Billie Dowe HARRIS

 

harris billie 1
ARMY SERIAL NUMBERO-682635
AGE22 yo
DATE OF BIRTH1922
STATEJackson County OKLAHOMA
FAMILY

Married: Peggy

harris billie couple

RANK1st Lieutenant
FONCTIONPilot
JOB before ENLISTEMENTUnskilled machine shop and related occupationsIA
DATE of ENLISTEMENT11 may 1942 Dallas TEXAS
SQUADRON355th Fighter Squadron
GROUP

354th Fighter Group

president unit citation olc

ARMY19th Tactical Air Command
9th Air Force
DATE OF DEATH17 july 1944harris billie d tombe
STATUSKIA
PLACE OF DEATH

Forest - "La Pierre Courcoulée"

Commune "Les Ventes" (Evreux)

DONNEE de PLANP-51 Mustang - type D-5-NA - s/n 44-13328 GO "Mary Pat III"
harris billie avion
Macr: 7165
Mission: Evreux
Takeoff: Ground A-2 Cricqueville (14)
Flew in No. 3 of the White section
Section hired by 50 Messerschmitt Me109
CIMETIERE COMMUNAL

Cimetière Communal de Ventes

harris billie tombe ventes 

CEMETERY TEMPORARY

Cemetery Temporary of Blosville 

History of Provisional Cemeteries

blosville
Cemetery Temporary of Blosville
PlotRowGrave
   
CEMETERYNORMANDY AMERICAN CEMETERY de Colleville

Plan du Normandy American Cemetery

GRAVE
PlotRowGrave
D273
DECORATION
Distinguished Flying Crossdistinguished lying cross
Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clustersam 9olc am
Purple Heart Photo FDLM
usaf9af 354fg355fs
STORY
1st Lt Billie Harris was married to Peggy Harris on September 22nd, 1943.
However, their two-week honeymoon was cut short when Lt Harris was shipped out to fly escort in P-51 Mustangs.
He was shot down over the town of "Les Ventes" on July 17th, 1944.
Seeing he was about to crash into the town, the villagers feared for their lives, but Harris managed to divert the plane into the forest, saving lives even in death. The Resistance spirited his body into hiding and held a funeral for him with the town in attendance.
His grave was covered knee-deep with flowers.
The town held a yearly service for him for the following six decades, even when his body was moved to the Normandy cemetery, as they thought he had no relatives to tend to his grave.
Processions are held three times a year and a town square was named after him.
As for his widow, a bureaucratic snafu had kept her in the dark. First, he was reported as missing and then, alive. She was subsequently told that he had died, before learning that the remains that had been found were not his.
In 2005, Harris wrote to her congressman, Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas.
He replied, saying that her husband was "still listed as 'missing in action.'" Finally, her cousin Alton Harvey cracked the mystery when he requested Billie's military records and found out he had been buried in Normandy since 1948.
Peggy Harris, who never remarried, now pays annual visits to the town that has kept her husband’s memory alive for over half a century.
 

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Plaque in honor of Billie D HARRIS

harris billie plaque


INFORMATION & PICTURES SOURCEfr-41416.sfglobe.fr - Aerosteles.net - Uswarmemorials.org - Aad.archives.gov - 354thpmfg.com - Aerosteles.net
PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud