An Airman's Story: Major Glenn Miller

Born on March 1, 1904,  in Clarinda, Iowa, Glenn Miller and his family relocated to Grant City, Missouri, while he was young.  

It was here that Major Glen Miller picked up his first trombone, which he had earned money for by milking cows.  

His family moved again to Fort Morgan, Colorado, where Major Glen Miller attended high school and played for the football team, winning the 1920 Northern Colorado American Football Conference.

In high school, Major Glen Miller also discovered his love for dance band music and, by high school graduation, had decided to make his living as a professional musician.

Major Glenn Miller played freelance in his early career, working with dance bands and clubs, with occasional appearances in Broadway orchestra pits. The formation of the Glenn Miller Band and its unique saxophone arrangements caused his career to take off and earned him a record contract at Blue Bird Records, regular performances, and two motion pictures.  

Although past the age of draft requirement and too old for combat training, Major Glenn Miller enlisted in the Army Air Services (later renamed the Air Force) in 1942 in response to World War II. He was assigned to Special Services and traveled for troop entertainment and morale.  

On December 14, 1944, while flying from Clapham, UK, to Paris, France, his plane, a US-64, disappeared over the English Channel. Major Glenn Miller has never been recovered.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

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