Monday, June 20, 2011

A WWII wedding dress story

Here's a romantic story for you:

In 1944, B-29 Pilot Maj. Claude Hesinger and his crew were returning from a bombing raid over Yowata, Japan when their engine caught fire. The men were forced to bail, and drifted safely to land with the use of parachutes. Hesinger then used his parachute as a blanket and pillow through the night, waiting to be rescued. In the morning they were taken in by some friendly Chinese.

Hesinger held on to the parachute, and later in 1947 when he proposed to his girlfriend, Ruth, he offered the parachute as material to make a wedding dress from.

Here are the results (based on a Gone with the Wind dress Ruth had seen in a store window):

Can you imagine making your wedding dress out of something that had saved your husband's life? How incredible is that?

And the fact that Hesinger made the effort to hold on to the parachute. It's almost like he was saying the parachute saved his life, but this woman made his life meaningful and worth living. Like he'd been saved all over again with the love they shared. (Or maybe he simply knew the difficulty of finding material during the war... but that's not nearly as romantic, is it?) 

This dress can be viewed at the Smithsonian, and you can read the whole article here.


Jordan McCollum said...

That's an awesome story! Thanks for sharing!

Vanessa J. Ellis said...

Really good wedding story. It's very rare to imagine making one wedding dress out of something that had saved one husband's life. Everybody likes red bridesmaid dresses in such cases. Thank for sharing such romantic story. I love your blog................