Phillip Gluck is from our greatest generation. Phillip is a WWII veteran who was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. His brother, Nathan Gluck, was an accomplished artist and a close friend of Andy Warhol’s (in fact, Nathan was Andy Warhol’s studio assistant for twenty years). Phillip has three of Nathan’s art works hanging in his apartment. Both Nathan and Phillip served the U.S.A. in WWII, Nathan was a Chaplain’s assistant and served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific and Phillip served in the Army Air Force from 1942 through 1945 and was a munitions handler and was stationed at Alconbury, England.
Phillip told me: “I was fusing bombs. After the bombs were placed on the planes, I came along and put fuses on the nose and the tail of the bombs. A squadron of planes, maybe 8 to 10, would leave our base, meet up with squadrons from other bases and cross the English Channel and drop the bombs over their targets. They had to drop all of their bombs before they returned to England. Any planes with fused bombs were prohibited from landing on the bases because it was too dangerous. If they crashed while landing the whole area could blow up. So they had a designated area in the English Channel where they jettisoned any of their unused bombs prior to returning to base. All unused bombs were dropped in this designated area and there was a prohibition against private planes flying in the area.”
When the famous band leader Glenn Miller was 38 years old, he was too old to be drafted, so he volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army and convinced them to let him lead an army band so he could entertain the troops. He quickly earned rank and eventually was promoted to major. He was transferred to the Army Air Forces. He was entertaining troops in France in 1944. On Dec 15, 1944, Miller departed England for Paris on a small, single-engined UC-64 Norseman that was being flown by a pilot named John Morgan. He was traveling with Lt. Col. Norman Baessell. The plane mysteriously disappeared while flying over the English Channel and the government blamed it on bad weather and also an issue with the plane’s carburetor. Miller was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
Listening to Phillip Gluck discuss his army years is very interesting, but especially when Phillip recounted a strange story of government tough guys who appear to have been involved in a huge government cover-up and scared the life out of him when he was a young, low raking serviceman. He is very frustrated that he was forced through fear tactics to keep quiet all these years and now feels he must get someone to listen to him. He recently attempted through his family members to inform the Glen Miller Archive but they wouldn’t take him serious. About the cover-up, Phillip stated: “Photography was my hobby, so I always hung around the photo lab. One day, I was asked to to report to the photo lab because they needed someone there to process some film. I think the usual guy who worked there was on leave or something. A reconnaissance plane had just come back with film.
The reconnaissance planes would come back and have their films processed and those prints would be swiftly transported to the 8th Airforce Headquarters at High Wycombe for analysis. The film was really good prints. They were 8 by 10 contact prints and I was using a special machine with 48 lights to make them. I had the red light on outside the room which means no one should enter because the film could get ruined if they opened the door, but in this case I was almost completely done. As I was standing next to the chromium plated drum, which puts the gloss on the film, two really scary, big tough guys barged in.
They were government agents dressed in suits and they barged right in and took all of the film, prints and negatives. They told me in a very threatening matter “You never saw these!” I was a kid, only 20 or 21 at the time, and I was scared out of my wit. They told me ‘you never saw these photos’ but I really did see them and can’t forget them. At my age, I’m 95 years old, you forget small things in the distant past but something like this from your youth you never forget. I remember it vividly.
The photos from the reconnaissance plane showed a bomber that was returning to our base dropping its bombs over the designated spot in the English channel, but right under the bomber was a small plane. That small plane shouldn’t have been flying there. The bomber plane had many little bombs and it showered the small plane underneath it. A bomber can have a large bomb on it or it could be loaded with many small bombs. I think the small bombs were two hundred pounders. This plane jettisoned a whole load of small bombs on the smaller plane below it. The agents took everything. It all happened so fast. Not long after that, we all heard the news of Glenn Miller‘s plane disappearing.
The government blamed it on a carburetor issue. But I knew it was his plane I saw in those photos. Why would they forcefully take all the photos and negatives and scare me into silence? Why would they lie? Back then they lied all the time. I guess they had to, we were at war. News of the war wasn’t shared so easily like it is today.”
Miller‘s plane was never found and he is still listed as missing in action. There is a log book of a 17 year old amateur plane spotter named Richard Anderson that surfaced years later that claims he saw Miller‘s plane in a different area then the restricted zone where bombers jettisoned their bombs on aborted missions. There are many different records and government findings that would dispel Phillip’s claim, but logs, records and government findings in those years were easy to doctor up and manipulate.
This isn’t the first time this theory of RAF Lancasters returning from an aborted mission dropping their bombs on Miller‘s plane has been discussed, but as far as I know, it is the first time we have a living eye witness (of sorts, he saw photos). This is the first time we are hearing the testimony of a witness who experienced the fear associated with a government cover up. Was the plane that Phillip saw in the photos getting showered with bombs the same plane Glenn Miller was flying in?
We can’t be sure, but he is adamant there was a plane in those photos and that two government agents went to great lengths to eliminate any trace of evidence. Whether or not it was Miller‘s plane, it was a plane just the same; a plane with victims on board that disappeared without a trace. Phillip is certain of what he saw and is determined to share his experience with the world. He firmly believes the plane he saw in the photos was none other than the plane
Glenn Miller was on and he feels it is time the truth is finally told. He has lived with this secret for 73 years now and the fact that he feels the government lied about it has eaten at his sense of justice for too long. We are living in an era of government intrigue and cover-ups, but obviously in our great Republic of the United States of America, intrigue and cover-up are not new to the political landscape.