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skipaway
06-06-2012, 10:46 PM
I saw this yesterday on CBS and was so moved by it. Thought I'd share. Very heartening and at the same time maddening.

Widow's Story (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57447896/for-wwii-soldiers-widow-a-60-year-mystery-finally-solved/?tag=mncol;lst;1)

Wyliefan
06-06-2012, 11:07 PM
:( That poor lady.

skipaway
06-06-2012, 11:35 PM
CBS Evening news is having a follow-up story about the widow travelling to France.

Buzz
06-06-2012, 11:42 PM
Thanks for posting. What a handsome young couple they made. Glad she finally got her answers and ave a place to visit.

danceronice
06-07-2012, 12:01 AM
I bet someone in that Rep's office is getting fired (they usually farm that sort of request out to staff or interns....)

barbk
06-07-2012, 12:41 AM
The representative's staffer was either lazy or incompetent, but surely the larger blame rests on the US military, who certainly ought to have helped this lady get some resolution sixty years ago, or any number of times since then.

danceronice
06-07-2012, 03:21 AM
It's World War II. They were dealing with hundreds of thousands of dead bodies in multiple theaters, including hostile territory--if anything it's surprising this is apparently THAT odd an occurrence from that particular war. There are probably still unidentified remains at the lab in Hawaii (there DEFINITELY are from Vietnam.) Meanwhile (while, yes, the family should have just asked for the whole file already--*I* can get military files, with the only thing redacted the medical and autopsy reports) all the staff at the Rep's office had to do was ACTUALLY make a phone call, instead of blowing it off.

LilJen
06-07-2012, 03:25 AM
Oh my gosh. That poor woman. That's some serious devotion of hers.

barbk
06-07-2012, 05:02 AM
It's World War II. They were dealing with hundreds of thousands of dead bodies in multiple theaters, including hostile territory--if anything it's surprising this is apparently THAT odd an occurrence from that particular war.

That's why I said 60 years. Enumerating the graves and grave stones in 1952 -- or anytime in the next twenty years after that -- should not have been too much to ask of the military given that the war ended in '45.

skipaway
06-07-2012, 10:09 AM
This was their follow up story. You might need your tissues.

French Town Still Honors American Pilot (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57448571/they-dont-forget-normandy-still-honors-american-wwii-pilots-sacrifice/?tag=showDoorFlexGridRight;flexGridModule)

milanessa
06-07-2012, 11:13 AM
The representative's staffer was either lazy or incompetent, but surely the larger blame rests on the US military, who certainly ought to have helped this lady get some resolution sixty years ago, or any number of times since then.

How did they not help? It sounds like she got conflicting information at the time. Sad and unfortunate but understandable in real time. Without knowing if she asked for help later (the article is unclear about that unless I'm overlooking something) I don't know if it's fair to say the military didn't help her. His death was recorded - it's in the National Archives and they get that kind of info from the military. How do you think it should have played out (particularly at a time when this was all without the benefit of computers)?

danceronice
06-07-2012, 03:14 PM
That's why I said 60 years. Enumerating the graves and grave stones in 1952 -- or anytime in the next twenty years after that -- should not have been too much to ask of the military given that the war ended in '45.

Yes, because the military had absolutely nothing else to do between 1945 and 2012 besides go around triple-checking thousands of graves scattered all over the world. :rolleyes: And at a certain point it wasn't the DoD any more anyway-the records passed to the NARA decades ago, as any military personnel files do at a certain point. Which, apparently, had the accurate location in the files all along, if ANYONE had bothered to request them.

skatesindreams
06-07-2012, 05:52 PM
An amazing story; with an even more meaningful continuation.

Kudos to Mrs Harris and the people of Normandy who continue to honor and remember these heroes.
Thank you, Steve Hartman.

RIP, 1st Lt. Billie Harris.

Cachoo
06-07-2012, 06:49 PM
This was their follow up story. You might need your tissues.

French Town Still Honors American Pilot (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57448571/they-dont-forget-normandy-still-honors-american-wwii-pilots-sacrifice/?tag=showDoorFlexGridRight;flexGridModule)

I think you may need the entire box.

barbk
06-07-2012, 07:38 PM
Yes, because the military had absolutely nothing else to do between 1945 and 2012 besides go around triple-checking thousands of graves scattered all over the world. :rolleyes: And at a certain point it wasn't the DoD any more anyway-the records passed to the NARA decades ago, as any military personnel files do at a certain point. Which, apparently, had the accurate location in the files all along, if ANYONE had bothered to request them.

I happen to think that the military has an obligation to the families of MIA or deceased soldiers to give them accurate, and reasonably timely data. Someone in the military hierarchy should have gotten back to the soldier's widow with correct information long ago -- the initial story makes it sound like she made multiple requests. I wouldn't have expected someone from this lady's era to have the skills to do database searches. NARA has a lot of information, catalogued rather strangely and inconsistently. I use it for genealogy, and it is very, very challenging for me.