Alton Glenn Miller (1904 – 1944) was a big band star in the American swing era whose recordings were best-sellers from 1939 to 1943. Traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France in December 1944, his single-engine UC-64 Norseman disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.

Of several theories proposed for the crash, it seems unlikely that Glenn Miller’s aircraft was hit by a bomb jettisoned from an Allied bomber or shot down by the Luftwaffe.  More probably, the airplane crashed because of a faulty carburetor that was known to malfunction in cold weather.

In February 1945,  with the nation mourning his loss, his wife Helen Miller accepted his Bronze Star medal for heroic and meritorious service in a combat zone.

Listen: Glenn Miller Big Band Favorites