Lost Letters Dating to WWII Get Redelivered

Postmark date on letter from World War II
Postmark date on letter from World War II | Image by KARK 4/Instagram

A letter carrier who discovered lost letters dating back to World War II managed to track down the owner.

Alvin Gauthier, who has worked for around 20 years as a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service, discovered the hand-written letters in a bin while preparing for his shift, reported NBC 5 DFW.

“I was getting ready for my route and found some letters that were dated back to 1942, so World War II,” Gauthier told NBC 5.

The lost letters resonated with Gauthier, and he was determined to seek out the family they belonged to.

“Being a veteran myself, so I’m like, man, this is some history! Because, once again, mail boosts morale for all soldiers, so my main thought was I have to find this family,” said Gauthier, per NBC 5.

The only problem? The recipient’s address on the letters was for Jacksonville, Arkansas, a city with a population of nearly 30,000 people. Fortunately, the letters included the soldier’s name and a military return address.

To help him on his search, Gauthier connected with NBC in Little Rock, who then published a story that ultimately led him to the family of the soldier who wrote the letters — Marion Lamb — in Jacksonville.

The last step was to complete the actual delivery. Making his way on his own dime, Gauthier drove to Jacksonville on one of his days off and delivered the letters in person.

“I could have stuck them in the mail, but it’s kinda like sometimes you have to go above and beyond,” Gauthier said, per NBC 5. “Just go the extra mile … or 379 miles.”

A family member had sent the letters in a package to Debbie Smith, Lamb’s niece, who lives in Grand Prairie, reported NBC 5. Smith, who is the family’s historian, never received the letters, however, because the package somehow opened along the way causing the letters to become lost in transit.

“It restores your faith in people. And we saw the connection, the real connection, between military families,” Debbie Smith, Lamb’s niece, told NBC affiliate KARK.

“They are like my family now,” Gauthier said, per NBC 5. “And if kinda something like this happens next week, I will do the same thing again!”

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