Lt. Haynes drove Miller and
Baessell to the quarters of Gen. Goodrich, so Baesseil could check
with Goodrich for any last minute instructions. Therefore, Goodrich
would have been aware that Morgan was planning to fly overwater
in a UC-64A with Baessell as a passenger, and that Miller was
going to go with them. Miller did not go into the quarters with
Baessell, who visited with Goodrich for about ten minutes. The
three men drove on to RAF Twinwood Farm and waited in the car
for Morgan's arrival. A hard rain had tapered off to a steady
drizzle with a cloud ceiling of about 200 feet. They sat for over
a half hour. Baessell got out and went up to the control tower
to learn that Morgan had departed Alconbury (Abbots Ripton) at
1315 and would arrive at any moment.
UC-64A #44-70285 had departed Alconbury (Abbots Ripton) with clearance
for local flying. The stated destination was RAF Twinwood Farm.
Morgan was not cleared for overwater flight. Morgan was flying
under British flying rules. Morgan arrived into RAF Twinwood Farm
at 1355. He left his engine idling so as not to have to log an
arrival because he may have been denied ongoing departure clearance.
The two passengers. Miller and Baessell, boarded the aircraft.
The aircraft departed before 1359. There were numerous witnesses,
including the control tower personnel. Given the circumstances,
weather conditions, arrival of an aircraft. Miller boarding it,
and its departure, the UC-64A caught the attention of ground personnel;
including Dixie Clerke. She testified that Miller "was a
gentleman unlike many Yanks" and she was puzzled to see him
that day on the field and to see him board the aircraft.
RAF Twinwood Farm reported the departure to Bovingdon ATC, who
charted and tracked (radar) the southbound aircraft. The aircraft
did not fly over to Bovingdon or land there. ATC did not challenge
the aircraft's clearance (this was not their job). The aircraft
was tracked to the English coast where it would then pass through
uncontrolled overwater airspace. The aircraft did not appear over
the French coast when returning to controlled airspace. Multiple
radio calls to the aircraft were not returned. It was not known
to ATC which (if any) passengers were aboard, only that they were
radar tracking a single aircraft.
Lt. Haynes and the band arrived at Orly Field (Paris) 18 Dec 44.
Miller was not there to meet them. Haynes called Maj. R. L. May
at SHAEF, Versailles., to locate Miller. May had not seen Miller
and called Gen. Barker, who told Haynes to billet the band and
report to SHAEF as soon as possible. While Haynes was getting
the band billeted. May and Barker called bases on the Continent
and England. They discovered that a single aircraft had been charted
and tracked out of England (radar) on 15 Dec 44 but had not been
charted and tracked flying over the French coast. They also learned
(that no anti-aircraft guns had been fired between 1400 and 1800
hours that day. Haynes arrived at SHAEF with W/0 Paul Dudley shortly
after 1800 on 18 Dec 44 and suggested that Gen. Barker telephone
Gen. Goodrich, Barker asked where the clearance had come from
for the flight. Goodrich said Baesseil was due back 17 Dec 44
and had not returned. Goodrich was not pleased that Morgan had
flown in treacherous weather. He did not yet know of Morgan's
local-only conditional clearance from Alconbury (Abbots Ripton).
Goodrich promised to start a search the morning of 19 Dec 44.
but it already appeared that the aircraft had gone into the Channel.
On 19 Dec 44 Haynes contacted Gen. Orville Anderson, Operations
Chief of the 8th AAF at High Wycombe (England). Anderson was a
cousin of Miller. Anderson used his resources to search for the
missing aircraft. On 22 Dec 44 he reported to Haynes that they
had found nothing.
On 23 Dec 44, Helen Miller was informed that Glenn Miller was
missing, by telegram and the personal call from Gen. H. H. Arnold.
When Haynes testified at the 20 Jan 45 inquiry, he did not know
and was not told that 8th AAF and SHAEF officials already had
a very clear idea about what probably happened 15 Dec 44, and
had surmised the essentials of the accident as early as 18 Dec
44. They concluded that pilot disorientation, carburetor and/or
wing icing, or both, upon exiting English airspace had caused
an uncontrolled crash into the Channel. Morgan was not properly
qualified or competent for overwater instrument flight. The UC-64A
had a documented history of carburetor icing issues and wing control
difficulty in certain conditions. The UC-64A did not carry de-icing
boots. The pilot and the aircraft were inappropriate for the flight.
An uncontrolled crash into the water was not survivable for the
airframe, aircrew or passengers. The bulk of the UC-64A airframe
weight was the forward engine compartment and its Pratt &
Whitney R-1340-A1 radial engine. The aircraft's primarily wood
assembly would have immediately disintegrated upon impact The
high-mounted wings would have shattered off. The wings could float
no more than an estimated 16-18 hours. Any remaining fuselage
and cabin would have immediately sunk with the engine. In the
event the occupants had been able to egress the aircraft in a
controlled ditching (highly unlikely with this unstable high-wing
aircraft type), survival time in the water was 20 minutes. Standing
instructions for AAF aircrew based in the UK were to avoid ditching
any damaged aircraft due to the limited survivability profiles
for both aircraft (landing profile margin) and crew (impact injury
Many years later, a possible bomb jettison scenario came to light,
but this was not known to the authorities in Dec 44 and Jan 45.
Whatever its veracity, this possibility at least places the aircraft
in the water along with its occupants. In the book, the author
goes on at length to try to discredit the proponents of the bomb
jettison scenario. In any case, 15 Dec 44 is in reality well documented,
both prior to and following the departure of the aircraft, from
operations records and the sworn testimony of multiple witnesses,
and not just Lt Haynes, as alleged by the author. The UC-64A was
a serviceable Canadian bush plane that was unsuited to the conditions
of 15 Dec 44. The temperature over the Channel at the time of
the flight was probably 24-26 degrees Fahrenheit.
The author muddies his claim that F/0 Morgan crashed alone in
the UC-64A aircraft on 15 Dec 44 by making much of the write-off
of the aircraft in France during 1947, which suggests it was not
lost and survived the war. If the author had researched AAF records,
he would realize that hundreds of aircraft were written-off following
the war to balance the books on the AAF aircraft inventory. This
is because when a hull loss occurred, and no wreckage was found,
authorities would allow time for an investigation or search. UC-64A
#44-70285 was among hundreds of hull losses that were in a batch
Maj. A. Glenn Miller (050573) was anxious and in a hurry the afternoon
of 15 Dec 44. He made a fatal mistake in boarding a single engine
aircraft, UC-64A, #44-70285, as a passenger. It was flown by F/0
John R. S. Morgan (T 190776), pilot, who should not have attempted
an over water flight that day. The pilot had likely been bullied
to fly by Lt Col. Norman F. Baessell (0905387), who also boarded
the aircraft as a passenger. The aircraft departed RAF Twinwood
Farm at 1355-1359 hours, 15 Dec 44, and vanished. The pilot flew
without over water clearance. This was a tragic error by the victims
and all concerned. Miller should never have put himself in a position
to board the aircraft. His chain-of-command should have demanded
to know of his whereabouts, intentions and required that he wait
for the SHAEF shuttle. Miller boarded the UC-64A aircraft at Twinwood
Farm and the aircraft departed. It was the single aircraft charted
(radar) the afternoon of 15 Dec 44 by ATC on a southerly course.
The aircraft disappeared over the Channel. Thus, a horrible, preventable
and fatal accident occurred 15 Dec 44.
Glenn Miller was the director of the American Band of the AEF
(United States Army Air Forces). His in-theatre chain-of-command
was SHAEF Broadcasting (AEFP), which involved AFRS-AFN (Los Angeles)
and the BBC (London). He was detached to SHAEF temporarily from
the AAF. Miller was not a secret agent, emissary to the German
military or OSS operative.
We do not recommend "The Glenn Miller Conspiracy."