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At the end of the 1930s, just as the Second World War was breaking out in Europe, Glen Miller’s band introduced America to the new, unique style of brass-band music they had been working on for a number of years. It was a smooth, upbeat sound that struck an instant chord both with the middle-aged and an optimistic youth learning how to jive and swing.
Radio stations across America played Glenn Miller records all the time and Hollywood was quick to sign up the new star and his band. Two films were released: Orchestra Wives in 1941 and Sun Valley Serenade in 1942. The Glen Miller Orchestra were the Beatles of their generation (or, for the younger reader, Oasis; and if you’re thinking of One Direction, then you should be in bed by now).
By early 1942, America had entered the fray, joining the Allied Forces in their efforts to repulse the Nazis. Miller enlisted later that year, on 7 October. On completion of his basic training, he transferred to the Army Air Corps: his first military assignment was to gather another orchestra, the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band, with a brief to entertain Allied troops in Britain.
But Miller never arrived and was never seen again. This is what happened to him.