14. Glenn Miller vanished somewhere over England, the British Channel, or France
Between 1939 and 1943, the best-selling recording artist in the United States was Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, whose hits included In the Mood, Little Brown Jug, Moonlight Serenade, and Chattanooga Choo Choo, to name just a few. Miller and his orchestra logged 23 number one hits during the four year period, more than the Beatles did during their career (20). His popularity did not extend to many music critics, which Miller ignored, creating music for his listeners who loved the swing sound of his band, rather than so-called jazz purists. During the Second World War Miller’s band toured to entertain troops, with Miller officially joining the Army in 1942, transferring to the Army Air Force later in the year. Miller recorded many songs (at Abbey Road Studios, later used by The Beatles) in German to be broadcast as part of America’s propaganda effort.
In December 1944, Miller began making plans to relocate his band from England to Paris, to be nearer the front and able to entertain troops as they rotated on rest and recreation shifts from combat duty. His flight took off from RAF Twinwood Farm, a single engine aircraft called a Norseman. Miller never arrived in Paris. It was assumed that the aircraft went down in the Channel, though the cause of the accident has never been proved, since the airplane was never found. By the end of the twentieth century the leading cause of the loss of the plane was believed to be icing, either of the wings or the carburetor, but other causes have been suggested, including shot down by the Luftwaffe, shot down by friendly fire, and pilot error. No trace of Major Glenn Miller or the aircraft was ever found.