Woman discovers 100 letters written by Navy seaman during WW2, looking for owner

CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - From 1942 to 1946, Fred Sherrill Jr wrote more than 100 letters by hand and mailed them from military bases all over the country.

All of them were addressed to "Mother and Dad." All of them were written by hand. All of them were written with love by a young man in his 20s who'd never been away from his Catawba County home.

More than 70 years after the letters stopped, a Newton woman discovered the bundle of letters in her basement. She gave those letters to her sister, Tracy Pope, with hopes she could track down the owner.

"Every time he writes it was dear mother and father, and he's so sweet when he asks how they're doing," Pope said.

She held on to the letters until last night when she re-read them and a picture of the writer fell out of one of the envelopes. She posted the photo along with a few of the envelopes on Facebook.

"If anyone wants to share this, please share so I can find the family," Pope said.

Her post was shared more than 100 times and in a matter of hours, Rebecca Speagle-Rogers spoke up, "I immediately said that's my grandfather."

Seagle-Rogers was thrilled to find out the long-lost letters had been found. Although they might have never been really lost. Pope says she discovered her sister actually rents a home from the Sherrill family and the letters had been forgotten there.

The heartfelt expressions of a homesick man aren't forgotten anymore.

Although Sherrill passed away in 1980, his granddaughter says the two were very close and she can't wait to read his letters.

"When I get them back and I get to start reading them, I can bring him back to life, even if just for a moment. I mean, I was only 10 when he died, but you don't know the bond that my grandfather and I had," Speagle-Rogers said.

Pope plans on meeting this weekend with a very grateful granddaughter to hand the long-lost letters over.

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