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News Sources for the Troops

Magazines: YANK, The Army Weekly magazine, which published editions in every major theater of combat during World War II, was a staple of GI reading material. It was written "by the men ... for the men in the service." Candid Army coverage, news from home, cartoons, and glamour-girl pinups made the magazine indispensable to men serving overseas.

Newspapers: No matter where they were serving, serviceman during World War II could read up-to-date news in the Official U.S. Army newspaper, The Stars and Stripes. Stars and Stripes served troops during the Civil War and World War I, and the decision was made to reintroduce the newspaper into the European theater in April of 1942. A Pacific theater edition followed in 1945, and the paper has continued to bring news and information to troops around the world ever since.

V-Discs: In 1943, the V-Disc program developed. V-Discs ("Victory Discs") were discs of music, news, comedy, and talk recorded especially for military personnel serving overseas. The V-Discs were for military personnel only and were not available commercially. The first V-Discs were shipped October 1, 1943, from the RCA Victor plant in Camden, New Jersey. The V-Disc program continued even after the war ended, until May 1949. During its 6-year run, the V-Disc program produced 900 unique discs containing 3000 separate recordings and shipped more than 8 millions discs overseas.

Radio: The Armed Forces Radio Services had its roots in the early days of World War II as American troops were dispersing throughout the globe. As early as 1940 the War Department was using short-wave radio broadcasts to inform Americans overseas. In 1941 entertainment was added the mix. Departing troops were issued "B" kits ("B" for "Buddy") that consisted of radios, phonographs, phonograph records and discs of popular radio shows. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the War Department began producing original variety shows to boost morale. The Armed Forces Radio Services was formally established in May 1942 to generate additional programming for the troops. At its peak in 1945, the AFRS was generating about 20 hours of original programming each week.

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