1945 Letter Finally Delivered: 'It's Like He Came Back to Me'

John Gonsalves' widow received letter intended for late husband's mother
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 7, 2022 10:04 AM CST

(Newser) – A letter sent from a US soldier stationed in Germany to his mother in Massachusetts has been delivered 76 years after it was sent, per the AP. Army Sgt. John Gonsalves, 22 at the time, wrote to his mother in Woburn in December 1945 after the official end of WWII, WFXT-TV reported Wednesday. The letter would sit unopened for more than 75 years before being found in a US Postal Service distribution facility in Pittsburgh. "Dear, Mom. Received another letter from you today and was happy to hear that everything is okay," the letter reads. "As for myself, I'm fine and getting along okay. But as far as the food it's pretty lousy most of the time." He signed the letter: "Love and kisses, Your son Johnny. I'll be seeing you soon, I hope."

Gonsalves died in 2015. His mother has died as well. But the USPS found an address for his widow, Angelina, whom the soldier met five years after he sent the letter. Alongside the decades-old mail, USPS employees also sent a letter of their own, saying "delivering this letter was of utmost importance to us." After the Gonsalves family received the letter, they called the facility and thanked them. "Imagine that! Seventy-six years!" Angelina Gonsalves told WFXT-TV. "I just I couldn't believe it. And then just his handwriting and everything. It was just so amazing." Angelina Gonsalves, 89, spent another holiday without her husband, but she said this year "it's like he came back to me, you know?"

(Read more World War II stories.)

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