American journalist Jody Dean on mission to solve wartime romantic mystery of why his Texan father James Dean kept 75-year-old Bishop’s Stortford photo of woman named Olive

Davida Erdahl

A romantic mystery from the Second World War has a son trying to connect Bishop’s Stortford to an American soldier from the small Texas town of Tom Bean.

Jody Dean, who has spent his 30-year career working in Texan television and radio, is on a quest to find out what happened to “Olive” and why his adoptive father, Staff Sergeant James Edward Dean, had a photo of her.

Jody said: “My adoptive father, James, died in 1987. When I was sorting out his property, a look through his Army footlocker revealed a single photo and a tiny gold ring which resembled a wedding band. Over time the ring has disappeared, but the photos that were with the ring still remain.”

Olive (15195632)

The picture has the mark of Ernest Williams, a Bishop’s Stortford photographer in the 1930s and ’40s, and has the handwritten message ‘Very best wishes, Olive’.

During the

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