Letters From The Past

Monday, September 5, 2011 - 9:29am

WWII history buff reunites airman with letters written home during the war.

Take one young World War II history buff, add an artifact few people knew existed, and add a gracious act from this generation to the Greatest Generation.

It all adds up to one beautiful act.

A fan of the B-29 Superfortress primarily flown during World War II, 30-year-old Trevor McIntyre of Morganton, Georgia had long sought collectibles that had to do with the plane.

One night on eBay, he saw something new: letters from an estate sale, written during the war by an airman who flew on the plane.

"I decided I would place a bid," McIntyre recalled. "The next morning I woke up to find myself the owner of 150 letters."

In the letters, he found details and stories -- the musings and emotions of a man named Sgt. Dave LeMal, who by now had surely passed away.

Except LeMal was still alive.

"I got an e-mail that said Dave was very much still alive, and it just floored me," said McIntyre. "I was shocked."

Sgt. LeMal is now 90 years old, living in Pennsylvania.

"He had no idea they were sold," McIntyre said. "And he had no idea his mother had even kept them after the war, so he hadn't even seen these for 65-plus years."

Until now.

McIntyre drove up north and brought all 150 letters with him to give to Sgt. LeMal.

And why do all that work for a complete stranger?

"They believed that a better tomorrow could be reached from a bad today," McIntyre said of those who served during World War II. "Meeting Dave and returning the letters, it's just my small part of trying to repay that debt."


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