Woman gets to know her late father with 400 WWII letters

Judie Tosh's father served in World War II and sent letters to her mother during his time in the service. He was declared missing in action in 1944.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 7:29 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG/Gray News) - An Iowa woman got to learn about her dad, who died when she was a baby, when she found a sack full of his letters, KCRG reports.

Judie Tosh was born during World War II while her father was in England with the Army Air Corps. Years after his passing, she has pages of memories she’s been able to create.

“He loved to fly,” she said.

Tosh’s father Virgil Prior served in World War II from 1941 until he was declared missing in action in 1944.

“They were on a bombing run to France,” said Tosh.

Tosh was just six weeks old when he died.

More than 50 years later after her mom died in 1999, she found a sack full of letters.

“I was just so astounded by the volume!” she said.

There were 400 letters written by her dad to her mom during his time in the service.

“He always started out ‘my darling wife,’” Tosh said.

With each pen stroke, Judie said it was a way to get to know her father, even though they never met.

“That’s how I knew my dad! Was reading his thoughts,” she said. “Over time, I’ve read them all.”

Tosh said out of all 400, there’s one letter she loves the most.

“The one that he got that he knew I was born. He was very excited. He named me. He was counting on a girl. They didn’t even have a boy’s name,” she said. “He said ‘I ran around the barracks screaming ‘It’s a girl!’ So, that might be one of my favorite ones.”

His words closed the gap between decades, proof of his devotion to his young wife and baby daughter.

“But it was really something, I think, that she kept all that,” Tosh said. “He wrote so much!”