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!

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