submitted by Terry Chlentzos on 26.08.2007
From: Philip Chlentzos
To: Peter Clentzos
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
Text of the letter:
I just got back from London England & Boy that's really a place. I had an enjoyable time and saw a great deal of the sights it has to offer. I saw Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Scotland Yard, Downing St, the world famous Wax Museum, Blitzed areas, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, monuments, etc.
I met a fellow from the Greek Navy and we batted the breeze for awhile. He hasn't been home for four years. I rode in those old taxis and on the seemingly wrong side of the street. Wow! Can they drive!
I saw uniforms from every allied country. Czechs, Greece, Poland, Russia, Belgium, Free French, Norwegians, Canadians, etc. Boy, what color!
I met a canadian who worked at the same place I did in L.A. (the P.E. Freight Depot). Such a small world.
All the buildings are old, and to me it seemed rather strange. Westminster Abbey is certainly enormous. Most of the English officers carry canes. Rather traditional, and rather handy too.
I'll tell you more about London someday, and you'll find my descriptions rather amazing as well as amusing. Say hello to Helen for me. I'm feeling fine. Write soon, Peter.
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