Topic: World War II Victory Mail

Connections to the New York State Social Studies Framework

Social Studies Practice: Comparison and Contextualization

Key Idea: 8.6b From 1939 to 1941, the United States government tried to maintain neutrality while providing aid to Britain but was drawn into the war by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States fought a war on multiple fronts. At home, the economy was converted to war production, and essential resources were rationed to ensure adequate supplies for military use.

Reading Standard: Craft and Structure

Historical Background: Victory Mail, know as V-Mail, was the primary method of communication for soldiers and their families during World War II. The communication was secure for several reasons. The letters had to be written in dark ink or pencil. It was censored by military personnel to protect sensitive information and keep a copy on microfilm. Between June 1942 and November 1945, over one billion V-mail letters were delivered. 

Compelling Question: How do the methods of communication change over time?

Setting the Stage: Imagine you are away from your family for a month visiting a friend. How would you send messages to your family? What information would you share with them?

Document Analysis: Use this graphic organizer to analyze the documents below. All documents are courtesy of the Schenectady County Historical Society. 

January 8 1943 Victory Mail Snell