TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Glenn Miller was the sound of his generation. With his trombone and Big Band Sound, he made memories for millions with songs like “In the Mood”, “Pennsylvania 6-5000″ and ” Moonlight Serenade”.
In 1942, Miller joined the U.S. Army to support the war effort and traveled to Europe to entertain the troops.
Then, in December of 1944, he took off as a passenger in a small plane from England to France to meet with his band to play for an audience in Paris. His plane never arrived, and there have been theories about what happened and search efforts to find the aircraft ever since.
Dr. James D’Angelo now lives in Bradenton, and is heading up a team to find Miller’s plane.
“He was much more than a band leader, he was actually an American hero,” said D’Angelo.
He believes new research and new technology can help find the plane where others have failed.
“It’s made it much, much more likely that we will find the plane,” said D’Angelo.
Miller’s aircraft was a single engine UC-64A Norseman. Even for it’s time, it was not a very advanced aircraft.
“Based on what I know, this plane was used more for observation. It wasn’t a fighter aircraft,” said D’Angelo. But he believes his team will be able to prove conclusively if they have found the wreckage of Miller’s plane.
“We have the serial number of the engine in the plane,” he added.
D’Angelo hopes to solve many questions surrounding Miller’s disappearance by finding the wreckage.
“The world should recognize Glenn Miller, probably more for what he did for the country outside of his music than what he did within his music,” D’Angelo said.