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Out of a Clear Sky

Posted by on March 11, 2017

May 23, 1945. There are two documents from Anna to Dad; one a V-mail and another three page typewritten letter.  In the V-Mail she confirms receiving the first two V-mails that Dad sent since “he has landed on dry land.” She notes that “We are all very glad that you got there safely Anthony and mama did her usual share of unnecessary worry and I had my share of convincing to do that you would arrive safely at your destination. …as soon as the letters lag a little she gets worried. …I am glad that you are on land again as it gives us a somewhat more stable feeling about you.”

Although the war has come to an end in Europe bringing with it the hope that Stanley will be home soon, and Dad is now on dry land “somewhere in the Marianas Islands”, the specter of  those who have paid the ultimate price in War seems to strike a little too close to home. Apparently in the letter Anna had included a newspaper clipping that included “…the grave of John Maliszewski (Maleski) on Leyte in the Pacific and his brother kneeling beside it.  It felt so funny to look at the picture because the fellow used to go to school with me and now he is six feet under and in a few years grass will have grown over the grave and he cross will rot away and fall and everybody will forget about him except his family. Eddie felt funny too because he and Johnny used to pal around together when they went to school.”

Photo from the May 13, 1945 edition of the Albany Times Union showing Paul Maleski kneeling at the grave of his brother John on Leyte Island in the Philippines.

To provide a little more information on Johnny Maleski, according to a notice in the August 23, 1948 edition of the Albany Times Union, he was killed in action on November 12, 1944. The 1948 notice references a funeral from a local funeral home with a Mass following at St. Casimir’s. There is no indication of an interment, but from the involvement of a funeral home I assume that Maleski’s body was returned to Albany from the Philippines.

Notice of John Maleski’s death and funeral from the August 23, 1948 edition of the Albany Times Union. Press clippings courtesy of

On the brighter side, as is often the case in letters from home, Anna includes the latest news about  little Terry. She mentions taking her to the park where she had “the swellest time…she ran around chasing squirrels and pigeons so much that on the way home she wanted me to carry her but daddy did…” She also writes “… baby Terry prays for Uncle Anthony every night before she goes to sleep. Sometimes it is good to have a god child…you know the Lord always listens to the prayers of little children. Every night Terry folds her little hands and prays for you to come back home to us safely after this mess. Terry does everything for you, Anthony… she told me it is because ‘Uncle Antos is nice and soft and tender and loves me.’ Those are the very words Terry spoke to me and they came out of a clear sky.”

Anna is doing as well as can be expected with a baby on the way. The due date is less than a month away (June 22) and according to Anna things are starting to really show. “…the way I am now it is hard for me to maneuver around quickly. I feel like a ten ton Mack truck…”

In other news from the home front in Albany:

  • Clair and Henry Weiss are going to have a baby in September, or as Anna puts it, “Claire finally got fooled after six years of marriage.”
  • Their cousin Edward Morawski was home for two weeks for the baptism of his child.
  • Joe Gecewicz and Peggy DeRouville got married.

Before closing out, Anna addresses a part of the letter directly to Stanley and mentions that they received his VE Day letter that described his “trip in an airplane over Europe. It sure was very nice and interesting to read about. It does however seem strange that you should be seeing all the strange places that we have read about in our papers back home. I hope with you Stanley that you will get a chance to come home for a while if not permanently.  I am just hoping that you could come home in time to be the god-father of Terry’s baby brother.”

Her closing thoughts are, “Who knows, maybe by the time I get to write my next letter I will be in the hospital because already as it is it is not a whole month now and babies get born two weeks ahead of time as much as they get born a few weeks late. Who knows what will happen.”

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