Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
V-Mail Process Collection, 1944

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, May 2012

Summary Information
Title: V-Mail Process collection
Creator: United States. Marine Corps. Division, 2nd
Inclusive dates: 1944
Extent: 16 items
Abstract:
The V-Mail Process collection is made up of 8 photographs and accompanying typed explanations, created in April 1944, which demonstrate the process of creating V-mail for the United States Marine Corps 2nd Division. The photographs are individually numbered and the typed explanations occasionally include commentary on the careers of pictured marines.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2003. M-4320.5.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Preferred Citation:

V-Mail Process collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The photographs are arranged in numerical order.


History

The process of creating V-mail, short for "Victory mail," originated in England and was used widely by the United States Armed Services during World War II. The process required special stationery, which was photographed at a reduced size. The negatives then traveled overseas, where they were enlarged, printed, and physically mailed to recipients. Nearly 10 million V-mail messages were exchanged during the war.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The V-Mail Process collection is made up of 8 photographs and accompanying typed explanations, created in April 1944, which demonstrate the process of creating V-mail for the United States Marine Corps 2nd Division.

Eight 8"x10" black-and-white photographs illustrate steps in the V-mail creation process, from initial composition to delivery. Eight 1-page, typed documents explain each step and occasionally identify the members of the Marine Corps 2nd Division depicted in the images, variously noting names, ranks, hometowns, and service histories. The explanatory text also provides numerical figures associated with the Marine Corps mail service, including an estimate of total pieces handled daily (image 2D-37), the number of letters on each roll of film and number photographed per hour (image 2D-39), the rate at which an operator prints and cuts images (image 2D-40), and the number of V-mail letters that could fit in one mailbag (image 2D-43). Sergeant J. L. Burns took the first photograph, and Sergeant Andy Knight took the remaining 7; each image is also attributed to Warrant Officer J.F. Leopold, Photo Officer, 2nd Marine Division.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Cameras.
    • Marines--United States.
    • Photography--Developing and developers.
    • United States. Marine Corps. Marine Division, 2nd..
    • United States. Marine Corps--Postal service.
    • V-mail.
    • World War, 1939-1945.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Bates, Cecil R.
    • Cameras.
    • Donaleski, Edward.
    • Garcia, Eugene.
    • Marines--United States.
    • Mears, Wilburn.
    • Photography--Developing and developers.
    • Photography--Negatives.
    • Poquet, Joseph W.
    • Raich, David.
    • Ryan, William J.
    • Taylor, Donald.
    • United States. Marine Corps--Postal service.
    • V-mail.
    Contributors:
    • Burns, J. L.
    • Knight, Andy.
    • Leopold, J. F.
    Genre Terms:
    • Captions.
    • Photographs.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Box   11, World War II Small Collections  
    V-Mail Process collection [series]:
    Folder   10  
    2D-36: "Captain Bates, Division Postal Officer"
     
    2D-37: "Division Headquarters Post Office"
     
    2D-38: "V-Mail, Casing Outgoing Mail
     
    2D-39: "V-Mail, Photographing"
    Folder   11  
    2D-40: "V-Mail, Printing Incoming Mail"
     
    2D-41: "V-Mail, Processing Prints"
     
    2D-42: "V-Mail, Processing Film"
     
    2D-43: "V-Mail, Ready to Go"
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Bibliography

    National Postal Museum (U.S.). "V-Mail." National Postal Museum: Exhibits. 2012. Online.