Charlotte Foster

Family & Pets

Letter from soldier delivered to widow after 76 years

Letter from soldier delivered to widow after 76 years

After 76 long years, a heartfelt letter form the battlefield has finally been delivered.

Angelina Gonsalves received the letter in an unexpected delivery form the US Postal Service, which was written by her late husband while he was deployed overseas in 1945.

Written by 22-year-old Sergeant John Gonsalves while stationed in Germany, the soldier wrote the letter to his mother to check in on his family and let them know he was believed to be coming home to Massachusetts soon.

The letter was dated December 6th 1945, and was never delivered to his mother.

Instead, it was delivered to his widow 76 years and three days later.

"I got to read it and it was wonderful," Angelina Gonsalves, of Woburn, Massachusetts, told CNN on Wednesday. "It is in really good condition. I was amazed by that myself."

When John wrote the letter, he and Angelina has not yet met. 

The pair married in 1953, eight years after the war, and had five sons together, before John died in 2015 at age 92. 

In the two page letter to his mother, who shared the same name as his wife, John discusses the "lousy" options for food and the horrible winter weather, claiming where he was stationed has not seen the sun in weeks. 

He closes the letter by sending love to his family, before signing and sealing the note and attaching a six cent stamp. 

"It was a joy to see her face light up reading his words," Brian Gonsalves, Angelina and John's son, told CNN.

"To be able to see her read something he wrote and look back at that history, it's something she'll always have now."

It is unclear where the letter had been hiding all this time, but it was found at the USPS Pittsburgh processing centre late last year. 

Dedicated employees at the centre understood the importance of the late soldier's letter, and started to track down John's next of kin to deliver the piece of history. 

"We are aware of the passing of your husband in 2015 (our condolences)," reads a letter from the USPS, which was sent with John's letter.

"By virtue of some dedicated sleuth work by postal employees at this facility, we were able to determine your address, hence this letter delivery to you, albeit 76 years delayed. Due to the age and significance to your family history, delivering this letter was of utmost importance to us."

The letter was delivered to Angelina just before Christmas, which her son said made the perfect gift. 

"It felt like he came back for the holiday season," he said.

Image credits: CNN

Our Partners