Sisters Madie, left, and Hannah Podgorny of Elmira, hold a postcard intended for two other sisters -- Pauline and Theresa Leisenring -- who once lived in their Bridgman Street home. (Photo: Jennifer Kingsley, (Elmira, N.Y.) Star-Gazette)

Sisters Madie, left, and Hannah Podgorny of Elmira, hold a postcard intended for two other sisters — Pauline and Theresa Leisenring — who once lived in their Bridgman Street home.
(Photo: Jennifer Kingsley, (Elmira, N.Y.) Star-Gazette)

World War II Era Postcard Arrives 69 Years Late

Small wonder that the U.S. Postal Service is losing money. A postcard mailed from Rockford, IL back in 1943 when World War II was in full swing has finally arrived at its destination in Elmira, NY some 69 years late.

The original recipients intended for the postcard, two sisters, no longer live at that address, but the postcard was delivered to the home’s current occupants, Mr. and Mrs. Adam Rundell.

Mrs. Rundell said that they were both shocked when they saw the date on the postmark and are amazed that the card was in perfect condition as though it had just been mailed yesterday.

“It was delivered in mint condition. We were so shocked,” Laura Rundell said. “It’s a treasure that just showed up in the mailbox with our address on it.”

“We hear about things like this happening every once in a while,” said Karen Mazurkiewicz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service in Buffalo. “Generally, if old mail pieces are uncovered in a postal facility, they are put in the mail with information about where the items are found.”

Sometimes old mail is found in store rooms or old mail bas.

“Since we didn’t have much big machinery in 1943, my guess is a non-postal individual found it and put it in the mail,” Mazurkiewicz said. “As long as there is a deliverable address, the Postal Service will deliver it.”

The message on the card was sent by the parents of Pauline and Theresa Leisenring after they had visited the girls’ brother at the Army Medical Hospital in Rockford. A spokesman for the Post Office couldn’t explain where it had been kept all these years or where it was finally found so it could be delivered.

No note or explanation accompanied the very late postcard to explain why it took the Postal Service almost 70 years for delivery.