WWII Widow Finally Discovers The Truth About Her Hero Husband
One of the most tragic ways to lose someone you love is when they are lost in war. Nobody knows this better than Peggy Harris of Vernon, Texas. When her husband, Billie D Harris was deployed during World War II, they had hoped they would get together again but he never came back home.
According to CBS News, when Billie was deployed, he was a first lieutenant fighter pilot. He was sent to fight the Nazis in Normandy, France. In 1944, however, he was shot down over Northern France. That area was occupied by the Nazis and they never heard from him again.
In World War II, many widows were sent news about the loss of their husbands but for Peggy, no letter ever arrived. She did receive some reports but they were conflicting. Some said that he had died, others said he was missing in action and yet others said he would be arriving home soon.
Peggy made the decision that she would remain faithful to her husband because she didn’t know what had happened to him. She never remarried and she constantly asked questions about what had happened to Billie.
It took over five decades but in 2005, Peggy finally receive some word after writing to her congressman. Congressman Mac Thornberry of Texas wrote her with what was listed in the national registry, that Billie was “Missing in Action.”
That is when Alton Harvey got involved. He is Billie’s cousin and he didn’t think it was right that Billie would go off to war, never to return and nobody knew what happened. He said that the family needed closure.
Little did they know that they would be able to find out more information from Billie’s military records. Those records had not been checked by the Congressman, even though he said that he had looked into them thoroughly.
Although Billie was listed in the national archives, the military was telling a different story. They said that he had been killed in action (KIA) and even provided a location at an American Cemetery in Normandy, France.
Now that Peggy had the location of her husband’s grave, she started to visit anytime she could. The caretakers of the cemetery said that she is the only widow that continues to visit her spouse’s grave. She also sent flowers about 10 times of year to decorate the grave and to commemorate some special occasions they didn’t have the opportunity to celebrate together.
Peggy was also able to visit the area and in the small village of Les Ventes, France, she made a discovery that she wasn’t expecting. They had named the main street of the village after her husband.
Not only is there a street named after him, but they commemorate the day that they were liberated from France three times a year. In that celebration, they pay tribute to the fighter pilot who saved their village from danger.
According to CBS News, the story goes: Billie had been shot down but he didn’t allow his plane to land in the village. He maneuvered things so that it would land outside the village and save many lives. The people who live there remember what he did down to this day.
Billie had been buried in the local cemetery and they put many flowers on his casket. Eventually, he was exhumed and moved to the American Cemetery in Normandy but they continue to show respect and sent flowers to the grave every year.
The people of the village now want to show honor to Peggy as well as to that fighter pilot. They also spoke with Guy Sevillie, a 91-year-old survivor who was the only witness of the incident. He was with Billie as he was dying. Peggy said that she hopes he knows that her friend was there with them during that time.
You can watch more of the story in this video:Whizzco