A military wife waits 60 years to learn what happened to her husband.
First Lieutenant fighter pilot Billie Harris was deployed to WWII on July 17, 1944, just six short weeks after marrying his young bride Peggy.
Shortly after being deployed, Billie’s plane was shot down near Normandy, France.
First the military told Peggy that Billie had died, then Peggie was told he was alive, and then she was told Billie was missing in action.
Peggy remained committed to Billie and never remarried. She held out hope that one day, Billie would return. For decades, Peggy sent letters to senators asking for information on her husband.
In 2005, Peggy got a response stating that Billie was still listed as Missing in Action. Shortly thereafter, Peggie received Billie’s military records. The records didn’t match the Congressman’s letter stating that Billie was still listed as Missing In Action. Sadly, his records stated that Billie had been killed in action.
Peggy began to visit Billie’s grave at the American cemetery in Normandy, France.
On one such visit, Peggy made a stunning discovery. The main street of a village in France where Billie’s plane was shot down was named after Billie! The street, Billie D. Harris was named in honor of the fallen fighter pilot. The town celebrates Billie’s memory yearly. Why? Because Billie’s final act at life likely saved the lives of many villagers.
When Billie’s plane was struck, he managed to control the plane and keep it from crashing into the populated village.
The people of Les Ventes have passed the story of Billie’s bravery down from generation to generation.