The Glenn Miller Trust

 

Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 12:12 PM
To: CU_Glenn_Miller_Archive@yahoogroups.com
Subject: (CU Glenn Miller Archive) 15 December 1944 Discovery

For Immediate Release
22 November 2011

From the University of Colorado Boulder American Music Research Center Glenn Miller Archive:

We are pleased to announce the verification of an important discovery that correlates to the events of 15 December 1944 and the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Major A. Glenn Miller aboard United StatesArmy Air Forces (AAF) UC-64A-type aircraft 44-70285.

The late Richard Anderton was employed at the Miles Aircraft Establishment
at Woodley Airfield, England. Mr. Anderton kept detailed daily observations
of the movements of aircraft in the skies around the airfield and in all
directions. The observations were arranged in a consistent and precise
manner that noted the location of passing aircraft, estimated altitude and
direction of flight. On 15 December 1944, weather conditions were overcast
which restricted the number of aircraft that Mr. Anderton could log.
However, during his 12:00-15:00 BST observation segment, he logged a
UC-64A-type aircraft passing to his east, at the horizon and flying below
the overcast in a southeasterly direction.

Mr. Anderton's family has preserved his observation notebooks. They learned
about the forthcoming publication of a comprehensive report regarding the
events of 15 December 1944 and contacted Dennis M. Spragg of the GMA who is
the author of the study. Mr. Spragg carefully reviewed the notebooks,
confirmed their authenticity and compared the information to the known facts
about the flight path of UC-64A 44-70285.

Mr. Spragg is pleased to confirm that Mr. Anderton's 15 December 1944
observation is consistent with the flight path of UC-64A 44-70285, aboard
which as a passenger was Major A. Glenn Miller, Director of the American
Band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces ("ABAEF"), Allied Expeditionary
Forces Programme (Radio) ("AEFP") of Supreme Headquarters, Allied
Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF). Major Miller, the famous bandleader, was
enroute RAF (Royal Air Force Station) Twinwood Field, Bedfordshire, England
to AAF (U. S. Army Air Force Station) Villacoublay, Versailles, France.

UC-64A 44-70285 and its pilot were assigned to the 35th Depot Repair
Squadron, Second Strategic Air Depot, VIII AAF Service Command, AAF
Abbots-Ripton (Alconbury), Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England. The air
depot was located adjacent to the Alconbury airbase and aircraft transiting
the air depot operated from the Alconbury airbase.

UC-64A 44-70285 departed AAF Alconbury at 13:17 BST 15 December 1944 and
landed at RAF Twinwood Field at 13:45 BST to take on passengers. UC-64A
44-70285 departed RAF Twinwood Field at 13:53 BST. The pilot was required to
operate the aircraft along a standard air transport route via the navigation
waypoints AAF Bovingdon (England), Maidenhead (England), Beachy Head
(England), overwater to Fecamp (France) and thence AAF Villacoublay. The
Royal Observation Corps observation station at Beachy Head logged a
UC-64A-type aircraft with United States insignia passing overhead along the
standard route and traveling underneath overcast cloud cover during the
14:32-14:47 BST observation log. The Beachy Head observation is detailed
along with the RAF Twinwood Field departure in the U. S. Eighth Air Force
enquiry into the circumstances of the UC-64A 44-70285 flight (January 1945).
Based upon the forward cruising airspeed of the UC-64A-type aircraft and
reported surface wind observations, the UC-64A-type aircraft was observed
passing overhead Beachy Head at approximately 14:37 BST.

Woodley Airfield (Miles Aircraft Establishment) was located within eight
miles of the Maidenhead navigation waypoint. Maidenhead was a point at which
the pilot would make a turn from a compass heading of 210 degrees to 135
degrees. An observer at Woodley Airfield could see an aircraft traveling
along this route. The Anderton notebooks have similar such observations for
numerous aircraft over many months, so the 15 December 1944 observation is a
straightforward and consistent notation. Mr. Spragg estimates that UC-64A
44-70285 passed the Maidenhead navigation waypoint at approximately 14:10
BST.

Therefore, Mr. Anderton appears to have been the next-to-last known observer
of UC-64A 44-70285 and Major A. Glenn Miller, although from a distance. His
observation is another detail which confirms that pilot F/O (Flight Officer)
John R. S. Morgan was operating his aircraft on schedule and on course from
RAF Twinwood Field to the Beachy Head observation station at 14:37 BST
Friday, 15 December 1944. The aircraft did not arrive at AAF Villacoublay.
The aircraft should have passed overhead Fecamp between 15:03 and 15:07 BST
and should have arrived at AAF Villacoublay between 15:47 and 15:51 BST. F/O
Morgan, Major Miller and passenger Lt. Col. Norman Baessell, VIII AAF
Service Command, Milton Ernest, England were never seen again and aircraft
wreckage was never located.

The GMA and Mr. Spragg wish to thank the Anderton family for their courtesy
and confidence in turning over this new evidence to us for verification. We
are pleased to announce our positive finding and confirmation.

The forthcoming comprehensive manuscript "Major A. Glenn Miller, 15 December
1944, The Facts" is being completed and the publication date is pending.

(Note: the airfield and waypoint terminologies cited in this statement
reflect the United States Army Air Forces characterizations used as of 15
December 1944).