Imagine falling in love, getting married, and then one day, the love of your life just disappeared. Peggy Harris suffered just such a fate. Due to a foulup with paperwork, it took her over 60 years to learn the fate of her husband Billy.
The fog of war is like that. People go missing and with so much at stake, not everyone is found again. Thankfully, despite much confusion, Billie was found. Initially mistaken by the French village near his crash site for a Canadian pilot (the villagers thought his name was Billie D’Harris because of the way his name was printed on his uniform), he was buried in town, later reburied at a memorial for unknown heroes, and then eventually interred in the American cemetery in France.
His nephew had heard stories of his uncle and was determined to find out what happened. When he began requesting information from officials, he learned that someone else had recently requested the same information. It turns out, the town of Les Ventes was planning a grand memorial for he 60th anniversary of the liberation of France. They were learning all they could about the people on their town’s war memorial, pilots, soldiers and freedom fighters the townspeople had been honoring annually for all those 60 years as heroes who helped save them from Nazi occupation.
So, it turns out Billy was never really lost. It’s a bittersweet story for sure, but such an incredible tale that shows just how many lives a single person can touch and bring together.