HomeTrendingSeven Decades After His Disappearance in WWII, Wife Discovers The Truth

Seven Decades After His Disappearance in WWII, Wife Discovers The Truth

2. Female Mechanic

Peggy Seale just happened to be the only female mechanic on the entire base, and she quickly caught the attention of many men because of her talent and natural beauty. She even caught the attention of one of her generals who thought Peggy would be perfect for his son. The general’s son was an aviation pilot and stationed down in San Antonio at the time. The father tried to get Peggy to write his son, Billie Harris, but she just couldn’t bring herself to write a strange man she had never met.

3. The Letters

4. Young Lovers

Soon, these letters turned into back and forth correspondence between the two young budding lovers. However, at first, it was harder to convince Peggy that they were meant to be together. She even actively tried to discourage him from wanting to be in a relationship with her. “I wrote to him that I loved opera and listened on Saturday afternoons. I thought that would turn any man off, but he wasn’t and he wrote back. I wrote him that I memorized poetry and he wrote back that he memorized poetry as well and he thought that was really great,” Peggy recalled.

5. Inseparable Souls

6. Alarming News

The couple’s engagement was short, as the pair married shortly after in 1943. Just as they were basking in marital bliss, news came in that Billie Harris was being transferred to Florida. He was due to be shipped out to Europe within a matter of weeks. The newlyweds didn’t want to be separated, so Peggy flew out to Florida to be with Billie. The two were given just two weeks to be together before Billie was to be shipped off to fight in the horror that was the Second World War. However, the plans would change once again.

7. True Love

8. Ambushed!

If that wasn’t bad enough, the vessel that the Germans downed was full of aviator pilots; pilots that were desperately needed for the European war effort. As a result of this sudden attack, Billie and his team were called up early. Even though young Billie was straight out of pilots school, he was given a promotion to 2nd lieutenant and sent off to the battlefields. Peggy didn’t know it at the time, but that would be the very last time she would see her husband.

9. Sworn to Secrecy

10. Returning Home

Billie Harris was stationed in the allied United Kingdom and performed operations over Northern Nazi-occupied France. In fact, he completed around 60 to 100 different missions, an great achievement on its own. Given the number of missions he completed, he was allowed to return home. Thrilled by the prospect of going home to see his beloved wife once more, he raced to the boat to take him home. Only there was one problem! The wounded soldiers were first priority on the boat and there was no room for Billy.

11. Delayed

12. Back to the Frontlines

Unable to return back home, Billie couldn’t just sit around waiting with a war raging on around him. He jumped back into his plane and headed back towards the war in an effort to rid France of the Nazi occupation. Days turned into months, and Peggy hadn’t heard a word from her husband. Then, one day, she received a correspondence from the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. The letter said that Billie Harris had returned to the United States.

13. Good News

14. Where is Billie?

Peggy and her father-in-law were worried that Billie Harris had in fact returned to the United States but was in a hospital, gravely wounded. They also wondered if he had perhaps lost his memory and couldn’t even remember who he was. With that in mind, Peggy turned to the Red Cross to try to track down Billie, but that turned out to be far less than helpful. All the Red Cross told Peggy was that they were unable to launch an investigation into the whereabouts of her husband.

15. The Red Cross

16. MIA

Then one day the news came in. According to the United States Armed Forces, Billie Harris was listed as “missing in action.” The letter was dated July 7, 1944, but something just didn’t sit right with Peggy. She knew that something was amiss. Peggy Harris went back and searched her records. And sure enough, she was right. She had received a handwritten letter from Billie Harris dated after the 7th of July. She didn’t know what to think, but she hoped, and prayed.

17. Reports From Berlin

18. Off the Radar

Peggy then decided to take matters into her own hands and wrote a letter to her congressman in Washington D.C. Surely someone there would be able to find some concrete answers regarding Billie Harris’s last whereabouts. Peggy hoped at the very least for some closure. She desperately wanted to know what really happened to her long-lost husband who suddenly dropped off the military’s radar. When she received a response from her congressman, all she got was that Billie Harris was still listed as missing in action.

19. Never Giving Up

20. Still MIA

Peggy Harris never gave up hope. By this point, she knew that he had most likely died in the horrific war, but at the very least she wanted to know where his remains were buried to gain some closure in her life. So, in 2005 she wrote another letter to her congressman in Washington D.C., Representative Mac Thornberry. She eventually received a reply from him, but it wasn’t what she had hoped for. According to the representative, Billie Harris was still listed as missing in action.

21. The Archives

22. A Surprise

Just a few weeks after they put in their request to search for Billie Harris, Peggy got a very unusual call. Someone had already requested and paid for a copy of Billie’s records. An unknown French woman from Les Ventes, France. The copy of the records was sent to the woman in France. Peggy made it her mission to find out just who this mysterious woman was and why she had requested her husband’s records. When she finally made contact, Peggy was shocked by the reason.

23. KIA

24. A Congressional Blunder

But if Peggy and Alton had so easily found the answer to their question, why had their representative in Congress told them Billie Harris was missing in action? Well, as it turns out, no one ever looked into it. Representative Thornberry issued a formal apology to Peggy Harris, stating that it was a mishandling of a highly sensitive matter, and apologized for any distress she had suffered as a result. Peggy, however, is a very forgiving woman and doesn’t hold any grudges against him.

25. The Annual Parade

26. A Life of Death Decision

Billie Harris is considered a hero in the small hamlet of Les Ventes because he saved the entire village as well as countless other lives. During the war, the village was under the occupation of the Nazis where his plane was shot in combat. As his plane was falling down from the sky, it was headed straight for the village square, full of people. He had two choices, either eject and let the plane crash straight into the village square, killing people, or try to divert the plane.

27. Saving a Town

28. Billie the Hero

Peggy Harris arrived at the village, and to her surprise, she learned the tale of Billie the hero and how he valiantly save the townspeople. She was moved to tears to see that their main road was named after her late husband. In attendance at the ceremony were people that carried Billie’s casket to the local graveyard, and even the man who raced into the woods to check on Billie to try and save him. Unfortunately, he couldn’t be saved, but his efforts moved Peggy nonetheless.

29. Normandy

30. A Legacy

Peggy Harris can now return to her hometown of Vernon, Texas knowing that her husband was not only a great man, but also a cherished hero loved by so many. His legacy will surely live on for decades to come. Peggy Harris still remains married to Billie, refusing to marry again. At least now she has peace. She visits her husband at the cemetery in France at least once a year and sends flowers to his grave frequently.


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