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Terry Chlentzos

WW2 Vmail correspondence April 9 1944

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 Chlentzos in the months before his death in combat in July, 1944.

The text reads:

Northern Ireland

Dear Pete,
I certainly had a surprise on April 7. I saw Angelo for the first time in almost 2 years and that eventful day was our birthday anniversary, and we met in Ireland. That's one for the books (our birthdays are on the same date).
We had a supper in town (spam, beans, toast, and tea). We murdered a little time talking and he showed me a lot of pictures of the family. Jean & the baby that was taken recently. The baby really is cute. He gave me that picture of you & himself. Very good picture too.
We'll be seeing each other regularly from now on now that I know how to get in touch with him.
I am now a correspondent, as some would term it, and every day I interview a few of the fellas in my company and send the information to their home town paper so their friends will know where they are and what they are doing. Think I'll interview myself one of these spring days.
I'm in excellent health, as is Angelo. Hello to Helen. Write soon. Your brother, Philip.

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