Peggy D. Harris of Vernon Texas married her husband back in the 1940s. They were only married for six weeks until he was shipped off to fight in World War II. On what is recorded, his final mission took place on July 17, 1944, and Harris hadn’t heard about her husband ever since.
It would be 68 years before Peggy would find out the fate of her husband. Originally, she was told he was KIA (killed in action). Later on, she was told her husband was alive and coming home. Then she was told her husband was dead again. If the confusion from the status of her husband was disheartening, it got worse. If Billie did pass on, no solid answers were offered on the location of his burial.
Because of the confusion, Peggy spent time writing letters to her congressman, which he gave no results. Finally, she was told Billie was officially listed as MIA (missing in action). Because of this, Billie’s cousin, Alton Harvey, took it upon himself to start his own investigation. It wouldn’t take long for the unbelievable answers to present themselves.
During the investigation, Alton learned that Peggy’s husband is actually buried in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France. After all this time, Peggy is getting the comfort and closure she’s been needing for the last 68 years.
However, the best part of finding out where her husband is now resting in peace isn’t exactly the closure, but what Peggy would find when she arrived there. In the tiny town of Les Ventes, the main road is actually called “Place Billie D. Harris”. The townsfolk have been marching the road, three times a year for the past 60 years, to honor and commemorate the sacrifices of her late husband.
Billie D. Harris’s fighter plane was shot down while flying above Les Ventes. Despite his mortal injuries and the plane’s damaged condition, Billie was able to maintain control of the aircraft just long enough to avoid crashing into the village. This act of bravery was so heartfelt among the town that even after 60 years, Billie D. Harris is a true hero to them – so much so that the Mayor of town gets choked up just mentioning his name.
Now, after all this time, Peggy makes sure to visit the grave of her husband, a hero to a small town in Normandy, France, as often as she can. Because of how much she honors her late husband, it is written in the tributes section of the 354th Pioneering Mustang Fighting Group website that Billie D. Harris’s grave is the most decorated within the entire memorial, and from what is said, she is the only widow who still visits.
It is very rare to read anything truly meaningful about the men and women who were a part of World War II, either directly on the front lines or supporting on the home front. Most of the stories presently are usually appeals for veterans or recreations, such as the recreation of the World War II famous kiss as reported here on The Inquisitr. This may not be the biggest news story, but for Peggy, it is one of deep emotion – one of a wife of a long lost WWII veteran who remained loyal to him for 68 years despite not knowing the truth, just to find out in the end, he is a true hero.
WWII Widow Waits 68 Years To Discover Her Husband’s Unbelievable Fate [VIDEO]
This is the wedding photo of Billie and Peggy Harris. Billie was shipped away to fight in WWII, six weeks later.
STREET NAMED FOR A HERO
After 68 years, Peggy learns the fate of her husband. However, what she will learn when visiting her husband’s grave would be astounding. He is a hero to a little town named Les Ventes. They even named a street, Place Billie D. Harris, in honor of him.
THE VILLAGE IN FRANCE HONORS BILLIE
Citizens of Les Ventes walk down Place Billie D. Harris, three times a year to honor the man who is such a hero to them.
This is the original grave of Billie D. Harris. The honor the soldier received from the people shows in the form of flowers that reach up to their knees in height.
NORMANDY GRAVE SITE
Billie D. Harris is now buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.
SO MANY YEARS
Peggy mourns for her late husband after all these years. She never remarried and now has the chance for closure.
SO MANY TEARS
Peggy decorates her late husband’s grave with flowers and an American flag. Throughout the year, she makes sure flowers are on his grave ten times a year, including Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas and on July 17, the date of the plane crash; Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day, and Oct. 14, his birthday.
[Images Via CBS TV]