Military

Topical Reference Page
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Hometowns Honor Their Returning Veterans stamp, 1995

Find resources related to the military on the National Postal Museum's website.

Object Spotlight

Frase’s letter to the Postal Inspection Service chief expressed his hope “that you will like this painting and will find a place for it with other war souvenirs.”

Object Spotlight

Like travelers today postal employee Charles P. Leary needed a passport to journey abroad during World War I. Unlike modern passports however it was granted for a specific purpose: to allow Leary to travel to France where the Post Office Department was establishing a service to support the deployment of US military personnel.

Image: Special Passport for Postal Agent Charles P. Leary

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Art of Cards and Letters

Victory Mail, more commonly known as V-Mail, operated during World War II to expedite mail service for American armed forces overseas. Moving the rapidly expanding volume of wartime mail posed hefty problems for the Post Office, War, and Navy Departments. Officials sought to reduce the bulk and weight of letters, and found a model in the British Airgraph Service started in 1941 that microfilmed messages for dispatch.

March 6, 2008 - July 6, 2011
Exhibition

The Victory Mail exhibit showcased the Museum’s collection of World War II V-Mail correspondence. V for Victory, a popular symbol of the Second World War, was the inspiration for the name of this new fangled correspondence style.

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Object Spotlight

"Right now in the background, you'll probably hear a chopper flying over" said Private First Class Frank A. Kowalczyk in a 1969 letter to his...

November 11, 2005 - November 13, 2006
Exhibition

War Letters: Lost and Found featured original letters from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam that were lost or abandoned and then rediscovered by strangers.

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Related Blogs

African American Troops in World War I: A Military Experience Based on Separate and Unequal Treatment

Despite concerns about racial discrimination in America, African Americans’ enthusiasm for supporting America’s entry in World War I was quite high in 1917. W.E.B Du Bois, one of the leading African American intellectuals of this period, rallied...

Holiday Parcels in World War I

One of the most frequent questions I get asked as a curator is about care packages, namely, what did family and friends send to each other during one time period or another? The curiosity is understandable—who among us doesn’t want to peek inside the mail?

Harry Sherlock and Heller Field

Harry Conley Sherlock was a former Royal Air Corps pilot who had been attached to a day bombing squadron during World War I. He joined the U.S. Airmail Service on February 12, 1920. Sherlock was single, and lived with his mother in East Orange, NJ. His first assignment was to College Park, MD, which served as the Washington, D.C. airmail field. After a crash there, he came face to face with the strict, unforgiving rules of Second Assistant Postmaster General Otto Praeger's management. Sherlock was penalized 10 flying hours for "poor judgment while making a landing on March 10 at College Park.” Sherlock had overshot his landing field and hit a mud hole, breaking the propeller, lower right wing and landing gear fitting. The reprimand continued by noting that “It is believed that this will be sufficient as he shows promise of being a very good pilot.” So, in spite of that rough start, Sherlock was assigned to the more important Bellefonte, PA - Newark, NJ leg of the service.

Col. Noel Parrish: Tuskegee Commander

In December 1942 Lt. Col. Noel Parrish assumed command of the Tuskegee Army Airfield (TAAF) and during the next four years, TAAF produced some of the nation’s finest and celebrated servicemen, the Tuskegee Airmen. As the white commander of a predominantly African American military installation, Lt. Col. Parrish faced both local white citizens who were not supportive of the facility or its mission, and some white senior military and political leaders who believed that African Americans were intellectually incapable of flying combat aircraft.