1994 29c WWII: Battle of Leyte Gulf

# 2838i FDC - 1994 29c WWII: Battle of Leyte Gulf

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U.S. #2838i
1994 Battle for Leyte Gulf, October 23-26, 1944 – World War II

 

  • Part of the fourth souvenir sheet issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II
  • Sheet includes 10 stamps plus a world map

 

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Series:  World War II
Value: 29¢ (Individual stamps), First Class Mail Rate
First Day of Issue:  June 6, 1994
First Day City:  Two main ceremonies in Washington, DC and  St. Mere Egilse, Normandy, with additional smaller events in:  Fort Dix, New Jersey; Salt Lake City, Utah; New York, New York; Clarksville, Tennessee; Fort Sam Houston, Lubbock, San Antonio, and Houston, Texas; Bangor, Maine; Charleston, South Carolina; Virginia Beach and Richmond, Virginia; and Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Quantity Issued (if known):  120,600,000
Printed by:  Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method:  Offset, Intaglio
Format:  Sheetlets of 10 (arranged in 2 strips of 5, one across the top and one across the bottom of the sheetlet, with world map in between)
Perforations:  11.1 (Eureka off-line perforator)
Tagging:  Overall, large block covering stamps and part of selvage

Why the stamp was issued:  This souvenir sheet was issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II.  It was the fourth in a series of five that were issued over the course of five years.

About the stamp design:  Shows a battleship firing.  The fire glows orange and yellow against a cloud of smoke.  The painting was based on a photograph of the USS Pennsylvania.

Special design details:  Robert Kaplan, naval warfare expert, said the stamp design was an error because the USS Pennsylvania didn’t fire its guns during the time period indicated on the stamp.  Kaplan went on to explain “As she was intended only for shore bombardment, her WWII modernization had not included the latest radars that would have fitted her for anti-ship gunnery, and in the night action she was unable to acquire a target.”  However, Pennsylvania did participate in pre-invasion bombardment activities on the east coast of Leyte October 20, in support of US amphibious landings.  Basically, if the dates on the stamp had only said “October 1944,” it would’ve been correct.

First Day City:  The stamps were dedicated in two ceremonies on June 6th:  one at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, and one in the town of St. Mere Egilse in Normandy.  First Day of Issue postmarks read “USS Normandy.”  Thirteen additional cities held events for the stamps’ First Day of Issue and offered pictorial cancellations. 

The ceremony at Lubbock Texas, was special as it was the same city in which World War II pilots were given glider training at the old South Plains Army Air Field.  One of those pilots was Werner Birkelbach, who flew an antitank gun and four soldiers to Normandy before dawn on D-Day.  Fifty years later, on the World War II stamps’ First Day of Issue, Birkelbach flew a modern sailplane 35 miles from Littlefield, Texas, to Lubbock to deliver cacheted covers bearing the new stamps.  They were all given First Day of Issue postmarks at the end of the trip.

Pre-First Day Usage:  Linn’s Stamp News found that a “P-51s escort B-17s” stamp was used on cover postmarked Rock Hill, New York, on June 3rd, three days before the stamps were officially issued.  This was the earliest known usage of the one of the World War II stamps.

About the World War II Series:  As the 50th anniversary of World War II was approaching, the US Postal Service wanted a series that would recognize the key events of the war and the important contributions America made to the Allied victory.  Rather than issue a large number of stamps, the USPS decided to create five sheetlets, each commemorating one year of America’s involvement in the war.  Each sheetlet had 10 different stamps arranged in two horizontal strips of 5.  In the center was a world map with Allied and neutral nations in yellow and Axis-controlled areas in red.  Notes on the map highlighted key developments that occurred that year.  The stamps each featured important events that took place during the year, as well.

History the stamp represents:  On December 7, 1941, the Japanese had invaded the Philippines, forcing MacArthur to retreat to Bataan Peninsula and then Corregidor where he finally surrendered.  But by 1944, campaigns in New Guinea and the Central Pacific had brought his forces within striking distance of the Philippines.

Expecting fierce fighting from the Japanese, the Allies assembled the largest landing force ever used in a Pacific campaign – more than 750 ships participated in the invasion.  Fulfilling his promise “I shall return,” MacArthur waded ashore at palo beach on October 20, 1944.  It had taken MacArthur more than two and a half years and many brutal battles to keep his pledge made at Corregidor.

The Battle for Leyte Gulf was the greatest naval battle in history.  In a desperate last effort to win the war, the Japanese unleashed a terrifying new weapon – kamikazes – suicide pilots who would crash planes filled with explosives onto Allied warships.  Before the war ended they had sunk or damaged over 300 US ships.

Despite Japan’s new strategy, the battle ended in a major victory for the United States.  The Japanese Navy had been crushed, leaving Japan unprotected and exposed to an assault.

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U.S. #2838i
1994 Battle for Leyte Gulf, October 23-26, 1944 – World War II

 

  • Part of the fourth souvenir sheet issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II
  • Sheet includes 10 stamps plus a world map

 

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Series:  World War II
Value: 29¢ (Individual stamps), First Class Mail Rate
First Day of Issue:  June 6, 1994
First Day City:  Two main ceremonies in Washington, DC and  St. Mere Egilse, Normandy, with additional smaller events in:  Fort Dix, New Jersey; Salt Lake City, Utah; New York, New York; Clarksville, Tennessee; Fort Sam Houston, Lubbock, San Antonio, and Houston, Texas; Bangor, Maine; Charleston, South Carolina; Virginia Beach and Richmond, Virginia; and Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Quantity Issued (if known):  120,600,000
Printed by:  Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method:  Offset, Intaglio
Format:  Sheetlets of 10 (arranged in 2 strips of 5, one across the top and one across the bottom of the sheetlet, with world map in between)
Perforations:  11.1 (Eureka off-line perforator)
Tagging:  Overall, large block covering stamps and part of selvage

Why the stamp was issued:  This souvenir sheet was issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II.  It was the fourth in a series of five that were issued over the course of five years.

About the stamp design:  Shows a battleship firing.  The fire glows orange and yellow against a cloud of smoke.  The painting was based on a photograph of the USS Pennsylvania.

Special design details:  Robert Kaplan, naval warfare expert, said the stamp design was an error because the USS Pennsylvania didn’t fire its guns during the time period indicated on the stamp.  Kaplan went on to explain “As she was intended only for shore bombardment, her WWII modernization had not included the latest radars that would have fitted her for anti-ship gunnery, and in the night action she was unable to acquire a target.”  However, Pennsylvania did participate in pre-invasion bombardment activities on the east coast of Leyte October 20, in support of US amphibious landings.  Basically, if the dates on the stamp had only said “October 1944,” it would’ve been correct.

First Day City:  The stamps were dedicated in two ceremonies on June 6th:  one at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, and one in the town of St. Mere Egilse in Normandy.  First Day of Issue postmarks read “USS Normandy.”  Thirteen additional cities held events for the stamps’ First Day of Issue and offered pictorial cancellations. 

The ceremony at Lubbock Texas, was special as it was the same city in which World War II pilots were given glider training at the old South Plains Army Air Field.  One of those pilots was Werner Birkelbach, who flew an antitank gun and four soldiers to Normandy before dawn on D-Day.  Fifty years later, on the World War II stamps’ First Day of Issue, Birkelbach flew a modern sailplane 35 miles from Littlefield, Texas, to Lubbock to deliver cacheted covers bearing the new stamps.  They were all given First Day of Issue postmarks at the end of the trip.

Pre-First Day Usage:  Linn’s Stamp News found that a “P-51s escort B-17s” stamp was used on cover postmarked Rock Hill, New York, on June 3rd, three days before the stamps were officially issued.  This was the earliest known usage of the one of the World War II stamps.

About the World War II Series:  As the 50th anniversary of World War II was approaching, the US Postal Service wanted a series that would recognize the key events of the war and the important contributions America made to the Allied victory.  Rather than issue a large number of stamps, the USPS decided to create five sheetlets, each commemorating one year of America’s involvement in the war.  Each sheetlet had 10 different stamps arranged in two horizontal strips of 5.  In the center was a world map with Allied and neutral nations in yellow and Axis-controlled areas in red.  Notes on the map highlighted key developments that occurred that year.  The stamps each featured important events that took place during the year, as well.

History the stamp represents:  On December 7, 1941, the Japanese had invaded the Philippines, forcing MacArthur to retreat to Bataan Peninsula and then Corregidor where he finally surrendered.  But by 1944, campaigns in New Guinea and the Central Pacific had brought his forces within striking distance of the Philippines.

Expecting fierce fighting from the Japanese, the Allies assembled the largest landing force ever used in a Pacific campaign – more than 750 ships participated in the invasion.  Fulfilling his promise “I shall return,” MacArthur waded ashore at palo beach on October 20, 1944.  It had taken MacArthur more than two and a half years and many brutal battles to keep his pledge made at Corregidor.

The Battle for Leyte Gulf was the greatest naval battle in history.  In a desperate last effort to win the war, the Japanese unleashed a terrifying new weapon – kamikazes – suicide pilots who would crash planes filled with explosives onto Allied warships.  Before the war ended they had sunk or damaged over 300 US ships.

Despite Japan’s new strategy, the battle ended in a major victory for the United States.  The Japanese Navy had been crushed, leaving Japan unprotected and exposed to an assault.