Timeline 1939 - 1941

September 1, 1939:

Germany invades Poland; Great Britain and France declare war on Germany and the Second World War begins.

January 1, 1941:

A precursor to V-Mail: The British Airgraph service is extended to His Majesty’s Forces, in Aden, Iraq and ships in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.

December 7, 1941:

Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, and the United States declares war the following day.

April 20, 1942:

Post Office Department issues Order No. 17471 as a directive restricting size, weight, frequency of (military and civilian) mail matter for delivery outside continental U.S.

March 27, 1942:

Congress grants free mail privilege for military personnel on first-class material.

May 8, 1942:

War Department enters into a contract with the Eastman Kodak Company for V-Mail microfilming.

June 12, 1942:

President Roosevelt receives the first two V-Mail letters from Ambassador Winant and Major General Chaney.

June 15, 1942:

V-Mail service officially begins.

May 15, 1944:

Air Mail V-Mail service inaugurated.

May 8, 1945:

VE Day (Victory Day in Europe).

August 14, 1945:

VJ Day (Victory Day in Japan).

October 15, 1945:

Last V-Mail from New York port of embarkation sent to General Eisenhower from Major General Kells.

November 1, 1945:

V-Mail service is discontinued.

December 31, 1947:

Free mail privilege for military personnel ends.