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I was under the impression that Vmails were hand written, but this one looks too elaborate to be hand drawn. However I do see a "author/artist" in the lower right hand corner on the cover, which leads me to think it was hand drawn and "sold" to another soldier for use.

On the other hand  the back of the Vmail has a stamped image with the latin words Auxilium Ex Coelo which translates to  "Help From Heaven".

Can anyone confirm whether this was hand drawn or is simply a copy ?

Thank you in advance for your help.

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Replies to This Discussion

They didn't have copy machines in WW II. From what I read these were lithographs with limited runs. Artist, Alfred Panepinto had a BA in civil engineering.


Once again you are the "man" for the "job".


This is text from the first link I sent you

You are looking at 2 V-Mails done by my father in 1944 when he was in France with the US Army 517th Combat Team Paratroopers.  He signed the cartoon Lt. R. Spencer.  He is well-known for designing the 517th Battling Buzzards Patch.  This Christmas cartoon was probably done due to a request from the Command Post.  These were copied so others in the outfit could use them.

Thanks for the help !

Molly says "...these were copied..." which doesn't explain how they were copied. They (yours and Molly's) don't look like lithographs. I believe they were made on a Gestetner off-set printer.

Guess who, as a Yeoman in the USN, was trained to use one?  And they were readily available in Europe (made in London) during WW II. 

One types (no ink ribbon) on a waxed paper, which can also be drawn on with sharp tools. It is inserted into the printer, inked and rotated by hand, and out come prints. Basic colors can be used too.

My looks like a copy, and your comment seems to explain how they were made.

Thanks again.



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