Thursday, March 24, 2016

298 and counting!

Thanks to the Sutcliffe collection, we've added THREE names to our catalog of World War II Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion: 

  1. William Browell of Landsowne PA (ironic as I studied at Temple University, mere miles away)
  2. Ann Pearce of Iselin New Jersey
  3. Sadie Aclam of Middletown New York

We're almost at 300! No word yet from my request to the President to recognize these good men and women for their significant contributions during the War. I remain hopeful. At the very least, this shows that more than 10 years after my own discovery of these letters to the Spahr family, people are still finding this story and sharing their very own collections of letters with us in hopes of celebrating these fine men, women and children who cared enough to tune into short-wave radio and send a note off to a POW family letting them know their loved one was indeed alive. 

Thank you Sutcliffe family for sharing these letters. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sanford Lowe Strikes Again! At least 12,023 letters sent over the course of WWII!

Friends, I am excited to share this news in one of several upcoming blog posts.
Last week I received a lovely email from Mr. John Sutcliffe, son of Flying Officer (F/O) John (Jack) Sutcliffe from Toronto, Ontario.  Mr. Sutcliffe shared with me the four letters that his family received regarding his father's imprisonment during WWII. I recognized a line in one of the letters instantaneously...
"This is the 12,023rd message forwarded by me from Tokyo and Berlin. Please refer to this number when acknowledging message." He goes on to note that he is an "Independent Short Wave Monitor."
We know him don't we? It is our dear Mr. Sanford Lowe of NY, NY. We'd recognize his style anywhere. He always noted which letter number your message was and he often noted who donated the postage that was applied to your letter.
For those new to this story, Mr. Lowe wrote to my family, the Spahr's in May 1943 to report my grandfather had been captured and was serving as a POW in Germany. We were his 873rd message sent since January 1, 1943.  In the Second Edition of World War II Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion (2013) I detail on pages 33, 132, and 162-64 that Mr. Lowe sent letters to other families as well, including the Heer and Young families, and at that time I found documentation that he had sent 10,379 letters over the course of the war. The Sutcliffe collection adds to that and now affirms Mr. Lowe's total to be at least 12,023!  Amazing!