This Newlywed’s Husband Mysteriously Disappeared. 70 Years Later, She Discovered The Truth.
He Almost Made It
After a year in the war, Billie had been given permission to come home in July 1944, and he'd earned it too. He had completed 100 missions for the Air Force, but fate prevented him from coming home to his wife. The ship he was supposed to board was loaded with wounded soldiers. So, Billie had to wait for the next ship days later. To kill some time, he was sent one more mission which, unfortunately, became the very last one he would ever go on.
A Heroic Sacrifice
While flying over the town of Les Ventes, Billie's plane was hit by Nazi anti-artillery, causing his plane to come crashing down. But he had plenty of time to eject from the plane, and decided not to. Why you ask? If he had ejected, the plane would have crashed into Les Ventes itself, killing everyone there. So, instead, he stayed aboard and managed to guide the aircraft towards the woods, sacrificing his own life, while saving everyone else in town.
The Unknown Soldier
By the time the wreckage was discovered, everyone in Les Ventes assumed that the pilot belonged to the French-Canadian Air Force. After all, American pilots rarely flew over this area. So, the citizens of Les Ventes buried Billie's remains in a cemetery and decorated his grave with letters and flowers to show gratitude for his sacrifice. Decades later, the French woman reached out to Peggy about Billie's grave, and the 90-year-old woman couldn't contain her emotions.
Peggy hopped on a flight to Les Ventes to finally reunite with her husband. That's when she met the French woman, who told her all about Billie's selfless sacrifice, which had saved her grandfather's life. In fact, without Billie, the French woman wouldn't be standing here. This brought Peggy a great deal of joy, but also plenty of sorrow when she visited Billie's grave. After decades of not knowing, she finally learned that her husband had died a hero. But the news led to something even more incredible for loving Peggy.
When news of Billie's heroic deed became news, the United States Air Force decided to honor the fallen hero. They invited Peggy to Vernon High School in Vernon, TX, her hometown, to attend a ceremony. That's where they presented Peggy with a flag commemorating her husband's death, and it brought her to tears. But although Peggy and Billie didn't have a lifetime together, their brief moment was special. In fact, their love was so strong that even death couldn't separate them. We only wish Billie was still alive to know how much Peggy misses him.
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