NEW YORK – Divers are planning an ambitious deep-sea expedition to locate the remains of jazz legend Glenn Miller, whose plane crashed over the English Channel in 1944.
The famed bandleader was declared lost at sea when his flight from England to France vanished without a trace 57 years ago.
Mike Rossiter, a BBC producer, decided to recruit a team of expert divers to search for the wreckage after a fisherman contacted him, claiming to know the exact location of the crash.
"It appears that this fisherman has trawled up a part of Miller's plane and knows where it is within a pretty small area," a member of the project team said.
"[Rossiter] is very keen on finding Miller's plane and, hopefully, Miller himself."
If the wreck is found, it could provide clues as to whether the plane was shot down by enemy pilots or crashed because of mechanical error — something that has never been known.
Miller's sister-in-law Ann Miller said she doubts the wreck will ever be located.
"Nobody has ever found him and each time they try it is mentally upsetting for us," she said.
Miller — whose big band cranked out such standards as "In the Mood," "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" and "Pennsylvania 6-5000" — gave up his showbiz career to enter the Army Air Corps, precursor of the Air Force, in World War II.
In December 1944, Miller — who had set up an Air Corps band for the military — was set to transfer to Paris.
His band arrived for a Christmas broadcast, but Miller himself was lost in a small plane over the Channel on Dec. 15.
Miller's life was made into a hit movie, The Glenn Miller Story, starring James Stewart, in 1954.