Man finds World War II letters he hopes to return to family

About 100 letters written by a World War II soldier to his sister were found by a local collector at a flea market.

Now he's hoping to track down the family for a special delivery.

"I was just killing time and going through the flea market and noticing the letters," said a local man named Barry, who declined to give his last name. "And I was surprised some family member did not have them

The letters caught Barry's attention and started him on a mission to return them to the family.

"Once they're in the garbage or once they are  tossed out, that history of the family is gone," Barry said. "And 100 letters during World War II should have some significance to somebody."

Long before today's modern technology, the letters were handwritten by Edward Siwiecki in the 1940s as he served his country overseas.

"They're dated and have the name of the ship on there which is the USS South Dakota and that was a battleship," Barry said.

Siwiecki mailed the letters to a now-abandoned house on 31st Street in Detroit.  

"All letters were addressed to same person and two of the letters did not have envelopes and I could tell they were mailed to his sister," Barry said. 

His sister's name was Helen.

In one letter he tells his sister about some of the hardships of military life .but is still concerned about her and other family members at home.

Barry said he has not ready any of the letters.

"I was just more interested in the stamps and the fact that this was a military person," Barry said.

He said he wants to get letters in the hands of one of Edward's family members. Most of the letters were written to his sister Helen but he does mention other family member's names.

In one example he writes that he's "still alive and kicking, and I hope that Mom, Pop, Frankie, Virginia and you are in the best of health also. I guess I'll be coming home soon, but that's only a guess."

Barry says through his efforts to find Siwiecki he learned that he died in 1987. 

He says if he can't find a family member, he hopes someone will benefit from Siwiecki's letters that reveal a period of American history.

"My goal was to try and find a family member or turn it over to some military organization that might be interested in the information," Barry said.
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