Being produced by the same military unit, the “Morale Branch” (containing two sections, the AFRS and the V-Disc group), V-Discs as their companions, the transcription records, were intended to boost troop morale in overseas. The military group which produced them mostly consisted of people formerly associated with the music industry. In this way they were able to gather and assemble material from a great variety.
V-Discs were a unique series of “unbreakable” 12-inch vinyl records (played at 78 rpm) which were produced during and after World War II exclusively for the private use of US military personnel. They were issued from October 1943 until May 1949 and was shipped in so called Releases.
Sometimes V-Discs were even dropped (parachuted) from planes to reach soldiers at the front. Contained in boxes (“Hit Kits”) were the V-Disc records themselves, about 100 needles to play them and also lyrics and sheet music, so that the soldiers could also play the songs on their instruments.
Originating from different sources, two kinds of V-Discs can be distinguished:
Records initially from commercial producers which were directly adopted into the V-Disc program
Special recordings produced for the military exclusively by artists and musicians
Even after the V-Disc program had ended the records became collectibles and were highly demanded by the kids and juveniles of the post-war era.
Totally 905 V-Discs were produced – the V-Disc Discography provides detailed information on most of them.
The playlist below offers titles from 903 V-Discs – happy listening!