Reply to post

Hot!Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron

Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
Author
Michael Land
Group Member
  • Total Posts : 124
  • Reward points : 2986
  • Joined: 2007/03/20 13:03:09
  • Location: Clacton, Essex, UK
  • Status: offline
2008/10/06 15:27:02 (permalink)
0

Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron

The Glen Miller Norseman, specifically number 44-70285, according to records, was accepted by USAAF at the Noorduyn plant on June 28, 1944.  It was delivered to New York on July 5th departing the U.S.A. on july 17th and would not have arrived in England until after the invasion of Europe and therefore would not likely have had any "Invasion Stripes" put on it. Also, the olive drab or camouflage colour scheme was replaced in production earlier in March 1944 with overall aluminum.
There is not a picture of the Glen Miller Norseman, but pictures of others of the same period, would confirm that it probably was just overall aluminum with blue and white USAAF markings, black tail numbers, and black anti-glare paint over the nose.
Without an actual picture of the specific aircraft, or any other information, we do not know if the Glen Miller Norseman might have been painted again in the field, which is highly unlikely, or had any other markings.
 I found that others had mentioned that this particular Norseman was probably all "silver" like some others of the same vintage with just the basic USAAF markings.  They also mentioned the "dropping" by USAAF of the camouflage colour scheme.
Also,  the Norseman was assigned to U.S. Air Station 547 which was a base for the 35th Depot Repair Squadron and would not have been going into war zones and needed any invasion stripes. Source: Mr. Roy Dishlevoy
15th December 1944. While it seems most aircraft in the UK and Europe were fog bound, perhaps it was youthfullness and inexperience, or the chance to show superiors that he was an "okay" pilot, or the chance to fly Glenn MIller, or just plain orders to fly that day we'll never know.
The weather for the route looks to be gradually worse from Twinwood to Paris. The Norseman would have been almost heading into wind for the whole route, while visibility may have improved slightly over the Channel would have remained at 500yds - 2,000yds worsening considerably nearer Paris. Cloud was thickening and getting lower towards the Channel while France had a cloud base of 800ft . Source: H.M. Meteorological Office, Ref: AF/ML074/69/Met 0 7a
Pilot Filght Officer John Morgan flew into Twinwood, Bedfordshire, UK to collect Lt. Col. Norman F. Baessell and by invitation Maj. Alton Glenn Miller who both boarded the aircraft at the end of the runway after being driven from the officer's mess in a Humber Snipe along with Miller's band manager Lt. Don Haynes. The weather was foggy (visibility 500yds - 2,000yds) and a temperature of 24F of -4C, cloud base was at 2,000ft. Wind was 180 degrees at 12 knots. The plane was recorded as "wheels left ground" at 1:55pm (12:55 GMT - the USAAF used local time and this was still British Summer Time!) and headed to Villacoublay (near Paris). The route most likely to have been taken (SHAEF Route) would have been to the west of London then out over Beachy Head. The pilot who gained his wings around 16 weeks before, carrying aboard "The" Maj. Glenn Miller and a Lt. Col. (I feel) would not have dared deviate from the SHAEF Route. Personally I would have thought that he would not have had the confidence to fly off route............ but would he have had the experience to stay on route?
The bomb jettison map. This seemed a very likely argument but for a few of reasons. If they saw the Norseman I'm sure they would have seen the Bars and Star. The general visibility that day was dreadful. The map looks wrong, the jettison area is in a small area of a well used convoy/shipping route. The pencil lines look as if drawn in at different times, namely the return trip looks different to the outbound. The lines are thinner, and the arrowheads are different.
I would like to know more about Air Station 547 and the 35th Depot Repair Squadron (did their aircraft carry any squadron insignia?)

Attached Image(s)

24 Replies Related Threads

    Michael Land
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 124
    • Reward points : 2986
    • Joined: 2007/03/20 13:03:09
    • Location: Clacton, Essex, UK
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/06 15:31:56 (permalink)
    0
    The weather report.......... makes you wonder why they even took off.

    Attached Image(s)

    Alex Smart
    Division Member
    • Total Posts : 1864
    • Reward points : 6995
    • Joined: 2002/09/07 16:00:52
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/06 21:53:59 (permalink)
    0
    Hello Michael,

    There is a picture of UC64A serial no: 44-70382 in The Mighty Eighth War Manual by the late Roger A Freeman.

    It does as you suggest have the natural metal finnish with Stars and Bars only, There is anti dazzle on the uper engine cowl and forward of the cockpit canopy and serial number on tail section . No other markings .
    Text says that by the end of hostilities there were some 60 UC64A's serving with the 8th AF.
     
    In Freemans Mighty Eighth thereis a picture of UC64 43-5314 that is camoflaged and has full invasion stripes . Text says assigned to Stanstead AFSC in August 44.

    All the best
    Alex
    Michael Land
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 124
    • Reward points : 2986
    • Joined: 2007/03/20 13:03:09
    • Location: Clacton, Essex, UK
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/07 03:24:04 (permalink)
    0
    Thanks Alex, but it is the illusive tail number 44-70285 that Miller was aboard. Roy Dishlevoy's website does have a number of good photos and gif images of these Norseman (men?). Even though in photos these a/c look alike each one seems to have slight differences. Some have stubby exhausts while others have longer ones etc.
    As an aside does anyone know how Noorduyn is pronounced?
    Norden, Nordean, Nore-de-enne, Nordoin??
    bernies
    Division Member
    • Total Posts : 1383
    • Reward points : 4832
    • Joined: 2005/04/05 22:16:59
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/10 10:46:26 (permalink)
    0
    Also, the Norseman was assigned to U.S. Air Station 547 which was a base for the 35th Depot Repair Squadron

     
    Station 547 (Abbot's Ripton) was home to the 5th and 35th Air Depot Groups, along with their subordinate units (including the 35 DRS),  I am not a T/O&E expert, but might a support airplane like a UC-64 be assigned to the headquarters squadron of one of the groups?

    Bernie Shearon
    Push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. Pull the stick back, the houses get smaller (unless you keep pulling -- then they get bigger again)
    Alex Smart
    Division Member
    • Total Posts : 1864
    • Reward points : 6995
    • Joined: 2002/09/07 16:00:52
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/10 12:16:12 (permalink)
    0
    Hi,

    The reason I mentioned the two different aircraft was to try to  illustrate that one of them with a serial number near to the Glen Miller a/c was as you suspected in natural metal finish whi;e the seconmd one I mentioned was although an earlier version photographed late in 44 and was camouflaged and still wore Invasion stripes.

    As for the a/c  44-70285, this was I assume belonging to the same Squadron and Group of the pilot John R. S. Morgan who is recorded as being with the 35th RS, 35th ADG. see the ABMC lists.
    Also the MACR for this event States "35th ADG" and  "Squadron: Repair" ;"Detactment: 2d Strategic Air Depot"; "Place of Departur: Abbotts Ripton"; "Course: Bordeaux Via A-42" .

    Alex
    Michael Land
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 124
    • Reward points : 2986
    • Joined: 2007/03/20 13:03:09
    • Location: Clacton, Essex, UK
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/12 12:59:09 (permalink)
    0
    Good grief Alex!! Thats a lot of research! Many thanks. For me it now raises the question  about A-42 would they still have been heading for A-20 stn No. 180? Its just that I have read time and again that they were heading for Vicoublay.
    Thanks again Alex for your time in helping me.
    post edited by Michael Land - 2008/10/12 16:58:19
    Michael Land
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 124
    • Reward points : 2986
    • Joined: 2007/03/20 13:03:09
    • Location: Clacton, Essex, UK
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/12 13:16:57 (permalink)
    0
    Thanks Bernies. Having a "grey moment" - could you tell me what T/O & E is..... Transport & something?
    SHAEF1944
    Division Member
    • Total Posts : 1249
    • Reward points : 10328
    • Joined: 2007/09/25 17:50:54
    • Location: D/FW Texas
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/12 20:49:13 (permalink)
    0
    TO & E is  Tables of Organization and Equipment.   Each US Army ( and AF ) unit would have published a TO&E, specifying the number of men and exact amount and type of equipment authorized for said unit.  I recently purchased an original TO&E for a medium bombardment squadron, 1943, and it lists stuff down to the number of rakes, shovels, and fire extinguishers alloted to a squadron, plus numbers of officers and enlisted men, broken down by specialty/department.

    SHAEF1944
    American Veterans Museum
    Alex Smart
    Division Member
    • Total Posts : 1864
    • Reward points : 6995
    • Joined: 2002/09/07 16:00:52
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/15 10:09:45 (permalink)
    0
    Hi,

    Well I think that you will have to go back and find out where Maj. Miller was heading, as he was supposed to be joining his Band for a performance, but where ?

    If it was in the Paris area then I would expect he would be heading for Villacoublay. But as the aircraft's final destination was down as Bordeaux then why go into Villacoublay when "Your" Station180 ( A-20 ) Lessay on the Normandy Coast would be in a more direct line of flight to Bordeaux ?

    As for Station 547 Abbotts Ripton.

    Well from what I've read it would seem that Station 547 and Station 102 Alconbury were one and the same.
    The two names were so that there was no confusion between Combat Groups and Support Groups Bases.

    I think all became known as Alconbury from February 1944.

    As for why Maj. Miller was at RAF Twinwood ? was he just coming up from Bedford to meet the aircraft ( Alconbury about 20 miles from Twinwood) or was he stationed at RAF Twinwood ?

    All for now
    Alex 
    Michael Land
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 124
    • Reward points : 2986
    • Joined: 2007/03/20 13:03:09
    • Location: Clacton, Essex, UK
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/15 11:17:08 (permalink)
    0
    Hi Alex
    There are so many "grey" areas about this flight! Taking an overview of different accounts it does seem as though the plane was laid on for Lt. Col. Norman F. Baessell and Maj. Alton Glenn Miller was offered a ride the night before. G.M. often stayed at Milton Ernest Hall (about 2 miles from Twinwood) and it was there that the offer was made. Then (again) reading between versions (not the alien abduction version I hasten to add!) this was probably due to the aircraft that G.M. might have been on having been grounded in Belgium and  Baessell was to fly to Villacoublay which was why G.M. hitched a lift. Baessell also stayed there at Milton Ernest, whether he was billeted there or not I do not know, but they both waited for the plane at Twinwood. To be honest Alex I have not read anything about Bordeaux - except in your thorough answer above also I have read elsewhere on the Internet that no flight plan was ever recorded (but I have a feeling that this was written by people who would rather keep the mystery alive) especially after reading your earlier reply.
     
    I have read about the SHAEF Route which I assume would vary depending on Allied advances. I wonder if they were going to drop in or fly over Bordeaux? Probably that might have been the furthest they were willing to travel due to the fog.
    Michael
    Alex Smart
    Division Member
    • Total Posts : 1864
    • Reward points : 6995
    • Joined: 2002/09/07 16:00:52
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/17 11:22:45 (permalink)
    0
    Hi Michael,

    So it could help if we found out  -
    a). The Miller band where was it next to perform.
    b). The destination planned for Lt. Col. Norman F. Baessell.
    c). Why the final destination was Bordeaux as in the MACR.
    d). Where did Station 180 (A-20) Lessay come into the story.

    All for now
    Alex
    shooshoobaby
    Air Force Brat
    • Total Posts : 6393
    • Reward points : 7462
    • Joined: 2006/01/28 14:22:13
    • Location: Pacific NW
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/17 13:46:55 (permalink)
    0
    Alex -
    Miller's Band was aready in Paris where they were
    to perform a Concert for Troops that had Liberated Paris.
    Mike
    Nextgen
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 246
    • Reward points : 3081
    • Joined: 2007/04/21 00:25:28
    • Location: Texas
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/17 21:37:57 (permalink)
    0
     Attached is a pic of a Norsman from my dad's base at Mendelsham.  However I have seen other pics of both gray and olive Norseman.

    Attached Image(s)

    Alex Smart
    Division Member
    • Total Posts : 1864
    • Reward points : 6995
    • Joined: 2002/09/07 16:00:52
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/18 11:23:27 (permalink)
    0
    hello Mike,

    Thanks for that, So Maj. Miller was bound for Paris hence Villacoublay (A-42).

    Thats one down three to go.
    Alex
    Michael Land
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 124
    • Reward points : 2986
    • Joined: 2007/03/20 13:03:09
    • Location: Clacton, Essex, UK
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/18 16:10:16 (permalink)
    0
    Thank you Nextgen - that is an extremely useful view of a Norseman.
    Michael Land
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 124
    • Reward points : 2986
    • Joined: 2007/03/20 13:03:09
    • Location: Clacton, Essex, UK
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/18 16:19:34 (permalink)
    0
    Hello Alex
    I have been doing some more digging around elsewhere on the Internet and  trying to seperate truth from fiction. Whether this is right or not - it could go some way to explain a few things.......... mysterious flight plan, the urgency to fly over there etc. This (to me) had a note of truth about it so I thought I would include this in the thread.
    Lt. Col Baessell (s/n O905387) was Exec Officer to General Goodrich who used this plane for his own use sending Baessell over to France on a "champagne run" for the upcoming Christmas celebrations.
    Michael
    Michael Land
    Group Member
    • Total Posts : 124
    • Reward points : 2986
    • Joined: 2007/03/20 13:03:09
    • Location: Clacton, Essex, UK
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2008/10/23 11:06:18 (permalink)
    0
    Alex Smart
    d). Where did Station 180 (A-20) Lessay come into the story.

     
    I think I am the one to blame here (strike "d" off the list!)
    I printed off a list of Air Stations off the Internet it lists under (quote)
     
    Non UK AAF Station Numbers
    180 X Villacoublay (A-20) France
    Michael
    PS the information above came from www.gitrace.org
    post edited by Michael Land - 2008/10/23 18:03:32
    DMSpragg
    Cadet
    • Total Posts : 6
    • Reward points : 18
    • Joined: 2013/04/26 11:07:43
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2014/02/26 10:38:36 (permalink)
    0
    My forthcoming book "Resolved, The Disappearance of Glenn Miller, December 15, 1944" will definitively and comprehensively answer all of your questions regarding this matter, including the aircraft, route of flight, pilot, passengers, weather, chronology, primary and alternate destination, Form 23 Status, etc. in addition to describing the entire military service of Maj. Alton Glenn Miller. Previous books and articles have been largely novels or fiction. This is a four-year detailed study and non-fiction. Thank you for your interest!
     
    Dennis M. Spragg
    Glenn Miller Archive
    University of Colorado Boulder
    Terveurn
    Wing Member
    • Total Posts : 698
    • Reward points : 3033
    • Joined: 2010/02/09 11:42:31
    • Status: offline
    Re:Glenn Miller / Air Station 547 / 35th Depot Repair Squadron 2014/02/26 17:29:41 (permalink)
    0
     
    For those interested, the Air Force Museum's UC-64A's actual s/n is 44-70296 -- this makes her a close sister ship to 42-70285 and except for the cargo door modification is pretty close to as built.
     
    Here is 44-70284
     

     
     
     http://www.norsemanhistory.ca/Aircraft.htm
     

    Attached Image(s)


    4 important aspects of flight: Stall, spin, crash & burn
    Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.0