WWII widow finally learns fate of her husband, who vanished 6 decades ago
Many WWII wartime brides waited anxiously for word on loved ones. However, this CBS News video from Steve Hartman's "On the Road" series tells the story of one bride, Peggy Harris of Texas, whose wait extended a lifetime. Due to bureaucratic errors, Harris only learned the fate of her husband Billie Harris in 2005.
"Billie was married to me all of his life, and I choose to be married to him all of my life," Peggy Harris says in the piece. According to an entry on a website honoring the 354th Fighter Group, the Harris' originally corresponded by mail after being urged to meet by Billie Harris' father, a coworker of Peggy's. Billie Harris left for Europe only six weeks into their marriage.
Harris, a fighter pilot, died when his plane went down in 1944 near the town of Les Ventes, France. It seems Harris maneuvered the falling plane to miss the village, something the residents never forgot. According to records eventually uncovered by a Harris relative, the young pilot was initially honored and buried in Les Ventes before being moved to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
When certain of his fate and resting place, his widow began sending flowers to his grave and visiting both the cemetery and the town of Les Ventes. According to MSN, Peggy Harris was unable to make the journey to France for the June 2016 D-Day anniversary. A sign on Billie Harris' grave asked visitors to send photos to the now elderly widow at her home in Vernon, Texas.
Pass along this touching story of honor and devotion to keep the memory of Billie Harris and his faithful bride alive.