WWII letters lead to quest to find family members of fallen soldier

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BELTON, TX (KCEN/NBC News/WCMH) – When a Texas family moved into their new home, they found priceless letters from World War II in the wooden shed outside.

Samantha Pimentel found 50 letters post marked between 1940 and 1942, all of them written to or from Otha E. Sims, a Private First Class with the U.S. Army during WWII.

Pimentel also found Sims’ newspaper obituary reading “killed in action.” He was just 20 years old.

Now Pimentel has made it her mission to find a family member so she can pass along these memories.

“Somebody left these and I don’t think they meant to,” Pimentel told KCEN.

While she was going through the letters, Pimtel was finally able to put a face to Sims’ name. Tucked away in the yellow stack of envelopes was a newspaper clipping with a black and white photo of Sims. The caption said he was killed in action in North Africa. Sims was 20 years old.

Pimentel is now on a mission to find a relative of Sims so she can give them the letters, and she won’t stop until she can find the rightful owner.

“This was a part of history,” she said. “I’m hoping to get these to a family member that will appreciate and cherish their background so they can go through the letters and stories and share them with generation after generation. “

To help with her quest, Pimentel has made a list of family members from the family tree she found in the stack of letters public in hopes of finding a relative.

Sims’ grandparents: Benjamin Franklin Sims and Malissa Jane Graves

Sims’ parents: Jessie Preston Sims and Dora Jane Bruton

Sims’ siblings: Angie Sims (Virgie Moore), Dela May Sims (deceased), Vela A. Sims, Lester Sims, Adell Sims (first husband: Lewis Morisett/second husband: William Tyroch Jr.), Goldie Sims, Amanda Sims, Sherman Sims.

Anyone who has information that could help track down a relative of Sims is asked to email tpelt@kcentv.com.

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