MADELINE DITONNO PANACCIONE shares a piece of her family’s V-Mail with historian David Watts, Jr.

WAKEFIELD — David Watts, Jr., in partnership with The Room to Write, will present an illustrated talk, “V-Mail is Speed Mail” on Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Heritage Room at Wakefield’s Americal Civic Center, 467 Main St. David is a local photographer, filmmaker and historian. 

The Second World War is likely the most documented war to date. Books, feature films, documentaries, amongst others, continue to come out some nearly eight decades since the war ended.  For the 16.5 million American men and women who served in the armed services during World War II and their families and friends at home, regular letters were absolutely vital to maintaining morale. Valuable lessons learned from the mail difficulties experienced during World War I prompted the U.S. Post Office Department, the Navy Department and the Department of War to find a way to make sure that mail was reliably delivered both ways no matter where in the world. The answer was V-Mail.

Come and hear about this amazing solution to the problem in the days decades before mobile telephones and the Internet. At this event, there will also be a small exhibit of World War II pens and other artifacts on display. This traveling display was originally assembled by David and Richard Binder for the 2022 Battle for the Airfield weekend at the American Heritage Museum.

In addition to his involvement with the Boston Pen People, David Watts, Jr. has been behind cameras for virtually his whole life, as a still photographer and as a film-video producer-director-writer-cinematographer-editor. Historical research, writing and talks also mark his life and career. In particular, David has worked with and documented the Collings Foundation’s collections. While his historical focus is primarily on the period 1918 through 1949, he has also researched and written about other historical subjects including “The Hiker” statue, the most reproduced public statue in the U.S.

This event is made possible by The Savings Bank.