Ben Higgins Jr. Biography-3
“A WWII Saga Shifts to Dahlonega”
In 1998, Dahlonega Postmaster (and Historical Society President) Jimmy Anderson received a letter from France. It was from a French WW2 historian who was contacted by Madeleine Deschamps; she was 26 years old when Ben Higgin’s plane crashed on her family farm. The letter explained her eyewitness account of the crash, and how, in 1988, tractors plowing up the apple orchard uncovered buried remains of Ben Higgin’s plane, including his identification bracelet.
Ben’s relatives arranged to meet Madeleine Deschamps in Piencourt, and then invited her to attend a ceremony in Dahlonega honoring Ben. This story was covered in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday, June 13, 1999. The gentlemen pictured assisting Miss Deschamp with the flowers are Ben's brothers Jack and Fred Higgins (now deceased).
Mme Deschamps was presented a framed collage from Ben Higgin's family, with the grateful note, "June 19,1999 Mademoiselle Madeleine Deschamps with grateful appreciation for her kindness and compassion shown to our dear loved one Ben H. Higgins, Jr. who gave his life August 18, 1944 so that others might be free"
Note: Thanks to Kenneth Higgins and Joyce Higgins Westmoreland (Ben's nephew and niece) for providing much of this material.