Seventy years ago this weekend, Sgt. Cody Wolf died. His plane was shot down January 11, 1944 over Germany. Just a couple of weeks earlier Sgt. Wolf recorded a message to be included in an hour-long Christmas broadcast, along with over 50 other servicemembers. In the message, he said he often thought of Catonsville, Maryland , where his parents, wife and "16-month-old daughter, Margaret Ann" lived. That daughter, now 71, still lives in Catonsville and heard her father's voice for the first time in her adult life when NPR member station WYPR rebroadcast the 1943 Christmas program in which her father spoke his message.
Near-perfect vinyl records in a black box, tied with rope, were found in the library of The Baltimore Sun. Those turned out to contain the Christmas program that aired 70 years ago, which allowed Margaret Ann Wolf Harris (along with her own daughters and grandchildren) to her Sgt. Wolf's voice, though he died decades earlier.
See photos of Sgt. Cody holding his young daughter at NPR.