January 27, 2013

V is for Victory

One of my favorite categories of vintage is things that have to do with World War II and especially home front life in America. I love this packet of V-Mail stationery I found in an antique shop a while back.

V-Mail Stationery - See it on Etsy
To my delight when I got home, I found an actual letter dated December 31, 1944 inside.

V-Mail (or V···–MAIL, which of course, the three dots and dash are "V" in morse code) is short for Victory Mail and was utilized during World War II to make shipping mail from overseas expeditious and cost-efficient. V-Mail, based on the British Airgraph used during World War I, was a one-page letter (which also served as the envelope) written on standardized stationery and after passing through mail censors was photographed and transported overseas on micro images and then reprinted in the US and forwarded on to its recipient. The Smithsonian National Post Museum has a great website with many examples and plenty of facts and background on V-Mail.

The letter I have is from Sgt. Ray S. Pestal to his friend, Edward Pallas in Nebraska. I've googled these gentlemen and although I believe they have passed on, I think I may be able to contact Sgt. Pestal's family and see if they are interested in having this letter.

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