On 31 August, 2000 I came across a disused war time airfield in North Bedfordshire. Subsequent research not only revealed that like many other war time posts it had a fascinating story of its own, but also an inextricable link with Glenn Miller the famous 'swing' band leader of the 40's.
After reading several speculative narratives on the possible events leading to the disappearance of the Miller flight I decided to use the only established facts that any documents have recorded and together with a 3D reconstruction of the airfield layouts past and present, attempt to record a piece of '20th Century History' for those intrigued by such places.
The view of the 'Final Flight' is a logical by-product of the reconstruction. It is purely my own interpretation of the scene but I think more than anything else it should go some way to illustrate just what the weather conditions were like on that miserable Friday afternoon on 15th December 1944. Although compared to the reality of some December days on the hills of Bedfordshire even this reconstruction of the conditions had to be understated for the purpose of making the image coherent.
In conclusion, if all the theories ranging from conspiracy to complacency are actually suspended the only absolute pointer to the disappearance of Glenn Miller's flight from Twinwood are these very weather conditions that the Norseman flew in.
No official enquiry was ever made by British or American departments.
ADDENDUM (May 2002)
Twinwood Airfield in 2002 is now barely recognisable as the airfield I had seen in 2000. A substantial area of the land has been redeveloped to facilitate the general public with an arena and its supporting facilities. See www.twinwoodevents.com which has present day photographs, events, map, links etc. etc. The remaining watch (control) tower has been restored and re-fitted as a museum and memorial to Glenn Miller and the time he spent at the airfield and Bedford town. (see twinwoodevents.com for more details).
However when I took the first photographs of the airfield in August 2000 I could never have foreseen I was looking at the last days of the 'inherited' airfield view, and although it was in a degenerative state on top of this wind driven and silent hill it seemed to still capture the very spirit of this once thriving war time base and the men and women who served there. If anything it was a poignant reminder to the debt that is owed to them all.
Now with the patina of those desperate days scrubbed clean it seems this record of the airfield has become the last 'historical' view. Indeed, it might be true to say that time has finally marched on at Twinwood Airfield.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS & CONTRIBUTIONS
I would like to thank JOHN PEARCE, DAVID FIDDIMORE, MICHAEL LAND, RALPH WOODGATE, HOWARD ROTH, BOB SEYMOUR, ROSALIE ESSER DEMPSEY, KEVIN (Silver Fox), CHRIS PRUSAKOWSKI, R.J.FERRITER for their invaluable contributions.
Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Airfields in the Second World War by Graham Smith.
Great Mysteries Of The Air by Ralph Barker.
The Bedford Triangle
RAF Airfields Of World War Two by Jonathan Falconer