Sgt. John Gonsalves was stationed in Germany just after WWII ended in 1945, and he was eager to get home. Meanwhile, he decided to write his mother a letter… but it never arrived.
Or, to be more precise, it was never delivered on schedule. This long-lost 1945 letter was discovered in 2021, motivating postal staff to do everything they could to send it to John’s family as soon as possible.
John Gonsalves died in 2015 at the age of 92, but he was survived by his wife, Angelina, and their five sons.
“When the mailman arrived, he said, ‘Was your husband in the military?’ And I confirmed that he was. “‘Well, I suppose I have a letter for you,’ he continued,” Angelina recounted. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Then there’s his penmanship and all that, you know? It was simply incredible.”
In the two-page letter, John offers his mother an update on his life at his Bad Orb station. He appeared to be doing okay; however, he wasn’t a fan of how little sun the town received and had a few food concerns.
“Says, ‘Dear mum, received another letter from you today and was delighted to hear everything is fine,” Angelina read. In terms of me, I’m fine and getting along just great. The cuisine, on the other hand, is fairly bad.’
But most significantly, John communicated his love for his family, wishing them well and expressing his eagerness to return home. “Love and kisses, your son Johnny,” he wrote at the end of the letter. I’m hoping to see you soon.”
Despite being 76 years late, the letter couldn’t have come at a better moment. It was sent to John’s family over the Christmas season, one of his favorite times of the year.
One of their kids, Brian Gonsalves, observed, “It was a thrill to see her face light up reading his words.” “To be able to watch her read what he wrote and reflect on that history is something she’ll have for the rest of her life.”
A USPS employee had left a letter in addition to John’s. They explained that the letter had arrived at their facility six weeks previously, even though they had no idea how or why it had never been sent out. On the other hand, Angelina Jolie is delighted that it arrived at all.
She added, “He was a good man, he really was.” “Everyone adored him.” It’s as though he’s returned to me, you know? Really. “Wow, that was incredible.”
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