Thursday, February 6, 2014

V-mail During World War 2

Okay, so we have email today, but during World War 2 there was V-mail. I had never heard of this until I started writing the biography of a World War 2 veteran and came across an example of this form of communication.

V-mail was short for Victory Mail. Here’s the way it worked. A soldier wrote correspondence on a small sheet that was photographed, sent in negative microfilm and printed upon receipt. The infantry man I’m writing about sent this V-mail on December 20, 1944, from the Vosges Mountains in France to his girlfriend back in the United States: “Hello, Sugar. This is just to let you know that I am still kicking and will punch hell out of the U.S.O. commando or 4F who’s making you forget me. They just brought hot chow out to us and I am feeling pretty good. It’s very cold right now and hard for me to hold the pen. How are you? How is school, and what are you doing with yourself? Do you ever see my father, my loving brother? Write soon. Love, Eddie.”

Thirteen days later he was captured by the Germans and spent three months in prisoner of war camps until liberated by the Russians.

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