B.A. Erlich papers

B.A. Erlich papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Title: B.A. Erlich papers
Dates: 1918, 1943
Quantity: 0.1 Linear feet (3 items in portfolio)
Abstract:The collection consists of a V-mail letter, dated 10 January, 1943, from V. L. W. to P. J. Wilson in Brinson, Georgia. V. L. W. says he is in Africa and doing well. In addition, an envelope, dated 1 February, 1943, and addressed to Dr. M. A. Erlich from Capt. S. M. Griffin, is included. The envelope is stamped, "Opened by U. S. Censor." Also included is a postcard which is addressed to Miss Robinson in Bainbridge, Georgia, in which an unknown person in the U. S. Army thanks her for her gift of tobacco. The postcard is dated 10 June, 1918.
Coll. Number: ms2257
Location: 32108050755118

Biographical/Historical Note

V, or Victory mail, was a valuable tool for the military during World War II. The process, which originated in England, was the microfilming of specially designed letter sheets. Instead of using valuable cargo space to ship whole letters overseas, microfilmed copies were sent in their stead and then "blown up" at an overseas destination before being delivered to military personnel. V-mail ensured that thousands of tons of shipping space could be reserved for war materials. The 37 mail bags required to carry 150,000 one-page letters could be replaced by a single mail sack. The weight of that same amount of mail was reduced dramatically from 2,575 pounds to a mere 45. The blue-striped cardboard containers held V-mail letter forms. The system of microfilming letters was based on the use of special V-mail letter-sheets, which were a combination of letter and envelope. The letter-sheets were constructed and gummed so as to fold into a uniform and distinctively marked envelope. The user wrote the message in the limited space provided, added the name and address of the recipient, folded the form, affixed postage, if necessary, and mailed the letter. V-mail correspondence was then reduced to thumb-nail size on microfilm. The rolls of film were sent to prescribed destinations for developing at a receiving station near the addressee. Finally, individual facsimiles of the letter-sheets were reproduced about one-quarter the original size and the miniature mail was then delivered to the addressee. The first large Army operated V-mail station overseas was opened on April 15, 1943 at Casablanca, North Africa. Hastily set up in a field following the Allied invasion of North Africa, this makeshift station continued to operate until September 15, 1943. Between June 15, 1942 and April 1, 1945, 556,513,795 pieces of V-mail were sent from the U.S. to military post offices and over 510 million pieces were received from military personnel abroad. In spite of the patriotic draw of V-mail, most people still sent regular first class mail. In 1944, for instance, Navy personnel received 38 million pieces of V-mail, but over 272 million pieces of regular first class mail. National Postal Museum website. http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/exhibits/2d2a_vmail.html Retrieved 5/11/2009.

Decatur County is located in the southwest corner of the state, adjoining Baker, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, and Seminole counties. One of the largest counties in Georgia at 596.8 square miles, Decatur shares its southern boundary with the Florida state line. There are four incorporated cities in the county: Attapulgus, Bainbridge (the county seat), Brinson, and Climax (named after the fact that it is the highest point on the railroad between Savannah and the Chattahoochee River). New Georgia Encyclopedia. http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-1270&hl=y Retrieved 5/11/2009.

Bainbridge, the seat of Decatur County, is located in southwest Georgia approximately forty miles north of Tallahassee, Florida; sixty miles east of Dothan, Alabama; and sixty miles south of Albany, Georgia. U.S. Highway 84 and U.S. Highway 27 intersect in Bainbridge, which also boasts its own limited access highway. Bainbridge is located on the Flint River and is one of two "inland ports" in Georgia (the other is Columbus). Native Americans occupied the area for centuries, and a settlement called Pucknawhitla stood on the site of present-day Bainbridge in 1765, when Europeans arrived. The name was changed to Burgess Town, after a European trader who set up a trading post at the settlement, and then to Fort Hughes after a nearby camp. In 1824 the legislature decided the county seat should be named for Commodore William Bainbridge, commander of the ship commonly known as "Old Ironsides," the U.S.S. Constitution, in the War of 1812. Bainbridge is nicknamed "the Oak City" because of its many large oak trees. During World War II (1941-45) an airport was built in Bainbridge to train pilots. Toward the end of the war, the facility became a camp for German prisoners of war. In the early 1960s Bainbridge State Hospital, a residential facility for the developmentally challenged, took over the property. Today, it is a low-security drug treatment facility. New Georgia Encyclopedia. http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2213&hl=y Retrieved 5/11/2009.


Arranged in chronological order.

Index Terms

Erlich, M. A.
Griffin, Marvin, 1907-1982
Postal censor stamps.
Robinson, Miss -- Correspondence
Soldiers--United States--Correspondence.
V. L. W. -- Correspondence
Wilson, P. J. -- Correspondence

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

B. A. Erlich papers, 1918, 1943. MS 2257. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.