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24 September 2014

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    People's War
    The Glenn Miller mystery
    Glenn Miller
    Glenn Miller

    In December 1944, band leader Glenn Miller boarded his plane from Twinwood Airfield in Bedfordshire never to be seen again. The rumours surrounding his death and his legend live on.

    audio Listen to Nigel Hill from Twinwood

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    Twinwood Events - details of the Glenn Miller Festival

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    The WW2 People's War Website aims to capture and preserve for future generations the personal and family stories of the people who lived and fought in World War Two. This is an opportunity to leave a legacy so that the sacrifices of the war can be better understood.

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    In December 1944, a small plane bound for Paris took off from Twinwood Airfield in Bedfordshire.

    On board was the famous war time band leader Glenn Miller - but somewhere over the English Channel the aircraft vanished.

    Glenn Miller joined the US Army Air Force as a captain in 1942 and was based at Milton Ernest Hall just a couple of miles from Twinwood Airfield.

    Twinwood Control Tower
    The control tower at Twinwood Airfield is now home to the Glenn Miller Museum

    He put together a dance band to entertain the troops and they played songs which are now classics such as the Chattanooga Choo Choo, In the Mood, and Pennsylvania 6-5000.

    His band played at the Bedford Corn Exchange, and recorded music with famous performers like Bing Crosby and Bob Hope at the Co Partners Hall.

    And at the airfield itself Miller performed a concert for the aircrews using two trailers as a stage next to the Control Tower.

    There have been many rumours surrounding his death. Did his plane crash in the fog? Was it accidently damaged by an allied bomber jettisoning its bombs? And there's even a rumour that he made it to France and died in a Paris Brothel.

    But whatever the truth, Glenn Miller has gone down in history as a hero, and is mourned by music lovers all over the world.

    The Glenn Miller festival
    The Glenn Miller Festival at Twinwood

    The Control tower at Twinwood Airfield, where he was last seen alive, has only recently been restored and is now the home of the Glenn Miller Museum. It has come to be regarded as a shrine by his fans.

    His legend lives on, and in 1953 the Glenn Miller Story, starring Jimmy Stuart was filmed as a tribute to the band leader.

    Miller was born in 1904 at Clarinda in Iowa and every year a series of events are held at Twinwood Airfield to celebrate his life.

    The Glenn Miller Festival is held over the August Bank Holiday weekend, and is a must for all swing, jazz and jive fans.

    Then in December there's a celebration of the life and music of Glenn Miller on a day which includes a memorial service with Christmas carols, big band orchestra and full military guard of honour. All the museums at Twinwood are open for it, including the Glenn Miller Museum in the Control Tower.

    See the Twinwood Events Web site for full details.

    You can find more stories like this and add your own on the People's War Website.

    your comments

    howard roth, lockport ny Tuesday, 01-Jun-2004 21:26:29 BST
    ron brown,RAF crewman on aborted misson webmaster Phil Smith, Howard Roth b17 pilot worked together to dis proove The History Channel & PBS presentation of RAF navigators claim of jettison bombs dropped on millers plane. I think you agree its impossible to know what happened to him . I do hope they dont run the videos again and all get back to honor Glenn Miller for his great music. Thank You Howard Roth

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