Over the months in 2003, correspondence with Howard Roth has included many discussions on the claims that the Glenn Miller flight was lost by being hit by a returning RAF squadron jettisoning its bomb load.
Although the intention was to extract the relevant points to update Howard's original summary (see The Glenn Miller Mystery) it became clear the most accurate representation would be to publish the correspondence between the various parties that Howard has sent to me. Apart from a keen eye for the details concerning the flight, these letters are in themselves a fascinating insight into their memories, experiences and records.


For a 2014 update on the discussion see Robert. J. Ferriter's article, including Archive Mission Reports.

4 18 03
CV (Dr Chris Valenti)

reply :
Hi Doc.Something added, Roger Murphy who was my buddies {Schrack} navigator had a cup of coffee with Glenn Miller the sunday before his disappearance. Roger was a State Senator in Wisconsin and later a long time Circuit Judge. If you email your address I'll send you a copy of his letter. He was on the extreme right of the group.We are all around 80 and time is limited, its necessary to get out all the accurate info as possible. Any more questioms give me a buzz. Regards Howard

-----Original message-----
>Subject: G.M. Missing A/C:
>To: hroth
>From: kliertheflier
>Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 22:32:23 -0500
>Howard, here is the information you requested. >
>Missing Airplane: Norseman Model and series, UC-64A
. >AAF Serial Number, 44-70285. Engine type: Radial 1340 P&W.
>Crew: 1, Passengers 2, total 3 missing.
>Pilot: FLIGHT OFFICER Morgan, John, R.S. Ser. No. T-190776
>Passenger: Baessell, Norman, F. Lt. Col. Ser. No. 0-905387
>Passenger: Miller, Alton, G. Major. Ser. No. 0-505273
>Aircraft departed Abbotts Ripton, Twinwood Field, England at >1355 hours, 15 December 1944. Destination: Bordeaux, France >Via A-42 >
>Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G. >
>-----End of original message from kliertheflier@----

4 25 03
Dear Mr. Roth:
A42 was the 9th AAF designation for Villacoublay, (Millers destination) (See: Support and Strike! A Concise History of the U.S. Ninth Air Force in Europe, John F. Hamlin, GMS Enterprises, Peterborough, England, 1991, p. 111)would seem to have been part of the original flight plan. While there is a degree of assumption involved, it is a very good guess that the plan was to fly from Abbots Ripton, to Bordeaux by way of Villacoublay. As the Norseman has a 1,150 mile range the reason for the stop at A-42 must remain speculative.
Sincerely, Michael T. Fletcher

4 29 03
Hello Howard:
I received the packet of data you sent, all arrived in good shape. Thank you for sending it. I have some questions--Ron Brown wrote two letters to newspapers, Daily Express Letters and Daily Mail Letters. They do not have dates when they were written, do you have any idea when that was? Next question: I have page number 2 of an e-mail that was dated Aug. 21, 2002. The top of the page reads as follows--the pond by airborne "snail-mail and after we have both absorbed all the facts, etc. Do you have a copy of the missing first page? It was sent to you by Ron Brown. If you do not have the following information I will send it to you. A list of Glenn Miller's military band members, shows each name and the instrument they played along with their army serial number. After each printed band member name is a signature of each member including Glenn Miller, also their MOS numbers. The band traveled around England with three buses, the list also shows which bus they were assigned to. I also have a copy of the letter Miller wrote to B/Gen. Charles D. Young talking about "streamlining the present day military music. Also mentions his many USO broadcasts. Miller told the General that his band weekly gross income ranges from $15,000 to 20,000. He stated that he would like to go into the army and be placed in charge of a modernized army band. He also said he was 38 years old and in excellent physical condition, and was registered for the draft. He also said he has been married for the past twelve years. The letter was dated August 12, 1943. One other item is the itinerary for his band dated from July 14, 1944 at Thurleigh England to October 3, 1944 at Kings Cliff. I enjoyed reading your data. Did you hear of Ltd/Cold. Don Davis from the 100th B.G.? Dale Titler asked me about him in February of 1981. Dale also reminded me that I had sent him some data about Miller way back in 1975.
Tallyho, Chester
Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G.

5 3 03
Hi Ron, Pete And Phil
I received the military reports and correspondence concerning Millers requesting military service Its very interesting . You also see a list of band members. Most interesting is the 2 reports of his missing. In the 1st report the importance of Glenn Miller as his name was referred to. In the last page on line13 it states "If personnel are believed to have survived, say yes to the following statements: no. parachutes were used___;
(b) Persons were seen walking away from scene of crash_____;or
(c)Any other reason
14 At??? Aerial photograph,map,chart,or search, showing approximate location where aircraft was last seen or heard from. Witch eyewitness description of crash, forced landing, or other cicumstance pertaining to missing aircraft
15 Give name rank and serial number of officer in charge of search, if any,_________description and extent___________men?
Just think if the crew (IF) they seen what they claim there would have been no auctions or mystery. Its unbelievable that a historian would say that it was unecessary to report it as it was over and done with. The knew then in fact every did that Glenn Miller was missing At the time it was the main topic at the local pubs where Brits Canadians and Yankies hung out.

4 19 03
I'm in touch with a RCAF pilot who flew Halifax bombers. He is emphatic that drop area was in the north sea and used it. Remember Nesbit put the area in the channel. Ken Blyth authored a book on his experiences.

25 6 03
Ron Brown wanted to ask the RAF armament officer another question and ended up talking to his widow. The WW2 vets are leaving at a rapid pace.One of the most important information left out was Shaws mission map reproduced out of focus. This was part of package sent to William Suits "buyer of log". He had Miller flying a straight line from Twinwood to Paris and over London a no fly zone. From the "aborted here" mark on map he had the group do a 180 degree turn and head to the English Channel and jettison in proximity of the Shaef route of VIPs to war zone. This route was 1/3rd longer than returning by scheduled return route over the North Sea. Ken Blyth a RCAF Halifax pilot stated he heard of no jettison areas in the channel. There was one in the North Sea and which he used. I was in touch with other RAF vets and to a man , the disappearance was due to the usual risks weather. pilot or equipment..
The untouched mission map is on its way just in case .Remember there's no copyright rules involved. Every mission detail is declassified and public record. I almost forgot, its really comical, historian Roy Nesbit has Miller flying the Shaef Shuttlle and Fred Shaw has him flying a straight line route to Paris while in reality absolutely no one knows what route he took. How would you like to proove either one in court.

26 6 03 Phil
Enclosed is a copy of untouched Fred Shaws map. Motice the start of the bombing mission with arrows pointing NE. Along the route you will see 5 heading changes to Siegen. Leaving Siegen you will see two heading changes crossing the North sea. Ken Blyth said he never heard of any jettison areas in the Channel. Look where it says aborted here, he goes almost due west to "x" drop area which wasn't near Millers supposed route. From 'aborted' it would be a short distance to return on schedule mission return route over the North Sea and possibly the only jettison area.
see a detail of SHAWS MAP (207kb)

6 25 03
letter to Howard from Pete King
Hi Howard,
I've been delayed in me getting out the May magazine but over the past two weeks I have been posting them out. I'm not sure when yours went but it is certainly on its way.
I must say though that I cannot go along with all these tales about Glenn Miller's death, as there are some many of them all coming from genuine people, or sincere people, who honestly believe that they are right. Most of them must be wrong as surely their is only one true event. I have no way of knowing but I just go with my feelings or perhaps its just that I want to believe that Glenn was an all up straight guy, and wouldn't be led a stray and end up in some prostitute house or the like.
I was sent that Big Band programme and in fact listened to it only yesterday, the Chris Velenti one. Most events in this programme we have all read or heard about, and he certainly dramatise the whole programme. The last part with the unidentified doctor was a new angle which is so far as I'm concerned just only story.
Just to make the point I am to receive a death certificate of a Glenn Miller who died in Ohio in 1946. But the next of kin are not Glenn's parents or family.
So yes a Glenn miller died but was it our Glenn Miller or someone else. Has the death certificate been tampered with? It is totally frustration as every story that arrives something or someone can give and entirely believably different story.
I can't believe that if Glenn Miller was acting as a spy for the Allies and having been acknowledge as a hero in the way he joined the army and took his band to the fighting men, and whilst doing that he further risked his life in espionage for his country, that ten years after that or twenty year or even fifty years, the American government would want to capitalize on it by announcing to the world that, "Glenn Miller was an outstanding hero to his country, and that he if he was killed by a double agent, that he would have receive just about every medal of honour the US and British government could posthumously award him.
I hope I give a balanced view in the magazine but I was unable to put more in this issue as their was so much more to include. I will run more next month but don't want this magazine to be two much on Glenn Miller.
Funny enough if when my group of people who started the Twinwood Project up to restore the control tower I was working on exactly that A Glenn Miller Magazine which was for the members of the Twinwood project. When Mr Wooding decided to take on the project himself as a commercial venture that put pay to that magazine.
You will see when the magazine arrives that it has grown to 56 pages, a bit much really as the cost to produce that plus the addition postage makes it two expensive especially as our membership fee are quite low. In future I will try and keep it to about 40 pages.
Take care and my best wishes
Pete King

6 30 03
Roger Murphy extreme right in photo was Shracks' [extreme left] Navigator. Murphy sent me a letter verifying his place on photo .He also relishes the fact he had coffee with the great band leader at the Officers club in Bedford. It was a couple of days before his fatal flight. Murphy was a Circuit Judge in Wisconsin. If you want a copy of his letter ill send.
In reference to Ken Blyth, he was a RCAF Halifax bomber pilot and author.of his combat tour in WW2.He never heard of a jettison area in the busy high volume traffic in the channel,but there was one in the North Sea and which he used.

2 7 03
We should make known of Shaws unfocused map part of the $35000.00 package of Wm Suits USA winning bid at Sotheby's auction. It showed a straight line route from Twinwood to Paris and stating so . This in contrast to Nesbit SHAEF shuttle, evidently they had an movable drop area. We should state that flying over London was a no fly zone.
Also Shaws log was in 2 different hand writings. Skipper Gregory cleared that up by quote "thats my handwriting I often filled in log books if the lazy buggers hadnt done it". According to the Dictionary a Log is he full record of the flight of an aircraft. So it wasnt truly Shaws log.

Thu, 11 Sep 2003 09:58:01 EDT
Hi Phil and Pete,
This should just about wind things up. I went through the archives of the local newspaper in 1944. I was looking for Flight Officers that graduated with serial numbers close to John Morgan's. By matching serial number and date of graduating, its possible to determine he graduated in July or August 1944. That fact would make him woefully under trained for instrument flying and navigating in England's winter weather. As you know Col.Norman Baessells pilot was fogged in, in Belgium.
I was looking over my earlier inquiries to Wm Suits [buyer of log] and why Shaw did not report what he saw right away. He replied "that he didn't want to get involved in a long drawn out hearing". I don't know whether the remark was Suits or Shaw's. This was at a time you could lose 9 out of 36 planes and get debriefed in 30 minutes! There's so many contradictions by Shaw. In The Guardian, Roy Nesbit Brit air historian stated he located the drop area, even though it wasn't marked on maps, to be a 10 mile circle within a couple of miles from the SHAEF shuttle route. A route Eisenhower or Churchill could use! It seems the only thing not used in these reports is common sense.
The only point Ron and myself wanted to make is that no one will ever know what happened to the Glenn Miller flight. It's regrettable that the tragic loss ended up travelling down the National Enquirer route. Well that's it, I hope we made our point.

back to top