Standards of Learning USII.7c
Victory Mail, also known as V Mail, was the product of a newly adopted method for mail processing and delivery. In 1942, V Mail, originally from England, became an alternative method to first class postal services. Microfilmed reproductions were created from the original letters written on a particular form (seen here as the red and white two-sided document) which was available at post offices and other corner stores.
After censor approval, the microfilms were sent to receiving stations near the addressee and there the letters were printed onto 5" x 4" photographic paper. At one-quarter of the original size, these new copies were then delivered to the addressee.
The system benefitted all involved, as the following factors promoted efficiency during a time of rationing (or resource allocation):
- Delivery Time: the time it typically took for letters to reach soldiers drastically fell from six weeks to less than two weeks, as the letters could be taken by cargo plane instead of by boat
- Compact Nature: weight and space reductions allowed the military to have more space for supplies, such as food and ammunition
While the method did not stop the use of the first mailing system, over 1.5 billion V Mail letters were processed during the war!!
Interesting Fact: The hyphen in V Mail was printed as three dots and a dash, which is Morse code for the letter "V."
To learn more and read some statistics about V Mail, visit Smithsonian Institution's Postal Museum's Exhibit on V Mail