Soldiers and Families

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“Soldiers sending mail, Atlanta, Georgia, 1946.” Courtesy of the Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library via Digital Library of Georgia.


During the war, Americans kept informed about war news by reading newspapers, listening to radio broadcasts, and watching newsreels in movie theaters. But the most important news was conveyed in correspondence between soldiers and their loved ones. Written correspondence provided soldiers with a much-needed connection to events back home. For families at home, receiving word from soldiers in the field provided additional assurance against fears of loss.

So many letters were exchanged between soldiers and their families during the Second World War that letters eventually had to be microfilmed to save space on cargo ships. This microfilmed mail was known as Victory mail, or V-mail. Atlanta served as the hub for distributing V-mail materials across Georgia.

Many letters sent home included detailed information about what daily military life was like, focusing on ordinary activities that took place between military operations. Since letters were strictly censored, there was no specific information about the soldier's location or the military operation they were affiliated with. Correspondence sent from loved ones at home, on the other hand, was full of local details, such as weather, sports teams, gossip, or family matters. Sometimes, families and soldiers would relay important news through their local newspapers.