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WWII Letter Returned to Cedar Crest Resident, 70 Years Later

January 4, 2016

Cedar Crest resident Carolyn DePodwin was surprised when she opened a Fed-Ex package recently and a letter, postmarked July 1945 with a 6-cent Airmail stamp, addressed to her husband Horace fell out.  The letter was written by Carolyn 70 years ago to her soon-to-be husband, a soldier serving in the 10th Mountain Division in Italy during WWII. Luckily, the Australian couple who found the letter in a used book they purchased online realized how important the historical document was and wanted to return it to its original owner.


The couple googled the name "DePodwin," found Horace's obituary from 2010, and discovered that he was the dean of Rutgers University Graduate School of Management from 1966 to 1982.  They sent the letter to Rutgers for delivery to Carolyn, who currently lives at Cedar Crest, an active continuing care retirement community in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.


Carolyn was delighted to have the correspondence in her possession again. She didn't know that her husband saved her letter from WWII and kept it in the Economics book that she donated to a local library a few years ago. 


"My letter was to Horace, who was to be my husband on his return," said Carolyn. "I had just heard from him that he expected to be coming home before being shipped to Japan with his Division (via New York). The Division sailed in August 1945 and cleared Montauk Point the day the atomic bomb was dropped. The next day they sailed into New York harbor, and peace was declared. The rest is history!"