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The Glenn Miller Trust

 

Glenn's Last Stop


Twinwood Farm
Control Tower
as it was in 1999.


The derelict control tower at Twinwood Airfield, Bedford England. Glenns last stop off before boarding the Plane to France on Decenber 15th 1944.


 

Part 2 to follow shortly.

Click here for pt 2...............

Glenn Miller had to make final arrangements in Paris before the band was due to arrive. It was Don Haynes flight originally but Glenn had the orders changed for him to go instead. While in a Officers mess at Milton Ernest near Northampton, a Lieutenant Colonel Norman Baessell told Glenn that he was flying to Paris the next day (15th Dec.44) from an RAF airfield at Twinwood Farm, 3 miles north of Bedford and he was welcome to join him on the flight. Don Haynes, Glenn and Baessell had dinner that night and then played poker with a couple of other Officers. Next morning the 15th December Bedford was heavily fogged in and Don Haynes phoned colonel Baessell to find out if the flight was on. Baessell told him that the fog was forecast to lift about midday and they would take off after lunch.

Baessell checked at the control tower as to Morgan's progress and then reported back to Glenn who was waiting outside in the car with Don Haynes. He told Glenn that the aircraft would soon arrive so all three men then went into the control tower to look out for the aircraft. The temperature was 24*F. Glenn made the comment that Morgan would not find the field as " even the birds were grounded". Then suddenly as they looked into the fog they heard the sound of an approaching aircraft. The aircraft was heard to fly over the airstrip turn and then appear through the cloud.

Morgan then circled the airstrip once more and then landed. Glenn Haynes and Colonel Baessell then left the control tower and drove to the waiting aircraft. The door opened and Flight Officer Morgan apologised for being late. As Glenn boarded the aircraft he was heard to say "Where the Hell are the parachutes", to which Colonel Baessell replied "What's a matter with you Miller, do you want to live for ever". With the door close the engines Revd and rolled down the runway gathering speed, it was soon airborne and vanished into the low cloud. Haynes watched them disappear and drove away.

What happened to Glenn shortly after that moment has been the subject of speculation for the last 55 years. There have been many theories some totally wild and outrageous that makes his loyal fans angry at the very utter of such statements, others sound more reasonable, that this event was just an unfortunate accident. It may have been a wrong judgement in taking the trip on such a day. But the most likely and more acceptable is the one where a series of miscalculation over timings in the reports that followed Glenn's disappearance which leads us to the likely cause of this unfortunate event.

The possible likely hood that his take off time (actual) put the aircraft in the flight path of a squadron of Lancaster bombers making a return flight back to the UK after an aborted bombing raid to Germany. The squadron could not land with a bomb load, so they were required to jettison their bombs consisting of incendiaries as well as 4000lb (Blockbuster) bombs. Most of the Lancaster carried 8000lbs of 4lb incendiaries bombs in 500lb container, a combined total carried by this returning squadron of 100,000 incendiaries.

The bomb jettison area of the channel that was officially a danger area to be avoided by all aircraft, was known as the South Jettison Area. It has been calculated that with the official timing s of the aircraft not being realised after this event, due to British Standard Time time coming into the equation (which was I hr ahead of GMT ) and the possibility that if Glenn's aircraft was just 10 mile off course as it crossed the channel then the likelihood it was the aircraft that was seen by the RAF crewman of pilot Victor Gregory's Lancaster, who saw a high winged aircraft flip over and dive into the sea below them just as the Lancaster's were jettisoning their bombs.

The possibility of a small incendiary bomb or in fact several could have easily passed through the Norsman aircraft causing severe damage or even killing one or more of the occupants.

An unfortunate and terrible coincidence of events that deprive the world of one of the best loved band leaders the world has known. What it didn't do however was to deprive us of the music of this man, which has lived on in our lives now for over 60years. Today being played all-round the world by many bands who recreate his music to the thrill of millions who still want to hear the music of GLENN MILLER.

Some of the many fictitious Glenn Miller stories published over the years speculating on how he died.

If you want believe them ...

 

 

Twinwood Revisited

 

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