Monday, June 22, 2015

"V" is for Victory Mail (V-Mail)

Photo courtesy of  Library of Congress

All of my life it seems, I have been fascinated with the 1940's, and the history of World War II. I'm not sure why I'm drawn to this era but I've always loved the syle of clothes, the hairdos, the simpler way of life, the music, and the correspondence. Some of my favorite black and white movies were made in the 1940's.

I've stumbled upon many websites that preserve letters from World War II. Each and every one of them are so insightful and evokes in me a sense of pride and awe. Following is a sample of a V-Mail letter on the Daily Herald website. I enjoyed reading this letter a great deal. I hope you will too.

To learn more about what V-Mail is and how it operated, you can click here to read it on Wikipedia.

I read the above book a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It's about 3 sisters living in Chicago during world war II. Each evening the sisters sit at their kitchen table writing letters to soldiers in the war. One sister writes to her fiance', another to a man she wishes would propose, and the last sister to an ever changing group of men she meets at USO dances. The characters are strong and the story line is phenomenal. You really feel like you are back in 1943.

Here is an excerpt from the book: A letter from one of the soldiers to one of the sisters.

April 4th, 1944 "Somewhere in the Pacific"

"I'm sitting her in the tent with a cup of joe. I've been waiting for a quiet time to write this letter, and now that time is here. I just had a luxurious bath in a stream with two nets stretched across either end to keep out the alligators. Then I took a walk ot enjoy the view: shattered coconut trees, obertutned jeeps, and whatnot. Oh hell, I guess I'll skip the preeview and go right to the feature.

     "Kitty, it seems like I'll never be your kind of guy. You've changed, and I have, too.  I'm not the man you said good-bye to  at the train station. Or maybe we always were different and we had to be apart in order to see that. I do think of you. I think a lot about you and your sisters, too. The Heaney sisters, wowser, best of the Midwest. But evreything back home seems like it's a movie or something, an out-of-focus movie at that. Maybe it would be best if you and I stopped writing. Seems like you might have more in common with that othr guy; you kind of tipped your mitt when you mixed up letter that time. And to be frank, it seems like I have more in common with Tish. I hope it doesn't hurt your feelings for me to say so. Maybe you already know. But I can tell it's a strain for you to write to me, and it's hard for me to write to you, too. I just don't know what to say.

"Kitty, you know I'll always love you. but not that way. I think you wanted me to slip you some ice for the fourth digit before I left but I just didn't see us a married couple and now I see I was right. I hope we'll still be friends.


"P.S. thanks for that picutre you sent. Nice lid. You always did look swell in hats."

I have just listed sets of V-Mail Envelopes in my ETSY shop. I hope you will check it out.

Have a great night everyone.


Rebecca said...

What a perfect book for you! I'll check it out.

phonelady said...

I read it and loved it as well . thanks for a great post .

Fundy Blue said...

Hi JarieLyn! I loved this post!!! World War II is such a fascinating time. I am particularly drawn to letters written by servicemen. When I was teaching my students and I wrote to soldiers, airmen, and marines during the Gulf War and then in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a thrill for the kiddos when the servicemen wrote back with gratitude. That was a tricky letter that the soldier wrote in your post ~ relationships can be tricky! Have a good one!

Limner said...

The letter reminds me of a book that haunts me. I'm talking about The Book of Strange New Things again. :) Dear John/Johnnie letters can be liberating.

I still have a few V-Mails tucked away somewhere. They're quite small when folded. Do they require extra postage? I don't remember.

Will check for a sample of the book. It's nice being able to talk books and mail in the same place. :)

Limner said...

Hold my horse! This books sounds a lot like a b&w movie I've watched a few times. Three friends share an apartment in NY. One faithfully writes to her soldier love in the war . . . He sends her a Dear Johnnie letter in the end and she is heartbroken--goes out, gets drunk . . . There's no way . . .