World War 2 soldier’s letter finds its way to his widow, 76 years later

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A World War 2 soldier’s letter has finally made it home, 76 years later.

Angelina Gonsalves, 89, lives in Woburn, Massachusetts. Last month, she told The New York Times, her mailman gave her a package containing a nearly century-old envelope.

“Hi, was your husband in the service?” the mailman asked.

“Yes, he was,” Ms Gonsalves replied. “But I didn’t know him then.”

“Well, I’m pretty sure I have something that’s personal for you,” the mailman said, and handed her the package. Inside was a handwritten letter, dated 6 December, 1945.

“Dear Mom,” the letter began. “Received another letter from you today and was happy to hear that everything is okay.”

The letter was from Ms Gonsalves’ husband, John Gonsalves, who in 1945 was a 22-year-old sergeant in the US Army. The war had just ended, and Mr Gonsalves was stationed in Bad Orb, Germany, near a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp that the Americans had liberated.

“As for myself, I’m fine and getting along okay. But as for the food, it’s pretty lousy most all the time,” the letter continued. “Love + XXXXX, Your Son, Johnny. PS I’ll be seeing you soon, I hope.”

Today Mr Gonsalves’ mother is long dead, but he did get to see her again. After the war, he returned home to his family and friends in Woburn, and in 1949 he met Angelina. They married in 1953, had five sons, and were together until 2015, when Mr Gonsalves died at age 92.

Meanwhile, the letter somehow got lost in the mail. Included in the package Ms Gonsalves received was a message from the US Postal Service, trying to make sense of the long-delayed delivery.

“We are uncertain where this letter has been for the past seven-plus decades, but it arrived at our facility approximately six weeks ago,” a USPS distribution center in Pittsburgh told Ms Gonsalves, according to WFXT-TV. “Due to the age and significance to your family history… delivering this letter was of utmost importance to us.”

After six years without her husband, Ms Gonsalves was overjoyed to hear from him.

“I just I couldn’t believe it!” she told the news station. “And then just his handwriting and everything. It was just so amazing… It’s like he came back to me, you know?”

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