The letter, written by 22-year-old Army sergeant John Gonsalves, was supposed to be delivered from Germany to his mother in Woburn, Massachusetts, in 1945 according to Boston 25 News, a Fox affiliate.
Only toward the end of 2020 was the letter finally delivered. It suddenly appeared at a United States Postal Service facility in Pittsburgh for processing and distribution, Boston 25 News reported.
The mother has since died, but the USPS tracked down the next of kin for Gonsalves, delivering the letter to Angelina, his widow.
The two met five years after he had sent off the letter. Receiving and reading the letter was “amazing” and surprising to Angelina, she told Boston 25 News.
In the letter, Gonsalves updated his mother on his health, saying he was doing okay and wished for better food.
“Dear, Mom. Received another letter from you today and was happy to hear that everything is okay,” he wrote in the letter from central Germany. “As for myself, I’m fine and getting along okay. But as far as the food it’s pretty lousy most of the time.”
Gonsalves died in 2015 at the age of 92, the New York Times reported. In addition to the letter, USPS attached a note expressing condolences for Angelina’s loss. The couple had been married for 61 years and had five children together.
“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 says, according to Boston 25 News. “Due to the age and significance to your family history… delivering this letter was of utmost importance to us.”
Reading the letter made Angelina feel “like he came back to me,” she said in an interview with Boston 25 News.
“Imagine that! Seventy-six years!” Angelina said. “I just I couldn’t believe it. And then just his handwriting and everything. It was just so amazing.”