Dallas Man Hoping to Return Lost World War II Letters to Sailor's Family

At the corner or Wycliff Avenue and Rawlins Street in Dallas' Perry Heights neighborhood sits a 1920s-era home that's a time capsule of sorts.

When Ben Collins moved in about five years ago, he discovered the treasures hidden inside while renovating the attic.

"There was this white, kind of fluffy, insulation that was about two-feet high, covering the entire attic. It kind of looked like they filmed the Exorcist up here," Collins said. "Cleaning out insulation and some of the floorboards, contractors found these stacks of letters that looked like they had been lost to time for 70 years."

The letters were written by a Navy sailor named Robert Kent Allen. They're addressed to his mother, father, sister and grandmother living in Dallas.

He wrote them toward the tail end of World War II while stationed in the Pacific.

"To hear the words directly from someone that's living it, that's right there, it's fascinating. It's profound," Collins said.

Collins is on the verge selling the home, but he's determined to return the letters to Allen's family.

So far, his efforts to find them have been unsuccessful. He's hoping someone will see his story and reach out.

"This is kind of a part of history. It's a part of that family's history. It doesn't feel right, us trying to keep these on a bookshelf," Collins said. "We all have family histories and family trees, and if you can hear first-hand from your grandfather, I think that's pretty special. I think it'd be something they really appreciate having."

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