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Postmark: 07/19/1943

Return Address:
Pvt. V. Misitano
Co K 342 Inf
A.P.O. 450
Camp Howze, Texas
U.S. Army

Dearest Mother,

   Just a few lines to let you know that I'm feeling fine and hope that you are the same.

   I received a letter from you on Fri. and one on Sat. and I was very glad to hear from you.

   The poem you had in your letter was a sweet poem and I enjoyed reading it very much.

   Mother I hope it's true that you enjoy reading my letters because I enjoy writing them to you. Mother, you said that a lot of others write to me and tell me how much I mean to them, well, the only ones that wrote to me since I've come back from furlough are you and Rosie.

   I received a nice pkg. from Rosie Thur. night. It had candy bars, chewing gum and cookies in it. That's about the third pkg. I received from her in the last 6 wks.

   Mother, guess what I had for breakfast yesterday? Well I had 4 pancakes, some cooked prunes, a glass of milk and, this is the best part, for dessert we had a 12 mi. hike. We started the hike at 7:30 and got back to camp at 11:30, just in time for dinner. We had our full field packs and rifles with us and every mi. they seemed to get heavier. We had 4 ten min. breaks. We walked out 6 mi. and back 6 mi, and when we got back to camp we sure were tired and right after dinner I laid down on my bunk and in a second I was asleep. I woke up in time for supper (5:45).

   On Fri. we're going to go on a 25 mi. force hike and we are supposed to make it in 8 hrs. These hikes wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so hot here. When I got back from the hike yesterday my clothes were soaking wet from sweat. Even now I'm all sweated up just sitting here writing this letter, so mother, you can figure out just how hot the sun is out here.

   Well mother, not much more to say so I'll close with lots of love to you mother dear, daddy and the kids.

   Your loving Son,


   When you said that guy was the kissing type, I really laughed. Do you know why he killed his wife? Did the papers say anything about it?

   Write Soon.

Supplemental Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes:

Following Newspaper clippings elaborate on the subject of the post-script in this letter:

Lock Haven Express newspaper clipping, April 6, 1943

Woman Slain at Hollidaysburg

Man Kills Wife After She Wins Alimony in Blair County Court.

In full view of a crowd leaving the Blair County court house for the noon recess, a man whipped out a revolver today and killed his estranged wife, who had just received an alimony award from the court.

Huntingdon Daily News clipping - June 22, 1943

Barber Says He Can't Remember Shooting Wife

Under cross-examination, Michael Musto, Altoona barber, maintained that he remembered nothing of his fatally shooting his estranged wife on the Blair Count courthouse steps...

Testifying in his own behalf, Musto declared that a blow he had received on his head when a boy in Italy is "responsible for my mental condition."

Defense Attorneys Robert J Puderbaugh and J Banks Kurtz introduced five letters that Musto wrote to his wife, purporting to show "love and affection."...

Altoona Mirror Clipping - June 23, 1943


Fate of Defendant Charged with Killing Wife, Will Go to Jury Today

The fate of Michael Musto, 45-year-old Altoona beauty shop owner, in his trial for murder in connection with the fatal shooting of his wife, Mrs. Mary Musto, aged 36, will be placed in the hands of the jury at Hollidaysburg at mid-afternoon today. ...

As Mr. Kurtz (defense attorney) pointed to the jury that "Michael Musto loved his wife and he loved his children," the defendant sobbed for a long period, with his head bowed into his hands. ...

Urging the jury to return a verdict of "not guilty." Mr. Kurtz cried on one occasion as he grew eloquent in his plea for the defendant. ... If you convict Musto, you will have convicted a man with a diseased mind."

In opening his plea, District Attorney Wray pointed to the killing of Mrs. Mary Musto on the county courthouse steps on last April 6 "as a most heinous crime which was committed at the very portals of this house of justice."

Oil City Derrick newspaper clipping, June 24, 1943

Jury Convicts Altoona Man of Murder of Wife

A jury today convicted Michael Musto, diminutive Altoona barber, of the murder of his wife and recommended he be electrocuted.

The verdict came after 90 minutes of deliberation by the seven men and five women.

Bradford Era newspaper clipping - August 17, 1943

Barber Sentenced to Die in Chair for Slaying Wife

A 45-year-old Altoona barber was sentenced by Judge George G Patterson to die in the electric chair for the murder of his estranged wife last April 6 on the steps of the Blair county courthouse.

Altoona Mirror Clipping - March 20, 1944

Rockview Penitentiary: Michael Musto walked calmly to his death in the elecric chair here early today to pay for the murder of his estranged wife, Mrs. Mary Musto, on the Blair County courthouse steps last April 6.


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