On December 6 1945, Sergeant John Gonsalves, a US soldier stationed at Bad Orb in occupied Germany, posted a letter to his mother. In it, he asked her to stop sending him packages, as he expected to be home in January or February. He complained about the ‘lousy weather’ and inquired about his pals and Jim.
A typical letter home by a soldier then, but what makes it remarkable is that it was found undelivered in a US Postal Service distribution facility in Pittsburgh in December 2021. John’s mother is dead and he died in 2015 but USPS employees managed to trace his widow, Angelina, who is still alive, and delivered the letter to her home in Woburn, MA on 9 December 2021. They married in 1953 and had five sons.
“I love it. I love it. When I think it’s all his words, I can’t believe it. It’s wonderful. And I feel like I have him here with me, you know?” Angelina told CBS Boston, adding that she had ‘a funny feeling, he was around us at Christmas time. One of his favorite times of the year.’
She also told Boston 25 News that ‘It’s like he came back to me, you know? Really. That was amazing. He was a good man. He really was. Everybody loved him.’
See also The Times.