Glenn Miller was born on March 1, 1904, in Clarinda, Iowa. He worked as a band musician, arranger, composer, and bandleader during much of the 1920s and 1930s before enlisting in the U.S. Army in September 1942, receiving a commission as a Captain in October 1942. Capt Miller transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces in December 1942, and served as assistant special services officer for the Army Air Forces Southeast Training Center at Maxwell Field, Alabama, from December 1942 to June 1944. His next assignment was as Commander of the Army Air Forces Band attached to the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in London, England, from July 1944 until he was killed in a flying accident on December 15, 1944, while flying from England to France. His remains were never found, and he was officially listed as Missing in Action from December 15, 1944, until he was declared dead on December 15, 1945.
His Bronze Star Medal Citation reads:
For meritorious service in connection with military operations as Commander of the Army Air Force Band (Special), from 9 July 1944 to 15 December 1944. Major Miller, through excellent judgment and professional skill, conspicuously blended the abilities of the outstanding musicians, comprising the group, into a harmonious orchestra whose noteworthy contribution to the morale of the armed forces has been little less than sensational. Major Miller constantly sought to increase the services rendered by his organization, and it was through him that the band was ordered to Paris to give this excellent entertainment to as many troops as possible. His superior accomplishments are highly commendable and reflect the highest credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States.