The Glenn Miller Trust

"The Glenn Miller Conspiracy"

by Hunton Downs (Lt Col., USA, ret), © 2009, Global Book Publishers, Beverly Hills, CA.

The following is a statement from the University of Colorado-Glenn Miller Archives, following the release of the book 'The Glenn Miller Conspiracy.

It is submitted by Alan Cass and Denis Spragg. It has been reviewed by Ed Polic and Steve Miller.

Due to 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 your convenience.

Your comments are welcome.


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, RichardLeive, etc."

We completely disagree with these statements.

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 of Honor.

Miller was not awarded the Bronze Star for combat.

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 file.


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 separate entities.

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 as "cover."

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 44.

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 bodyguard.

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 members.

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 London.

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 SHAEF shuttle.

* 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 aboard.

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 complete fabrication.

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 to admit.

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 involved.

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 as
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 transport.

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 Rhodesia?

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 (ATC).

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 Ripton.

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 and hypothermia).

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 write-off.

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."

Dr. C. F. Alan Cass and Dennis M. Spragg
May 2009



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