2022 First-Class Forever Stamp,Women Cryptologists of World War II

# 5738 - 2022 First-Class Forever Stamp - Women Cryptologists of World War II

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US #5738
2022 Women Cryptologists of World War II

  • Honors the women cryptologists who played an invaluable role in securing Allied victory during World War II
  • Includes a hidden message that can only be decoded with the cipher on the reverse side of the pane of 20


Stamp Category: 
Commemorative
Value:  First Class Mail Rate (Forever)
First Day of Issue:  October 18, 2022
First Day City:  Annapolis Junction, Maryland
Quantity Issued:  18,000,000
Printed by:  Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Offset
Format:  Panes of 20
Tagging:  Nonphosphored type III, block tag

Why the stamp was issued:  To commemorate the women cryptologists who cracked the “Purple” code during World War II.  Without them, the conflict may have ended differently.

About the stamp design:  Pictures a World War II-era WAVES recruitment poster overlayed with characters from the “Purple” code with random letters.  The reverse side of the pane of 20 includes the cipher needed to read the message on the front of the stamp.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue Ceremony was held at the National Cryptologic Museum in Annapolis Junction, Maryland.

History the stamp represents:  During World War II, both the Allied and Axis powers used radio messages to communicate.  However, because they were easily intercepted, cryptography was widely used to mask the contents of a message through complicated code.  Naturally, both sides tasked large teams with cracking these codes in order to obtain secret information.  Women across America took up non-combat jobs while men were away fighting.  This included serving as code breakers.

One of the most infamous codes was generated by Japan and their Type B Cipher Machine, codenamed “Purple” by the United States.  Members of the US Army Signals Intelligence Service (SIS) were assigned the monumental task of breaking it.  This included thousands of women, of whom Genevieve Grotjan became a central figure.  After 18 months with no headway, the SIS team was at a loss for what to try next.  Finally, in September 1940, Grotjan made a discovery that turned the tide in our favor.  She found trends in Japan’s coded messages that no one else had detected.

With Grotjan’s groundwork, other cryptologists were able to make additional breakthroughs.  The US was finally able to decode Purple and read Japanese diplomatic messages, giving the Allies a major tactical advantage.  Without the women cryptologists of SIS, World War II victory may never have been possible.

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US #5738
2022 Women Cryptologists of World War II

  • Honors the women cryptologists who played an invaluable role in securing Allied victory during World War II
  • Includes a hidden message that can only be decoded with the cipher on the reverse side of the pane of 20


Stamp Category: 
Commemorative
Value:  First Class Mail Rate (Forever)
First Day of Issue:  October 18, 2022
First Day City:  Annapolis Junction, Maryland
Quantity Issued:  18,000,000
Printed by:  Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Offset
Format:  Panes of 20
Tagging:  Nonphosphored type III, block tag

Why the stamp was issued:  To commemorate the women cryptologists who cracked the “Purple” code during World War II.  Without them, the conflict may have ended differently.

About the stamp design:  Pictures a World War II-era WAVES recruitment poster overlayed with characters from the “Purple” code with random letters.  The reverse side of the pane of 20 includes the cipher needed to read the message on the front of the stamp.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue Ceremony was held at the National Cryptologic Museum in Annapolis Junction, Maryland.

History the stamp represents:  During World War II, both the Allied and Axis powers used radio messages to communicate.  However, because they were easily intercepted, cryptography was widely used to mask the contents of a message through complicated code.  Naturally, both sides tasked large teams with cracking these codes in order to obtain secret information.  Women across America took up non-combat jobs while men were away fighting.  This included serving as code breakers.

One of the most infamous codes was generated by Japan and their Type B Cipher Machine, codenamed “Purple” by the United States.  Members of the US Army Signals Intelligence Service (SIS) were assigned the monumental task of breaking it.  This included thousands of women, of whom Genevieve Grotjan became a central figure.  After 18 months with no headway, the SIS team was at a loss for what to try next.  Finally, in September 1940, Grotjan made a discovery that turned the tide in our favor.  She found trends in Japan’s coded messages that no one else had detected.

With Grotjan’s groundwork, other cryptologists were able to make additional breakthroughs.  The US was finally able to decode Purple and read Japanese diplomatic messages, giving the Allies a major tactical advantage.  Without the women cryptologists of SIS, World War II victory may never have been possible.