Home Page


WWII Era ('40s)
Korean Era ('50s)
Vietnam Era ('60s)
General Officers


OCS Association
OCS Notices
OCS Newsletter
Army News
Reunion Info
Other Links


  Chief Locator
Web Submissions


Veterans' Salutes
Freedom Park Bricks
Brief Histories
   Music Archive
Scrap Book
Chat Rooms
Charity Efforts


Army Signal Corps

   V-Disc Music

NOTE: IF you wish to listen to this music while you browse the rest of our site, or even the entire web, just leave this page open in the background. Enjoy!

The Music of WWII 

V-Disc was the name given to special phonograph records distributed during and after World War II, to entertain soldiers in their camps around the globe. World War II was the first major war fought after the development of broadcasting, and by that time everyone had come to love radio entertainment. When more and more soldiers began to be stationed in Europe, the Southpacific theater and Africa in 1940 before the war began, the American military began to think about ways to bring them news and entertainment from home. Regular radio (which was all AM at the time) only had a small reception area, and international broadcasting by shortwave was unreliable because it could be disrupted by bad weather. The solution decided on was to try to create a series of entertainment recordings and send them overseas to where the troops were. In this way, the moral boosting entertainment created could either be broadcast over local Armed Forces radio stations.

Lt. Robert Vincent, a sound engineer with the United States Army Signal Corps, Special Services Division, suggested instead that phonograph records be used. In July 1943 he received permission from the United States War Department to take on the task. Working on the project at a feverish pace, Lt. Vincent managed to get his set of V-Discs shipped on 1 October 1943, from the RCA Victor pressing plant in Camden, New Jersey.

     Above music courtesy their respective copyright holders. All rights reserved by copyright holders. Not for download or public resale.

Captain Robert Vinceent


WWII Soldiers playing V-Discs


Technically, most of the V-Discs produced were a little bigger than the regular 78 rpm records of the time. Those were 10 inches in diameter, where Lt. Vincent made the V-Discs 12 wide. This allowed him to place two songs on each side of the disc, for a total of 4 songs. As you listen to the music at left, you will notice that most songs are really two, combined into one. In a case like this you're hearing either Side A's two songs, or Side B's, depending on the recording.

All told some 905 V-Discs were produced. On our player at left we have 60 of them reproduced, plus an extra bonus track from Marlene Dietrich thrown in for good measure.

As to distribution of  the V-Discs to the various combat theaters, in most cases small radio stations were set up at the permanent camps in the war zone. Broadcasts from these stations could usually be picked up for miles around. To make the whole thing work, each camp was sent a “buddy kit” consisting of a phonograph, microphone, public-address amplifier, and records that could be played over the air.

To bring some pizzazz to the effort, the War Department produced a number of original shows to broadcast. These too were put on V-Discs. One of the more famous was “Command Performance,” which featured the top stars of the day. Among them were Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore and Bob Hope.

Other shows were recorded off-the-air in the United States and duplicated on V-discs.

When the war ended, many overseas Army camps remained, and so V-disc production continued. Overall, production lasted until 1949, when disc distribution was replaced by broadcasts from the Voice of America stations around the world. By then technology had moved on, and magnetic tape took the place of 78 RPM recordings.

During the six years that V-discs were in production, over 8 million records were shipped overseas.

Enjoy the music we have for you at left. And thank you for visiting our website.



Top of Page


Original Site Design and Construction By John Hart. Ongoing site design and maintenance courtesy Class 09-67.
Content and design Copyright 1998 - 2017 by Page updated 10/18/17