LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A letter postmarked in Alabama nearly 70 years ago has just arrived at its California destination.

KNX 1070’s Chris Sedens reports the World War II-era letter is addressed to a Miss R.T. Fletcher at the American Red Cross Station Hospital in Camp Roberts, about 60 miles northwest of Bakersfield.

Camp Roberts was closed in 1970, so the letter was redirected to the Camp Roberts Historical Museum curator Gary McMaster, who says the post office doesn’t know how the letter went missing for so many decades, or how it was found.

McMaster said the letter was delivered “just like another piece of mail, with no explanation.”

The postal service has no idea what might have happened.

“It’s just a guessing game as to where it came from,” said Joseph Breckenridge, a postal service spokesman in Atlanta.

He said there’s no way the letter could have been floating around in the postal system since 1944.

“No equipment, or transportation, or storage stuff is still in service from 66 years ago,” Breckenridge said. “Now if it were three years ago, I would think it could have been in a tray or a sack or something.”

Having a letter delivered from World War II is unusual but not unheard of, said Breckenridge, who has been with the postal service for 35 years.

“I’ve encountered this a half-dozen times,” he said.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (12)
  1. Pookie says:

    It’s time to shut down the USPS.

    1. colleen says:

      Its not the USPS fault, who knows what happened to it, but it is pretty cool that it has been found, I wonder what it was about!!! Interesting!!!!

  2. anoneeeeeeeeee says:

    “there’s no way the letter could have been floating around in the postal system since 1944.”

    ^^ You’re optimistic.

  3. Brett Lane says:

    The post office doesn’t have to be accountable to anyone. That’s the problem. If someone would compare the US postal service to the postal service in Japan, that person would be shocked!!!!

  4. Scott Turner says:

    Japan would cost about a $1.25 to mail a letter. In the US it is only 44c. The US actually has the lowest postage of all industrialized nations. Making it quite a deal. And the USPS receives no federal funding.

  5. ann says:

    The USPS does receive federal funding in the form of no sales tax, no property on their property, and the ability to purchase land cheaply where ever they decide they need land cheaply.

  6. mj says:

    since it is not the fault that USPS did not deliver the letter on time years ago, then I am very surprised that it was not sent to the dead letter file for insufficient postage , or at best it affived at destination with Postage Due

  7. Sarah says:

    The post office is putting itself out of business. Yes, it costs only 44 cents to mail a letter but the cost doesn’t match the service. It cost 44 cents to mail a letter to your next door neighbor but only 98 cents to mail the same letter to Hong Kong–that makes no sense. And don’t even think about trying to mail a package w/o it becoming an involved ordeal! You practically need a PhD to ship a box these days. “Express or Priority? Deliver confimation? Insurance? Signaure required? Flat rate?” Makes my head spin!!! It shouldn’t be so complicated. Whether a letter or a box, make is SIMPLE!

  8. Nancy says:

    @Sarah, so, “if it fits it ships” is too confusing for you? Have you filled out a FedEx or UPS shipping form lately? Not so simple.

  9. Stacey says:

    I sent a laptop in the mail just last week, was a 5 minute process. That included the insurance and all. It’s really not so difficult if you don’t make it difficult.

  10. TT says:

    isnt anybody even the least bit curious as to what is in that WW2 Letter ?

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