#2838e – 1994 29c WWII: Submarines Shorten War in Pacific

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U.S. #2838e
1994 Submarines Shorten War in Pacific, 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 the inside of a submarine with the skipper looking through the eyepiece of a periscope.  The lighting was made red to recall the red lighting used during night attack runs.  Regular light interferes with night vision, but red light does not, meaning submariners could still see enemy ships when looking through the periscope at night.

Special design details:  The idea for the red lighting came from a photograph in the July 1959 The National Geographic Magazine.  The article accompanying the photo discussed the US nuclear submarine Skate’s journey to the North Pole earlier that year.  Bond achieved the red color by painting the image as usual before overlaying it with a transparent “red ruby lift.”

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:  During World War II, submarines became the Navy’s deadliest weapon.  As sea people, the Japanese relied on their naval power as the key to victory and boasted a massive fleet which included the world’s two largest battleships,­ the Yamato and the Musashi.  Operating chiefly in the Pacific, US submarines played a key role in eliminating the Japanese Navy.

In the early part of the war, American torpedoes were faulty and kills were few.  But by the fall of 1943, the problem had been solved and the US went to war with a weapon that would destroy more Japanese tonnage than all other naval and air units combined.  In addition, submarines also transported troops and supplies to enemy islands, laid mines in enemy harbors, and performed daring rescue missions.

Yet Americans back home heard very little about the fantastic success achieved by the US submarines.  Keeping operations secret was not only crucial to their success, but also to their survival.  And despite great pressure to publish play-by-play accounts, the Navy refused, causing the American press to dub this underseas force the “Silent Service.”  By the end of 1944, this highly effective force had virtually worked itself out of a job – the Japanese life line had been cut.
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U.S. #2838e
1994 Submarines Shorten War in Pacific, 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 the inside of a submarine with the skipper looking through the eyepiece of a periscope.  The lighting was made red to recall the red lighting used during night attack runs.  Regular light interferes with night vision, but red light does not, meaning submariners could still see enemy ships when looking through the periscope at night.

Special design details:  The idea for the red lighting came from a photograph in the July 1959 The National Geographic Magazine.  The article accompanying the photo discussed the US nuclear submarine Skate’s journey to the North Pole earlier that year.  Bond achieved the red color by painting the image as usual before overlaying it with a transparent “red ruby lift.”

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:  During World War II, submarines became the Navy’s deadliest weapon.  As sea people, the Japanese relied on their naval power as the key to victory and boasted a massive fleet which included the world’s two largest battleships,­ the Yamato and the Musashi.  Operating chiefly in the Pacific, US submarines played a key role in eliminating the Japanese Navy.

In the early part of the war, American torpedoes were faulty and kills were few.  But by the fall of 1943, the problem had been solved and the US went to war with a weapon that would destroy more Japanese tonnage than all other naval and air units combined.  In addition, submarines also transported troops and supplies to enemy islands, laid mines in enemy harbors, and performed daring rescue missions.

Yet Americans back home heard very little about the fantastic success achieved by the US submarines.  Keeping operations secret was not only crucial to their success, but also to their survival.  And despite great pressure to publish play-by-play accounts, the Navy refused, causing the American press to dub this underseas force the “Silent Service.”  By the end of 1944, this highly effective force had virtually worked itself out of a job – the Japanese life line had been cut.