WWII soldier’s letter to mother delivered 76 years after it was sent

Author: CBS News Staff
Published: Updated:
Army Sgt. John Gonsalves, 22 at the time, wrote to his mother after the official end of WWII, CBS BOSTON

A letter sent from a U.S. soldier stationed in Germany to his mother in Massachusetts has been delivered 76 years after it was sent, CBS Boston reports. Army Sgt. John Gonsalves, 22 at the time, wrote to his mother in Woburn on Dec. 6, 1945, after the official end of WWII.

The letter would sit unopened for more than 75 years before being found in a U.S. 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.

“I loved him dearly and he was quite a guy. I still feel his presence, I really do,” Angelina Gonsalves, 89, told CBS Boston.

Angelina Gonsalves reads letter written by husband in 1945.

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.

“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 Gonsalves told CBS Boston

Angelina Gonsalves said the holiday timing of the letter’s arrival was especially poignant. “It was just a funny feeling, he was around us at Christmas time. One of his favorite times of the year,” she told CBS Boston.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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