Showing posts with the label Mail Call

Old Time Radio's Debt to AFRS

The War Department created the Armed Forces Radio Service on May 26, 1942. The directive brought together separate attempts at broadcasting by and for military personnel. Some of these projects had mission significance, but largely they were attempts on the part of soldiers to entertain their barracks mates. In 1954 Television was added to the service, as well as a less than flattering moniker (AFRTS, "A-Farts"), which has held on even after the 1994 renaming as "The Armed Forces Network". Hollywood began providing free or extremely low priced programming to the AFRS from the very beginning, and this tradition was strengthened after Pearl Harbor. The explosion of patriotism as America entered the War explains this to a certain extent. It is also easy to believe that despite the very public pedestal radio celebrities perched, most held genuine affection and admiration for the boys in uniform. No name is more connected with performing for the troops than  Bob

WWII Post Cards from the Troops

While listening to  Mail Call  the other day I got to thinking about the real Mail Call. When I entered the service, mail call was still a big deal; we would all live for our letters from home. When the mail bags came on board, if we weren't working or on watch we would haunt the passageway until "Stamps", the under-appreciated Postal Clerk, could get the letters and packages sorted. By the time I left the Service, emails and satellite phones had begun be the most important means of keeping in touch with the folks back home. Although these were immediate means of communication, electronics can not replace a letter that your sweetheart has taken the time to write and held in her hand. Finding time to write has always been a problem for the serviceman. That is part of why the picture postcard was so great for G.I.s. The picture of cartoon on the front of the card would help to frame the message that he was trying to send home, which he didn't have the time t