Glenn Millers last airfield concert.

Discussion in 'Stories' started by hedge hopper, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. hedge hopper

    hedge hopper Member

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    #1 hedge hopper, Dec 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
    On tuesday October 3rd 1944 the Glenn Miller band played their final airfield concert. This being within the Hangar at the 20th Air Force's fighter base of KingsCliffe, Northants.
    The Hangar has long-since gone, but the base still remains. During 1998 someone told me that a memorial to commemorate this event exists on this old base. On saturday 3rd October, that year, armed with a cassette player, Glenn Miller tape and my old camera my girlfriend and I drove to this old airfield.
    We had to walk about half a mile along a bridleway to reach this base, we soon saw this dedicated memorial to Glenn and the band. Placing the cassette player by the foot of this stone cairn I switched it on, we were soon dancing along to this wonderful music, a shame that no-one else had arrived for this 54th anniversary, but great to have the place to ourselves.
    After a while we started scratching-around among the dirt-piles around the base's edge, within minutes Sandra pulled a large gasket-looking thing from some loose earth ''What's this thing'' she asked excitedly. Cleaning it off as best that I could, I very quickly discovered just what it was....
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  2. hedge hopper

    hedge hopper Member

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    This is the panel Sandra found at KingsCliffe airfield. It came from a P-51B Mustang that crashed on take-off due to a coolant leak. This was February 1945, the Pilot was slightly injured and returned to the USA.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great stuff. And what a find!
     
  4. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    :thumbleft: Excellent find!!!!:thumbright: :cool:
     
  5. hedge hopper

    hedge hopper Member

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    Cheers chaps, As I was a member of the 20th FG Association in the U.S. I wrote to the Editor Mr Jack ILfrey (A former Pilot and Commander) telling him of our find, and the memorial. He wrote back later with the information concerning the aircraft and Pilot. All this was gleaned from the Radio Code number seen on the broken tag above. 37000. Sadly Jack has now got 'folded' wings, but I still receive some newsletters about the 20th FG.
     
  6. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Great find, and you should have set up a video cam for the dance! Maybe next year?
     
  7. hedge hopper

    hedge hopper Member

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    Cheers meatloaf, Yes it would have been great to have a recording of our few dances that day, but a video cam over here in those days? it would be (for me) a great task even now. I still struggle with my old film camera !!
    A few years after photographing this memorial it was reported within the local newspaper that it had been destroyed by vandals. I saw this article showing the damage done, I was really angry,vowing to get-even with those responsible for this mindless act of treachery. Turned-out to have been done by accident by a farm-worker on a tractor. It has long-since been repaired, and is proudly back on display. Unfortunately the initial mistake of ;USAF; Instead of USAAF; was not rectified. I hope to make a re-visit very soon....
     
  8. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    i think i would go back there armed with a metal detector and glenn miller on my iPod.....then again i think if i lived over there that wold be my weekend recreation...metal detecting old airbases..with owners permission of course.
     
  9. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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  10. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    I read some where that his last words, as he boarded the plane, were "Where's the ****ing parachutes?".
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I posted the details of his loss some time ago, here on the forum. For those who missed it, here it is in PDF format.
     

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  12. hedge hopper

    hedge hopper Member

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  13. hedge hopper

    hedge hopper Member

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    This is Milton Ernest Hall. Glenn Miller's room from the outside and inside. Photograph's taken November 2012.
     
  14. hedge hopper

    hedge hopper Member

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    A few from inside this Nursing Home. Some of the room's are named after the tunes of the day, and played by the Glenn Miller Band.
     
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