Episode 3 is all about reading other people’s mail. Many thanks to Lynn Heidelbaugh, a curator at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, for speaking to us about the logistics of the postal system in WWII. Lynn is incredibly knowledgeable about all the complexities of how mail and packages traveled overseas, how censorship worked, and the development of Victory mail, or “V-mail”.
If you’re interested in learning more about war and the mail, we highly recommend checking out the National Postal Museum’s latest exhibit-that Lynn worked on!- My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I.
To the Letter is a podcast brought to you in collaboration with University Libraries and the eLearning and Emerging Technologies Digital Studio. Joe Olexa is voiced by Kevin McCasland.
Letters featured in Episode 3 are available below:
Letter from Joe Olexa to Agnes Van Der Weide, Jan. 24, 1944
Letter from Joe Olexa to Agnes Van Der Weide, March 4, 1944
Letter from Joe Olexa to Agnes Van Der Weide, March 7, 1944
Letter from Joe Olexa to Agnes Van Der Weide, March 15, 1944
And as promised, here’s an example of both the full V-Mail sheet and the shrunk down version that would have been what Agnes actually received.
The final V-Mail is in black and white and is only a fraction of the size of the original.
Questions about the mail? V-mail? Military dentists? Have thoughts about the broken engagement? Let us know! Send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a review on iTunes! We can’t wait to hear from you!