Mechanicsville woman finds WWII letters in dresser bought at auction

Mechanicsville woman finds WWII letters in dresser bought at auction

MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - A Mechanicsville woman stumbled upon a love story decades in the making.

While refurbishing some old furniture, Melissa Felts-Rogers discovered lost love letters dating back to World War II.  Now she's on a mission to find the people in the letters or their families.

Rogers says the pile of letters and postcards was stashed in the back of an old dresser.

"The person that put them there knew they were there, but nobody else would have known they were there," she said.

It turns out that Felts-Rogers just stumbled upon a love story. The letters were addressed to Private Julian J Mitchell at Camp Wheeler in Georgia, and the woman writing them is May McKinney, who called 110 West Cary Street in Richmond home.  The letters were written from June to July 1942.

Felts-Rogers says at first, she didn't want to read them.

"I felt like I was invading someone's privacy," she said.

But after some encouragement from friends, she put the letters in order and opened them up.

Here are some excerpts from the letters:

Hello honey. I just got the present. I love it.

Felts Rogers says the letters mention Private Mitchell fighting the Japanese.  She says May talks about a son named Richard and that she's sick. She also signs the letters with the name "Sadie." Some of the letters say Gertrude McKinney in the return address.

Now, Felts-Rogers is sharing this discovery hoping to give the letters back.

"I would love to find the families not only of May but also of Julian," she said.  "I hope he came home. That's my hope."

Since posting the letters on Facebook, Felts-Rogers say a woman claiming to be May's granddaughter has contacted her, but she's still looking for Private Mitchell's family.

Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved