Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

RAF didn’t accidentally kill Glenn Miller


Glenn Miller was a hugely popular entertainer and would perform for the troops to raise morale. On 15 December 1944, he boarded an Eighth Air Force Service Command aircraft at the RAF Twinwood aerodrome in Bedfordshire.  

The destination was Vélizy-Villacoublay in France before heading to Paris to organise a Christmas concert for the troops. The aeroplane never arrived and the official investigation determined that the likely causes were pilot disorientation, mechanical failure and/or the weather. However, in 2001 a TV documentary challenged the official line by reporting that a flight of 139 Lancaster bombers were returning from an abortive mission to Germany and dumped their ordnance over the Channel. One of the navigators is claimed to have said that he saw a "kite", or small aircraft, crash into the sea below as the bombs were dumped.

Spragg’s new book refutes that, claiming: ‘The lowest altitude any Lancaster reported for a jettison was 5,000ft. The recommended jettison altitude was 6,000ft. One mile is 5,280ft. A Norseman flying almost one mile below would have looked like an indistinct flyspeck. Also, it was the obligation of airmen to report friendly aircraft in distress over Allied territory.’

None of the Lancaster pilots and crews filed a report of an incident when they landed. Spragg asserts that the plane was flown by an experienced pilot and it was in working order but crashed due to mechanical failure caused by pilot error and the weather. In other words, what the original report said all along. The details are all in the book titled, Glenn Miller Declassified, available from Potomac Books from 1 September.


Catch up on militaria news, order a back issue of The Armourer, or pick up the latest issue, in either print or digital format. Like what you see? Why not take out a subscription, save money and have it delivered to your door.

Back to News & Articles

30/08/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Victorian VC up for auction

The VC, and other medals, of a heart throb of Victorian times is expected to fetch up to £250,000 when they ...

100 YEARS OF THE RAF 1918-2018

A 132-page an exclusive collector’s magazine celebrating the people, planes and places that made the RAF what ...

Last Dambuster gets MBE

Following a vociferous public campaign, back by figures such as Carol Vordeman, the last surviving British ...

Napoleon’s death mask at auction

A historic, early plaster, death mask, bearing an inscription by Sir Hudson Lowe, who was governor of Saint ...

Other Articles

Rescued British sporting antiques

Lockyer rescues antique shotgun and turns it into work of art. ...

November competition winners

Here's the results of the November competition in The Armourer. Were you a winner? ...

Imperial War Museums announces 2018 programme

The IWM has unveiled a major season of programming at IWM London and IWM North to mark the end of the World ...

Flaw exposed in Saleroom auctions

Online bidders at the-saleroom.com are losing out using the Maximum Bid system. ...