Family sought after Army uniform with love letter from 1957 found in ditch

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 1:29 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KMBC) – A Kansas City woman is searching for answers after a well-maintained army uniform was found in a ditch by the side of the road.

Luann Palmer is hunting for the uniform owner’s family after she said her daughter found it Tuesday.

Palmer said the uniform was found on a coat hanger in a ditch on a remote road in the Piper neighborhood.

“I just thought if it was my dad’s I would want it back,” Palmer said.

In one of the uniform’s pockets, there was a love letter addressed to Howard Pennington from a woman which reads, in part, “sweetheart my love, I miss you so very much.”

Palmer took the letter along with a 1957 postmark from Verdun, France, and reached out on social media looking for answers.

Molly Jennings saw the post and responded.

“I like to try and solve a lot of mysteries,” she said. “I shared it with my daughter, and she initially ran with it.”

Jennings and her daughter were able to learn that Pennington was assigned to an area combat engineer’s unit. The unit was once in France to build roads.

The investigators also found out Pennington died just three days after the postmark on the letter, however, they don’t know if he received the letter or how he died.

Upon further research, Jennings found Pennington’s relatives in Clinton, Missouri, which is about an hour away from where the uniform and letter were found.

The relatives said they did not know anything about the uniform.

“I really just want to know who had it. I want to know why they kept it safe for 65 years,” Jennings said.

The last thing they’ve discovered so far is that Pennington’s commanding officer lived in nearby Leavenworth and still has family in that area.