EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- On a cold winter day the search for a father is over. After a trip halfway around the world, a split family honored their common link. A World War II veteran from Evansville.
Two French men came to the U.S. this week to meet the family they never got to know. Clarence Hill was a World War II veteran who spent some time in France where he met a woman. They later got married and had a baby. However, Clarence never got to meet his son, but now, his son got to see where his father was buried.
Starting only with a name and a piece of paper. A French father and son tracked down the family of the man they never got to meet. Jack Hill is the son of Clarence Hill and doesn’t speak English. His son Eddy is translating for him. Jack says his mother didn’t tell him much about his dad.
‘She didn’t really tell him any more than that she just said you can keep that as a souvenir. As a memory of this is the document,” Eddy Hill explains on behalf of his father.
So years later when Eddy was older Jack passed that paper along to him, and the search began.
“I was really determined to find out more about my grandfather. I knew that we had an American last name, and there was very little explanation. And I was maybe the most chain to find out more about my grandfather,” Eddy explains. “I knew that we had an American last name and there was very little explanation. And I was keen to find out who our family was.”
Jack and Eddy say they remember the first time they saw Clarence’s grave site, and the first time they saw an actual photo of him.
“When he saw the photographs that I had sent him which came from his sister he was shocked and thought but that’s me it felt like a short Photoshop version of him,” he continues.
After all the work and traveling across the world Jack got the chance to honor his father who was a hero. Taking back to France with him a folded flag and memories from the time spent with new family.
“And it’s so amazing to think that we’re all together now and we know who each other are and we’ve met and we can spend time together,” Hill explains.
The Hills tell me they don’t just have family in Evansville. Clarence has another daughter who lives in Bloomington. They plan to go up there to meet her also.
(This story was originally published on Feb. 6, 2020)