World War II Uniform Found in Attic, Returned to Widow

A homeowner in Arizona made plans to renovate his house, but made a surprising discovery before the construction started. In the attic was a bag containing a World War II uniform in mint condition. Even the buttons were still bright and shining. The owner of the house decided to track down the veteran’s family.

The uniform belonged to Thomas Wilson, Jr., and his name was printed on the green bag. The bag also held magazines from that time period, along with Dutch wooden shoes, a photo and an old checkbook. Wilson died in 2012. His family sold his home in Arcadia the following year, but the moving process was complicated, leading to the bag being left behind.

After a little bit of time, the unnamed homeowner and his realtor were able to track down Wilson’s relatives. Amazingly, this included his 96-year-old widow. The soldier’s wife, Delma, said, “Big surprise… I knew what they were, but it had been so long since I had seen anything like that.” The family was shocked to realize they had left something so important behind during the move.

Wilson’s surviving relatives said he led a team that focused on the use of ambulances. His unit consisted entirely of African American men, as the military was still segregated at this point. Wilson did not talk about the war often, but he wrote a memoir, setting down the details of his years in action. After the war, he kept in touch with several of his men.

The old house had been in the family for more than five decades before it was put up for sale. His daughter, Leah Morse, said, “We were a little astounded to realize we had left something very important in that attic.”

That “something” was very important, and definitely impossible for the family to replace. Thanks to the house’s new owners, however, they didn’t have to.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE