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Another Love Letter from My Dad during World War II

February 14, 2018


For This Valentine’s Day of 2018,


Another Love Letter from Europe during World War II


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa and her father, James F. Massa



My parents, James and Mary Massa, were married in a very simple ceremony in Rockville, Indiana, on December 4, 1942, while my dad was serving in the Army .  For just three days less than 55 years, they were each other’s Valentine.


Throughout their marriage, my parents saved a multitude of greeting cards of various types, from each other and from my sister and me.  All of these cards were placed in the large, lowest drawer  of the tall chest-of-drawers in their bedroom; they kept some other mementos in this deep and wide drawer also.  One year, during the later years of their marriage, my mother decided that she would go through the cards which Dad had given to her; and then she would recycle the card to her Jimmy for the particular occasion.  Then, Dad decided to follow suit:  rather than shopping at a card store, he, too, perused the collection of cards in the lowest drawer and selected a card to recycle to my mother.  At first, they found this new custom more humorous than I did; nevertheless, after a while, I arrived at the mindset that this new tradition of exchanging cards from their earlier years was precious.


In our keepsakes, my sister and I do not have a February-postmarked letter from my dad to my mother during World War II.  Perhaps, the February letter was (or letters were) lost or deliberately not handed down to my sister and me.  Thus, this third letter which I am sharing on WORDWALK is dated a few months after February, during a brighter and happier time.  As I copy this letter below, I think of all the service men and women who are unable to be with their loved ones on this Valentine’s Day, and I keep them in my thoughts and prayers.


* * *


May 3, 1945


Dearest Wife,


Received your letter and was sure glad to hear from you.  I’ve been listening to the radio, and the news seems pretty good.


How’s Lydia [my mother’s next older sister who was expecting her first baby] feeling?  I sure hope she doesn’t have any trouble.


How’s the weather there?  Has it warmed up any yet?  It’s partly chilly here also.


I received a letter from Charlie [my dad’s older brother who was serving as a mechanic, perhaps, in England at this time] and one from Johnny [my dad’s next younger brother who was serving in the Infantry, in Europe].  They are alright.


Honey, I really miss you.  I can’t hardly wait till I get home to you.


How’s Billy and Donald Ray [young nephews]? Tell them I said “Hello.”  How’s the blond at the office?  [My sister and I have no idea who this person at the office is.  While my father was overseas, my mother worked at the Welfare Department at the Vermillion County Courthouse of Indiana; she also worked at her parents’ grocery store in Blanford, Indiana.]  Tell the folks I said “Hello.”


Honey, closing with loads of love and kisses.

Your husband, Jimmy


* * *


The above letter was written on a “V–MAIL,” which measures four by five inches.  As I noted in other blog posts, my extraordinary father was in the 638th Tank Destroyer Battalion.  Our family was so blessed because after serving in World War II, my dad and his three brothers–Charlie, Johnny, and Jules–came back home to Indiana safe and well.


Hoping that you have enjoyed a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


February 14, 2018, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–This was a nice Valentine’s Day post, even if it is dated May instead of February–almost the end of the war in Europe which is reflected in your father’s words. I always like to read “original source” items from the past, and I’m so happy you shared this love letter–also happy that your father and his three brothers were able to be reunited with loved ones after the war.–Sue

    • Sue–Many thanks for your comment on this post which means so much to me.  I hope that you and John enjoyed Valentine’s Day.

      More soon–Alice and Willow

      2/15/2018 11:24 AM, alice13wordwalk wrote:

      > >

  2. Dear Alice,
    Thank you for sharing this touching message from Dad to Mother. Dad’s caring and concern for others is evident in the letter and reflects how he lived his entire life. With his gentle and generous manner, he was always ready to help others–family, friends, or strangers–in any way he could. He was a remarkable person, and I am so thankful that you keep his memory alive through your writing.
    With belated Valentine wishes and love for you and your sweetheart Willow,

    • Mary–Thanks for adding the “older daughter” perspective.  Your comment is quite special.

      Enjoy your long weekend and talk with you soon–Alice and Willow

  3. Precious and touching. Miraculous that he and his brothers made it home safely! I love their recycling the cards during later years. Cool idea!! Take good care, Alice!

    • Hi, Paula–Many thanks for your comments!  I have not heard of another couple’s recycling greeting cards in this manner

          If you have missed my two posts about PEANUT OF BLIND FAITH FARM, you may enjoy reading about Peanut and watching his television appearances at:

      Have a good week and be well!  Alice

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