Hardcover; Digital Book
ISBN #: 9781612348957
September 1, 2017
On December 15, 1944, Maj. Alton Glenn Miller, commanding officer of the Army Air Force Band (Special) boarded a plane in England bound for France with Lt. Col. Norman Francis Baessell. Somewhere over the English Channel the plane vanished. No trace of the aircraft or its occupants has ever been found. To this day Miller, Baessell, and the pilot, John Robert Stuart Morgan, are classified as missing in action.
Weaving together cultural and military history, Glenn Miller Declassified tells the story of the musical legend Miller and his military career as commanding officer of the Army Air Force Band during World War II/ After a brief assignment to the Army Specialist Corps, Miller was assigned to the Army Air Forces Training Command and soon thereafter to Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, in the UK. Later that year Miller and his band were to be transferred to Paris to expand the Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme, but Miller never made it.
Miller's disappearance resulted in numerous conspiracy theories, especially since much of the information surround his military service had been classified, restricted, or, in some cases, lost. Dennis M. Spragg has gained unprecedented access to the Miller family archives as well as military and government documents to lay such theories to rest and to demonstrate the lasting legacy and importance of Miller's life, career, and service to his country.
When I first saw this book, I was somewhat excited to read the story of Glenn Miller. As a great fan of Big Bands, and Glenn's own 'swing' music, it was a chance to read more about the mystery surrounding his death.
When he was lost over the English Channel, no trace was ever found of the plane carrying him or the three occupants. I believed by the title - Glenn Miller Declassified - I would learn something new. Alas, such was not the case.
The book, while quite a nice size, is full of technical information only interesting to those who actually care about technical information. I, for one, couldn't care less about 'white form number 5' or anything similar. There was far too much of this and far too little of any information that is already known.
There is no mystery to be explained. It is, indeed, hard to explain everything included, but we are given quite a bit of information on his associates and their routines and very little on Mr. Miller himself and his life at home, and not a lot about the band, aside from their military duties.
While quite a lot of research has been done, I feel that this is a book more aimed toward those interested in the military of World War II. As for those who might be interested in Glenn Miller, unfortunately there isn't anything new to discover.