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World War II Tree Carving Links American G.I. To Bride 65 Years Later

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A Ph.D. student has traced a tree carving to back to the wife of a World War II soldier.
A Ph.D. student has traced a tree carving to back to the wife of a World War II soldier.

In 1944, before he left for D-Day, an American soldier stationed in England carved a note to his wartime sweetheart whom he had secretly married before heading off to war.

The carving simply read: “F. Fearing. Hudson, Mass. 6-4-44,” and was followed by the name Helen, and a love heart.

Some 65 years later, Chantel Summerfield, a British Archaeology student found the tree carving in Salisbury, England, where Fearing was stationed, reports the Scotsman.

One of the world's only tree carving specialists, Summerfield managed to track down Barbara Metheny, the daughter of Frank and Helen, who was living in Hudson, Mass.

Summerfield discovered that the couple had settled down after Frank survived the war and lived a long and prosperous life until he died in 2001.

While Helen was able to see the tree carving six decades later, when Summerfield first contacted her, she's since passed away.

"It was amazing to be able to give her that and show her the carving," Summerfield told the Telegraph.

According to Summerfield, it was one of several carvings the American G.I. left across Europe during the war.

The 24-year-old Ph.D. student has since traced the life stories of both World War I and World War II soldiers from tree bark.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that D-Day occurred in 1945.

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