USPS just delivered a letter from an American soldier in Germany, except it was 76 years late, originally hailing from World War II in 1945. John Gonsalves was serving in Germany in World War II when he penned the letter to Angelina Gonsalves—his mother—but his wife had just received it at 89 years old.
The letter had a 6-cent stamp, was forwarded from a Pittsburgh mail facility, and was received by his wife, also named Angelina (and typically goes by Jean).
Wife of late husband receives letter from his dating back to 1945
John had died back in 2015 at age 92, so to see the dated letter was just like taking a trip down memory lane for Jean. “Seventy-six years! I could hardly believe it when I looked at the date. For a letter from Johnny to suddenly show up out of nowhere was amazing,” she says of the letter.
The letter was dated December 6th, 1945, and John was 22 years old and an Army sergeant when he wrote it from Bad Orb, Germany. This area was actually near a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp that had been liberated by American troops.
“Dear Mom — Received another letter from you today and was happy to hear that everything is okay,” the letter began. “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 went on to write about the weather in Germany and hoped to be home by January or February. “Love and XXXXX — Your Son, Johnny,” he signs off.
Jean remembers exactly when and how they met. “I was 17 and had just graduated from high school,” she remembers. “John was nine years older than me. One day, I was waiting with my girlfriend to catch the bus after work and he drove by and asked if we’d like a ride home.” Just a month later, they would go on their first date and married several years later on Oct. 25, 1953, and went on to raise five sons together. The rest is history.