News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

February 12, 2013

RONN MOTT: Survivor

TERRE HAUTE — A few days ago watching television, one of the news channels had a crawl going at the bottom of the screen telling me the last survivor of the Glenn Miller Orchestra had died … following the pattern we are noticing fewer and fewer of the military that survived the war are being lost to age and such.  

Glenn Miller was the most popular of the big bands in the Big Band Era. I know some would want to argue the point with me but it’s of no use because I won’t debate the statement. Tommy Dorsey’s Band was called the General Motors of the Big Bands by Frank Sinatra. Dorsey’s band hit a serious bump when his brother, Jimmy, took his clarinet and saxophone and started his own band. Anyway, the Big Band Era has been gone for some time. What has not left us is the question of what really happened to Glenn Miller. Under his tombstone at Arlington National Cemetery, there is no casket. No casket means no deceased body, so what happened to Glenn Miller?

I wrote about this early last year and I know there are secrets that must be kept, or I at least suppose so. But the death and interment of America’s most popular band leader, you would think, is not top priority for a huge secret. Or, is it?

According to a retired lieutenant colonel who wrote a book on the subject, Glenn Miller took part in a super secret mission to get the old-line German generals to surrender to the Americans and British and leave the SS to defend Berlin and Hitler, then face the onslaught of a huge, red army.

The super secret is it would have betrayed our agreement with the Russians to accept only an unconditional surrender to all parties in the war. That is, the Russians, the Brits, the Americans, the French, etc. Well, the war has been over for about 60 years or more. The Soviet Union is no more, so what happened to Glenn Miller?

On one official Army record, Major Glenn Miller, USAF, was awarded a Bronze Star. Bronze and Silver Stars can only be awarded in a combat operation and for something you did in that operation of above average or outstanding bravery.

I would like to see the American Legion or the Veterans of Foreign Wars to look into this. He was, after all, one of you. He was overseas, did something to get the Bronze Star, and never came home.

What in blazes is the big secret?

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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