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Miller, Alton Glenn

People > Miller, Alton Glenn

Glenn Miller was an American trombonist and bandleader. He led number of popular dance orchestras until he joined the US Army Air Force in 1942. He became leader of the US Army Air Force Band in Europe and made regular radio broadcasts to entertain the troops.  He also became hugely popular with many Britons.

Miller came to Bedford with his band as it had become too dangerous to stay in war-time London. The BBC had a number of studios in Bedford including the Corn Exchange and the Co-Partners Hall (now part of the Charles Wells Brewery). Miller not only broadcast from Bedford but also gave public performances.

In December 1944 the band were due to fly to Paris to play a series of concerts for the troops. Miller decided to fly ahead of the band and on Friday 15th December he flew from Twinwoods Farm Airfield, near Clapham, Bedfordshire. Neither Miller, his pilot or fellow passenger Col. Baessell were ever seen again. No trace of the aeroplane was found.

On the 20th December, the 8th Air Force HQ at Milton Ernest issued an official notification that Major Alton Glenn Miller and his two companions were "Missing in flight, presumed to be lost".

Further Reading:


Glenn Miller by Bedfordshire Libraries, 2004

Page last updated: 3rd February 2014