A Stolen Letter of Personal History From World War II Returned to Owner

Attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, 1941.
Attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, 1941.

It was an extraordinary moment for Greg and Rosemary Almeida, when they met, after school, Duc Nguyen, the Bear Creek High School sophomore who possessed a piece of their lost, cherished treasure.

A letter written 75 years ago written by Greg’s father had been stolen last month from a storage locker.

On Saturday, Nguyen and numerous other students took part in Coastal Cleanup Day, cleaning up trash along the north bank of Mosher Slough, when he came across a piece of another family’s valuable memorabilia.

It was underneath a bridge in a homeless camp that was with a cluster of stolen mail; Nguyen told the couple.

While he was going through the mail, he discovered toys, pictures, and a passport.

He saw a letter and read it. He knew it was something important because it was from 1941.

The letter, written Dec. 15, 1941, was only eight days after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour.

Greg’s father, George, had been in the military. Stationed in Virginia and homesick, he was writing to Greg’s mother that he wouldn’t be able to come home for Christmas because they were going to be shipped off to Europe, just before the week was over.

He never thought he’d see the letter again.letter, and now that he has it back, it will not be put in storage facilities anymore, Greg said.

He feels great now that the letter has been returned to its rightful owner, Nguyen said. He knew it meant something to someone, so he held onto it, Nguyen said.

Chemistry teacher Steve Meredith said that this was a Coastal Cleanup Day that now holds a greater significance to his pupils, AOL News reported.

“Whenever you get personal items that kinda connects Coastal Cleanup Day to something personal in people’s lives, I think it becomes far more meaningful,” Meredith said.

“Hope. Hope for the future. With kids like this in our future, it’s a positive memory,” added Greg’s wife, Rosemary.

Ian Harvey

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