Mon père et moi!

Hello I am writing you this letter to explain a wonderful situation that happened to me Spring 2010.
I speak very little English, but my English is improving all the time. In writing this letter to you, I have had someone help me with the English and formatting for better reading. However, some portions of this letter are my direct correspondence and have not been altered.

Thank you for taking the time to read further.

Let me start from the beginning, my name is Daniel Penin, I was born July 27, 1954 and I live all my life in Chatellerault, France.

Since I was a very young man, I have been searching for my father. My father was an American serviceman, who was stationed in France, at a military camp called St. USTRE in the years 1953-1954.

I know nothing of my father; except that his name is John Jones. My mother was to marry him and eventually follow him to the United States. But life is not so simple sometimes.

Just before he was to leave back to the United States, my father tells my mother the sad truth that he was already married. My father tries to tell my mother, that once he arrives home he will seek a divorce and then he will return to France to retrieve my mother and me (I was yet to be born).

As you can imagine, my mother was sad and heartbroken, did not want him to return for her or me. She feels she can no longer trust him. So my father left in June 1954 and I was born in July 1954.

As I grew older, I always tried to find my father but have very little information, just his name. As time goes on, and as technology prevails, I prevail.

In early 2010, a co-worker of mine, Anne-Rose tells me she is in the same situation as me. She knows of forums and is kind enough to give me the address of a site on the internet called Gitrace.

On January 30 I posted my letter to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri.

Below is my exact letter to the NPRC:

Dear Sir ,

I am trying to find my father. His name is John Jones. He was my mother’s boyfriend in the years 1953-1954, and was stationed on the military base of St Ustre in Ingrandes sur Vienne (86) , near Châtellerault and Dangé Saint Romain.. He left without knowing my mother was pregnant. I just know his name. I don’t know where he lives in the USA, nothing. All that I know is that John Jones was in Military Base of St Ustre in the year 1953 and that he is my father. Also I know that he has a sister whose name was Eunice.

I was born on July 27th 1954. I work in a factory that builds pallet trucks as computer administrator.
I am married and I have 2 children : Anne (30 years old and Thomas 25 years old ).

I managed to get a picture of my father and I add it to my letter. My request is very simple ; I would like to locate my father and to know who and how he is . I think that he is probably married and has children and I don’t want to disturb his life nevertheless I would be very happy to be able to get in touch with him and –why not - to know him, to speak with him if it’s possible .I know that it’s quite difficult for you to find him because of the lack of information. But you are my last hope.

Sincerely yours ,

As fate has it, on April 10, 2010, I received a response and packet of information from the NPRC. And then miraculously, I have all the service records of my father when he was in France.

This complete record convinces me that I have finally located my father.

I still had a few obstacles; the tracking of a serviceman stops, when they leave the army. But they are kind enough to supply me a list of four possible servicemen that fit the same criteria as my father. They supply me the age, names and last known address and city of discharge city. The last known discharge information of all four men are in Kansas City, Missouri.

And now, after all these years, my father is possibly in Kansas City, Missouri. You can imagine my excitement!

So I write, on April 21, 2010. I send a letter to all four men in hopes for a miracle of finally contacting my father I have never known.

Below is my exact letter to all four men.

Dear Sir,

I am sorry to disturb you but I am writing you to know if you are the Mr. John E. Jones who has been in the US Army in 1953 in France, in the ST USTRE military base. If you are this person, would you please by kind enough to contact me through email

If you are this person but you don't want to have relationship with me and then to know why I am contacting you, please let me also know. If you are not the Mr. Jones I am looking for , then please acknowledge receipt of my mail, writing me you are not him.

I thank you very much for your help and concern, and please be sure I don't want to bother you.

The moment arrive….The early morning of April 29, 2010 at 8:30 AM….while I was at work. I receive a call from my brother-in-law. He states I have a call from a John Jones, and he will call me back within a few minutes – IT’S HAPPENED ! Two minutes later - I speak for the first time in my life, at 56 years old, to MY FATHER!!! He is 80 years old and still lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

Since our initial phone conversation, many things have happened that I will briefly explain.

On July 15, 2010, my father comes to see me in France.

He has two daughters, and I have two fantastic sisters.

Karen she is 54 and lives in Denver, CO with her husband Tom. She has one daughter from another marriage her name is Amanda. She is 29 years old.

Deborah she is 45 and lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband Mike.

My sisters and I initially had contact via FaceBook, then email, then Skype – it has been fantastic.

It was very hard to believe in the beginning. My sisters have accepted me with open arms and love. We look similar and know in our hearts we are siblings. They had always suspected through the years but could never get confirmation. But we are happy now and are trying to make up for the years apart. It’s a wonderful discovery.

Karen and I traveled to Florida on October 13, 2010 for 1 week to FINALLY meet. Our week we spend together was like we have always been together – it was a wonderful time – a fantastic time – a magical time.

Since the visits I continue to Skype often with my sisters and my father. My sisters plan a visit early spring 2011.

My father bought his first computer, just for me, so we can see each other and speak through SKYPE on a regular basis.

I want to thank the site Gitrace for allowing me to research for my father, and also Anne-Rose who is still searching for her father.

She currently has less luck than I have had. His name is Jimmy FREDERICK and he returned to Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas City, Kansas; but it is not certain if he stayed or has moved on. Her search continues.

Daniel Penin