WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHTM) — Rep. Lloyd Smucker (Pa.-11) introduced legislation that honors the life of Harold Billow, a lifelong Mount Joy resident, World War II veteran, and the last known survivor of the Malmedy Massacre, who passed away at the age of 99 in May of 2022.

The new legislation would make Mount Joy, Pennsylvania’s Post Office as the “Harold Billow Post Office Building.”

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“Mr. Harold Billow selflessly served our nation as a member of the United States Armed Forces and lived through an unspeakable war crime during his service. After returning home from the war, each Memorial Day, July 4th holiday, and Veterans Day since returning from the war Mr. Billow would honor and remember the 87 fellow soldiers lost during the Malmedy Massacre, by displaying 87 American flags in his front yard. He was truly a patriot and an exceptional member of the Greatest Generation. I am hopeful Congress will advance this legislation to thank him for his service and honor his memory,” said Smucker.

Billow joined the United States Army in 1943 and was part of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion in World War II. On Dec. 17, 1944, Billow and 120 other Americans were captured by Nazi soldiers, who chose to open fire on the group instead of taking prisoners.

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A total of 87 soldiers were killed in the attack, which would later be known as the Malmedy Massacre. Billow was not hit by any of the shots, because he fell to the ground and pretended to play dead. Billow eventually escaped after hours of waiting out Nazi soldiers, who were shooting any living soldiers on-site.

Every Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veterans’ Day, Billow honored the 87 soldiers who lost their lives in the Malmedy Massacre by planting 87 American flags in his front yard.

When Billow passed away in May of 2022, he was the last known survivor of the massacre.