V-Mail Easter Greeting9 April 2009
Staff Person: Nanette Hardison
The image that is shown is a V-mail Easter greeting dated April 7, 1943 from Staff Sgt. Jack Mitchell to his wife in Bedford, Virginia. Sgt. Mitchell sent the card while stationed in England. The item is from the Saunders Family Collection (#964.1.b.i).
V-mail or Victory Mail was used during World War II to deliver mail between those at home in the U.S. and troops serving abroad. Mail was reduced to thumb-nail size on reels of microfilm, which weighed much less than the original letters. The film reels were shipped by priority air freight (when possible) to the U.S., sent to prescribed destinations for enlarging at receiving stations near the recipients, and printed onto lightweight photo paper. Facsimiles of these letter-sheets were then reproduced at about one-quarter the original size, and the miniature mail was delivered to the addressee. This saved considerable weight and bulk during a time when both would have been problematic. It also eliminated the threat of spies using microdots or invisible ink to send reports, since any microdot would not be photographed with enough resolution to be read. A disadvantage, of course, was the size of the correspondence.