1995 32c World War II: Marines Raise Flag on Iwo Jima

# 2981a - 1995 32c World War II: Marines Raise Flag on Iwo Jima

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U.S. #2981a
Marines raise flag on Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945– World War II

  • Fifth and final souvenir sheet issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II
  • Includes 10 stamps plus a world map

 Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Series:  World War II
Value:  32¢ (Denomination of each individual stamp)
First Day of Issue:  September 2, 1995
First Day City:  Honolulu, Hawaii
Quantity Issued (if known):  100,000,000
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 last in a series of five that were issued over the course of five years.

About the stamp design:  Shows the infamous group of soldiers raising the flag on Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945, from a photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal. William Bond had to design the vertical image in a horizontal format and to make this happen cut off the top part of Rosenthal’s photo, the flag. Of course, he couldn’t cut “Old Glory” out completely, so a corner of the flag drops in the top of the frame.

First Day City:  The stamps were dedicated in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, the ceremony took place in view of the USS Arizona Memorial.

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:  By early 1945 Japan had lost most of her empire and faced certain defeat, but she continued to fight.  To make their Pacific campaign successful the Allies needed more bases.  A tiny island 750 miles south of Japan called Iwo Jima became their primary target.

Seven months before the actual invasion, aircrafts began bombing the island.  Then on February 19, 1945, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th US Marine divisions landed.  The Japanese had prepared elaborate mine fields and underground tunnels, and a remarkable communications system for the island’s defense. The fight for Iwo Jima proved to be one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

On February 23rd, after three days of intense combat, the Marines captured Mt. Surbachi and hoisted the Stars and Stripes.  A Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of this moment has become one of the most famous images of the war, and served as the model for the US Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virgina.  After 26 days of fierce fighting, the Japanese surrendered on March 16th – nearly 21,000 Americans had been lost.

A strategic base for the US in the last stages of the war, Iwo Jima served as a base for the P-51 Mustangs that escorted the formidable B-29s on their bombing raids, as well as an emergency landing airstrip.

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U.S. #2981a
Marines raise flag on Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945– World War II

  • Fifth and final souvenir sheet issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II
  • Includes 10 stamps plus a world map

 Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Series:  World War II
Value:  32¢ (Denomination of each individual stamp)
First Day of Issue:  September 2, 1995
First Day City:  Honolulu, Hawaii
Quantity Issued (if known):  100,000,000
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 last in a series of five that were issued over the course of five years.

About the stamp design:  Shows the infamous group of soldiers raising the flag on Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945, from a photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal. William Bond had to design the vertical image in a horizontal format and to make this happen cut off the top part of Rosenthal’s photo, the flag. Of course, he couldn’t cut “Old Glory” out completely, so a corner of the flag drops in the top of the frame.

First Day City:  The stamps were dedicated in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, the ceremony took place in view of the USS Arizona Memorial.

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:  By early 1945 Japan had lost most of her empire and faced certain defeat, but she continued to fight.  To make their Pacific campaign successful the Allies needed more bases.  A tiny island 750 miles south of Japan called Iwo Jima became their primary target.

Seven months before the actual invasion, aircrafts began bombing the island.  Then on February 19, 1945, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th US Marine divisions landed.  The Japanese had prepared elaborate mine fields and underground tunnels, and a remarkable communications system for the island’s defense. The fight for Iwo Jima proved to be one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

On February 23rd, after three days of intense combat, the Marines captured Mt. Surbachi and hoisted the Stars and Stripes.  A Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of this moment has become one of the most famous images of the war, and served as the model for the US Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virgina.  After 26 days of fierce fighting, the Japanese surrendered on March 16th – nearly 21,000 Americans had been lost.

A strategic base for the US in the last stages of the war, Iwo Jima served as a base for the P-51 Mustangs that escorted the formidable B-29s on their bombing raids, as well as an emergency landing airstrip.