WWII sergeant’s letter from Germany delivered 75 years later

WOBURN, Mass. — Stop complaining about slow mail delivery. This letter took a looong time to reach its destination.

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A letter sent from an Army sergeant stationed in Germany to his mother in Massachusetts shortly after World War II ended has finally been delivered.

Sgt. John Gonsalves, 22, who was stationed in Bad Orb in central Germany, wrote to his mother in Woburn on Dec. 6, 1945, WFXT-TV reported. It was delivered on Dec. 9, 2021 -- 75 years after the young soldier had written to his mother.

The letter sat unopened before it was found in a U.S. Postal Service distribution facility in Pittsburgh, the television station reported.

“Dear, Mom. Received another letter from you today and was happy to hear that everything is okay,” Gonsalves wrote in his note. “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, a longtime resident of Woburn, was born Aug. 4, 1923, and died Sept. 13, 2005, according to Findagrave.com and his obituary.

Gonsalves’ mother, Angelina Pestana Gonsalves, died on April 29, 1976, in Boston, according to online obituary records. However, postal workers were able to find an address for Gonsalves’ widow, Angelina “Jean” Gonsalves, WFXT reported.

The couple was married five years after John Gonsalves wrote to his mother, the television station reported.

On Dec. 9, 2021, Angelina Gonsalves, 89, opened a package from a man she was married to for 61 years but did not know as a young soldier.

“Imagine that! Seventy-six years!” Angelina Gonsalves told WFXT on Tuesday. “I just couldn’t believe it. And then just his handwriting and everything. It was just so amazing.”

The postal service also included a note.

“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.”

The Gonsalves family called the facility to thank them for delivering the letter, WFXT reported.

John Gonsalves had ended his letter with the note, “Love and kisses, Your son Johnny. I’ll be seeing you soon, I hope.”

“It’s like he came back to me, you know? Really. That was amazing,” said Angelina Gonsalves, who turns 90 this month. “He was a good man. He really was. Everybody loved him.”