V-Mail was a photocopy of a written message. This
allowed the Army Postal service to get a great many letters on just a few rolls of film, fly that
film out to the troops and then print them back out as letters. V-Mail saved the Army from moving
tons of paper letters overseas to the servicemen.
This one is from Buck's mother to her "Donny" the day after she received a
telegram reporting he had been "slightly" injured. It must have been very hard on the whole family to
get that kind of news. The telegraph delivery boy was not a welcome sight in those days. Buck told me
that a German tank had surprised them while they were laying telephone wires in a town. They tried to
hide in a house when a near miss by the tank's cannon smashed Buck with the concussion from its
explosion. He couldn't move and had to stay behind. They hid him under a pile of potatoes in the
cellar of the house and retreated.
The Germans moved in and reoccupied the town but somehow didn't find Buck
when they searched the basement. They set up a command center right upstairs in the very same house.
A woman came down to the cellar for potatoes once and spotted him. She put a finger to her lips and
signed to him to keep quiet. He waited for days before the Americans finally recaptured the town and
rescued him. He was hospitalized and supposed to get shipped home. But he left the hospital to rejoin
his buddies and finish his war.