Posted by: notsofancynancy | December 20, 2012

World War II, chapter 43, Victory Mail

World War II

Victory Mail

Chapter 43

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Interesting enough the next batch of letters are V-mail or Victory mail. According to the Postal Museum;

V, or Victory mail, was a valuable tool for the military during World War II. The process, which originated in England, was the microfilming of specially designed letter sheets. Instead of using valuable cargo space to ship whole letters overseas, microfilmed copies were sent in their stead and then “blown up” at an overseas destination before being delivered to military personnel. V-mail ensured that thousands of tons of shipping space could be reserved for war materials. The 37 mail bags required to carry 150,000 one-page letters could be replaced by a single mail sack. The weight of that same amount of mail was reduced dramatically from 2,575 pounds to a mere 45.   The system of microfilming letters was based on the use of special V-mail letter-sheets, which were a combination of letter and envelope. The letter-sheets were constructed and gummed so as to fold into a uniform and distinctively marked envelope. The user wrote the message in the limited space provided, added the name and address of the recipient, folded the form, affixed postage, if necessary, and mailed the letter. V-mail correspondence was then reduced to thumb-nail size on microfilm. The rolls of film were sent to prescribed destinations for developing at a receiving station near the addressee. Finally, individual facsimiles of the letter-sheets were reproduced about one-quarter the original size and the miniature mail was then delivered to the addressee. Between June 15, 1942 and April 1, 1945, 556,513,795 pieces of V-mail were sent from the U.S. to military post offices and over 510 million pieces were received from military personnel abroad.

V-Mail Envelope

The next bunch of letters contains quite a few of these Victory Mail letters. Some in the combination of letter and envelope and some that have been reduced in size. Once again they contain the stamp that an Army Examiner has inspected and censored them. Let’s read on.

26 May QM arrived at Scarne Cross Camp located in Launceston, Cornwall, England

26 May, Cornwall, England

Darling, Hows [sic] Mommie tonight. OK I hope. Believe me I am. Haven’t had so much ambition in ages. Maybe it’s the air. I imagine by now you and Mom are having the time of your lives or so on down. Maybe not. I got a letter from Mom and she said your allotment had come. Boy honey that sounded good to me. Have you received our pictures yet. How were they. Joe (Joe D. Sill) got a letter from Mrs. Sill and she said you had written every nite [sic]. Guess they have been held up somewhere. So far I haven’t gotten them. Also said she took you up to Dad’s. Glad you went up there. Probably he was feeling low anyway. Now Darling I haven’t much room to say I love you so I’ll just write a regular letter and tell you all about it. All my love, Lefty.

One thing for sure the V-Mails have limited space to write in. It does keep the letters short. The next letter is back to Airmail and has been censored.

27 May, Cornwall, England

Darling, How’s Mommie today. Gosh time is slow but maybe it will be better when we get used to it. I believe this air does something to me. I am sure ambitious. Have I said that before. Sounds familiar. Did my laundry this morning, Getting to be a regular laundress again. Boy is it tough, but I did it. Mom said Deloris had joined the waves. Well I see you didn’t get there in time to give her that pep talk. Wish you had. Well I received another letter from Mom but still your mail hasn’t come through. Hows [sic] Aunt Clara?

Aunt Dick and Uncle Gerald

Aunt Dick and Uncle Gerald

Aunt Clara is my Grandmother’s sister. Her husband, Uncle Gerald is also overseas.

We finally got our money changed and can get some stamps. I hope. By the way I haven’t wished Pop a happy birthday so do that also. Maybe someday I’ll get on the ball or maybe I should just let you keep up the good work. Maybe that would be best. You know this is a beautiful country……………….

I would sure like to know what had to be cut out, but then I bet Mom did too.

………………….Off hand that doesn’t make any difference to me. Looks strange though. I went to church this morning. It was quite nice. Was going tonight but was late so looked around. Nice views you should see some of the flowers they have here. Darling I have been forgetting to say how much I love you. You see I have to say what I have on my mind first before I forget then I can say I love you.  You know I do though. Don’t you darling, It sure is rough not getting your letters. I imagine they will all some at once.  Will I have a party when they do. Bob hasn’t been getting any from Madeline either so we are in the same fix……………………..

Yet another part has been censored

……………… I guess I’ll quit for now sweet. Haven’t much to write. If I can find some V-Mail I’m going to write home.  Haven’t enough to write a letter. I love you Darling be good and all that. All my love, Lefty

Deloris Shade-Diehl

Deloris Shade-Diehl

(Insert Deloris’s Wave Picture, Gerald’s picture, Censored Letter)

1 June, Cornwall, England

Darling, Gosh Mommie I have been reading and reading today. Got three letters from you and one from Mom and another from Bob (Dad’s Brother) Not bad huh. I knew they would come only I couldn’t waite [sic]. I’m glad you did get home OK and had a good time. Believe me I had myself a time trying to keep from worrying to [sic] much. Every day Joe Harvey  (Hawker W.”Joe” Harvey) and I would compare notes and see what appeared. I didn’t think about mother’s day when we planned on your going home. I’m certainly glad you did get down for that. Also glad you bought her something. She said you did. Gosh I love you Mommie. Guess I couldn’t really realize how much until you were gone and I couldn’t hear from you. I do love you very much. Wish I could tell you really how much. I am sending this home. I imagine you’ll be there. So here it comes. Oh! Yes we got a letter from Bob(Dad’s brother) well I’ll tell you about tomorrow. I love you my Darling very much. All my love Lefty

1944 V-Mail

1944 V-Mail

2 June, Cornwall, England

Darling, How’s Mommie tonight. Fine I hope. Just had supper so I’m contented too. Sauer Kraut and wieners. Now I ‘m trying to collect enough material to fill this. I didn’t get any mail again today. Guess my share came yesterday. We always have tomorrow to look forward to now though. Wish it would get to coming regular. I ended up last evening by writing Mrs. Johnson. Bet she’ll be surprised. We haven’t written her for ages. I can say I love you honey. Guess that won’t be hard to take. God Darling I do. So much. Bob and I have been planning the things we are going to do when we return. Boy just waite [sic]. I said I would write what Bob Woodside said. Well I don’t have enough room so sometime when I write airmail. I’ll do it. I love you my darling. Very much. Gosh wish I could really say just how much. Boy honey I love you. All my love Lefty.



In the next letter Dad is back to writing a regular letter. It seems as though he has a lot more to say than is accommodated in the limited space of a V-Mail.

3 June, Cornwall,  England

Darling, Guess I’ll go this way tonight. I mean write airmail of course. I have done enough V-Mail for while I love you honey. Sounds like you had a good time. I imagine now you are back in Calif. Anyway according to what you have written. You know I think I should have some more of your mail coming. I would hate to think I only got 6 letters from my wife in a month. Must be some more. I got a letter from Elmer also today. Rose said she thought I had a swell wife. I guess you have made a big hit at home. I’m so glad honey. I love you so. By the way Arnold Woehrles’s  baby was born. Why don’t you buy something and send it. He is the man who took us to Kansas. It’s a girl and just send it to Lexington. I said buy. Have you enough money. I intended to have sent you some something ago but we haven’t been paid. Wont until the first. So I’m hoping you haven’t run short. I have a half penny I’ll send maybe it will help. Rose told about Carolyn having contractions. Were you scared. I would have been. By the way how’s Junior. You haven’t said.

Here he is talking about Junior again. I have now come to believe that “Junior” is my mother’s menstrual cycle. I wonder if Dad is happy about the fact she could be pregnant.

So you went horse back [sic] riding. Were you as sore as I. Bob and I played catch yesterday and I can hardly move my arm. Of course I realize it wouldn’t be your arms but? About the part censored from my letter. Well we had one phrase we could send and I probably got a couple words changed around and they cut it. Oh well! So be it. I said I love you and that’s what counts. I do very much my darling. I told you Bob and I went to the Cinema (show) last night. Well the joke about the whole thing was our lack of knowledge about the British money and lack of finances. Well anyway we got one ticket bought and returned to neutral corners to figure the situation. We found we were a three pence short (5 cents American) so we dashed down the street to find a friend. Well we did. It only took a short while and when we returned the ticket seller remembered us and thought she hadn’t given us the first ticket we bought so we ended up with three and dammit if she had done that in the first place we wouldn’t have been so embarrassed. So there too. After we did get in it wasn’t worth the trouble. I’m going back to church again tomorrow. Boy am I getting Holey. But I like it. Besides being good for me it is something to take up some of the long Sunday making it of course closer to the time we are together again. Well darling it is after nine and I must be getting my sleep. I love you very much honey. Very, very much. By the way what’s a snood? You’ll have to draw a picture I guess. I know what it does guess I am not up on women’s apparel. I love you sweet, until next time I’ll be waiting. I love you darling. All my love, Lefty


V-Mail Directions

I have never even heard the word snood before but little did I know I have seen a snood or two.  Thanks to Wikipedia I now know a new word and what it means. I wonder how often it will come up in conversation.

A snood is historically a type of European female headgear. In the most common form the headgear resembles a close-fitting hood  or hairnet worn over the back of the head. A tighter-mesh band may cover the forehead or crown, then runs behind the ears and under the nape of the neck.

Well there you go, it’s a hairnet!  Who knew?

© 2012 notsofancynancy

Hawker W. “Joe” Harvey, Robert “Bob” Winter, Joe D. Sill,



  1. Very interesting. I did not have this info before. Great work.

    • Thank you very much! I did not know about V-Mail either. Imagine my surprise when I found them.

  2. The things one learns by reading blogs…..just amazing.

    • Thanks! I love that you learned something. Dad would be happy to know I am teaching people with his letters.

  3. Ok, I have my fix for another week!!!! Oh, will you have a Christmas addition???? Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

    • I am working on next weeks chapter just for you! Thank you so much for your support!

  4. Snoods came back into fashion in the 1940s, possibly because women were joining the workforce and they were an easy way to get one’s hair tied back and out of the way. In a way they are basically the early version of a hairnet.

  5. Very nice material! Actually we wrote a post about the Airgraphs (V-mails) in our blog some time ago!
    KO for eCharta team

  6. Snoods and V-mail…interesting topics of discussion. Didn’t know a thing about either one before now. Thanks for the learning experience.

    • Great! Glad to know others learned stuff as I did! I had heard of V-mail but not a snood.

  7. well, I have heard of V-mail, and glad for the history lesson.
    My Dad was shipped home on QM after his wounding. Maybe they met?

  8. Please,not so fancy nancy, I ask your permission. I am writing my father in law’s biography and found a couple additional details about v Mail on your website. May I include them in my writing along with the name of your website?

    • Thank you so much for asking. I would be honored. If you have any questions let me know.

  9. very nice

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