Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band August 10, 2015 10:56
Good Morning Friends and Neighbours .... we feel compelled to tell you the story behind this 15 x EP (45rpm) set and booklet acquired on Saturday in East Runton.
At first glance, it stood out to me as an American released set (RCA Victor) and featured a nice booklet with several illustrations from Mr Miller's Army Air Force tour in England, during WW2. The Ep's are in fantastic condition and feature some unusual radio transcriptions, several still not available on any modern variants (to my knowledge). Of course, this was fantastic but I was not satisfied and enquired on the history and if the couple on the stall could tell me how they acquired the set, now it gets really interesting?!?!?
Turns out, not only were the couple from my hometown of Aylsham, they were married in a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, they were both avid fans of American Classics, Rods, Customs and the VW scene, not only that they conceived and pioneered the Cromer (Annual) Custom Car Show ... now if this is not enough history to wet your appetites ,,, then just get this .... in 1962, in you could say the height of the Cold War (this gentleman and I were now engrossed in conversation) served in Her Majesty's Navy, a Submariner and a member of the Special Boat Service (SBS). They were challenged by the US Navy, Coastguard and New York Port Authorities to try and enter the port passed the Statue of Liberty, acquire evidence to prove this and then turn around and exit the port, un-detected?? Of course they rose to this challenge - and one night running deep and silent, full stealth mode, they breached all security with virtually everyone looking for them, reaching close to harbour ... released a small raft and stole ashore. There they acquired the first edition of the New York Times, returned to the raft and back to the sub ... making the same cautious exit - above them sonars and searchlights scanned the waters. Of course they slipped away and once in international waters, surfaced and then proceeded to contact the US Navy. With glee they told them what the front page news was that morning, this went down rather like a lead balloon and they were cross referenced on many details of the paper and the contents before there mission success was accepted.
Well, what has all this go to do with a Glenn Miller EP book I hear you ask? Well as a reward, the US Navy allowed the submarine and its crew to visit Washington DC and I guess in a kind of parade of glory ... there they were allowed some shore leave ... (not as masked frogman all dressed in black) ... this EP set was acquired from a Georgetown Record store as a gift for his wife and returned to England on the Sub.
Such a fantastic story, I asked if they really wanted to let this go .... they said they had offered it to their own family but know one had expressed any interest so now I am the lucky owner ... (various names of folk and vessels I have omitted from this story for now) but with their permission I hope to keep this documented with the record set, when we next hook up, which I hope will be on Sunday (at this years Cromer Custom Car Show).
The couple was loaded with other great stories including how they infiltrated some of the Soviet ports too ... can't wait to tell you all more. :-)