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History > Old Letters > WW2 V-mail letter from Philip Chlentzos to his brother Peter

13948: History > Old Letters

submitted by Terry Chlentzos on 26.08.2007

WW2 V-mail letter from Philip Chlentzos to his brother Peter

From: Philip Chlentzos
To: Peter Clentzos
Date: 11.11.1943

There was no real secret to the v-mail process; in fact it was simple, the soldiers wrote their letters on a form provided and it was then photographed onto microfilm which was simply flown to the USA. A reel of 16mm microfilm could contain 18,000 letters and in terms of bulk and weight the roll of film took up only a fraction of what 18,000 real letters would take. Upon arrival in the USA the letters were printed from the film and then posted onward to the addressee.

These letters were written by my uncle Philip in the months before his death in July, 1944

The letter reads:

Dear Pete,
I received your letter of Oct. 19, and was sure glad to hear from you. It took your free letter about 3 weeks to get here-- but it got here.
Doesn't it seem kinda strange knowing I'm somewhere in Northern Ireland? Oh, it isn't very far from home-- just 1/3 way around the world. Sure a small world.
Although the weather is continually damp & wet, and rain falls every day, I don't seem to mind my stay here. Although it bothers my sinus a bit, it won't let a good man down.
Amazing as it may seem, a fellow and I have written a hilarious 3-act play to be presented in the very near future. The title, "As the Bartender Saw it." Read by many. I'll venture to say that the satisfaction they gained from it forces me to also say it's very good. (Despite my boasting).
Very soon I expect to drop in and see what Belfast has to offer. Ever hear of it? HAW.
The spending of British money was a bit irritating and complicated at first, but time changed everything. Some sure wished they went to school now. The English accent is used very strongly & really do enjoy conversing with some of the people. Well, Pete, I'll end now. Hope you & Helen are in the best of health and tell Helen I said bells-- all the way from Ireland. I'm in excellent health.
Your brother, Phil
p.s. Write soon

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