A World War II soldier’s letter home was delivered to his widow in Massachusetts 76 years after it was mailed from Germany.
The U.S. Postal Service said John Gonsalves’ letter to his mother turned up in late December at a processing and distribution facility in Pennsylvania, sparking a search for the U.S. Army sergeant’s family.
Gonsalves’ mother, the intended recipient of the then-22-year-old’s letter, was found to be long dead, and Gonsalves died in 2015.
The USPS was able to find Angelina “Jean” Gonsalves, the sergeant’s widow, living in Woburn, Mass.
Gonsalves said receiving the 76-year-old letter and reading her late husband’s words from a time before they had even met was emotional.
“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 WBZ-TV.
The letter arrived with a handwritten note from USPS employees.
“We are uncertain where this letter has been for the past seven-plus decades, but it arrived at our facility approximately six weeks ago,” the letter reads.
“Due to the age and significance to your family history … delivering this letter was of utmost importance to us.”