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Letter writing in world war 2 image banner
Martin Aircraft ad states, 'The next best thing to a leave is a letter,' and shows sailors unloading V-Mail pouches from a Martin airplane.
V-Mail letter sheet with birthday greeting and soldier in a foxhole.
Ad shows a woman writing a letter, stirring a pot on the stove, and rocking a baby while being cooled by an Emerson Electric Fan.
V-Mail letter sheet.

Letter Do's and Dont's

Advertisements played a significant role of presenting proper letter etiquette to the public. Ads listed advice on the right and wrong things to write to service members and always encouraged writing letters with regularity. Among suggested topics were tidbits about daily life back home. Writers were cautioned to avoid sad or discouraging subjects.

Officials believed that an efficient mail system was a key factor for success during the war. They understood that frequent letters between members of the armed forces and their families would satisfy the need for communication and keep morale high. Government agencies made informative programs for radio shows. These short programs promoted the use of V-Mail and taught the listener about the “do’s” and “don’ts” of letter writing.

Listen to the instructions about V-Mail in the 1943 program, "Report on sending mail to servicemen." Courtesy of the Library of Congress (Marine Corps Combat Recordings RGA 8763 PNO 22-25).

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Transcript of audio available.