Hometowns honor their returning veterans, 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: Stamp designer, William Bond, and stamp director, Howard Paine, wanted to finish the whole series with closure. After a few ideas passed, they decided on a group of men and women showing the diversity of people and branches of service. Bond made sure to put a welcome sign behind them filling the space with celebration confetti. Staff members of the Postal Service’s research firm rented uniforms for the reference photo.
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: With the war over the folks back home eagerly awaited their servicemen’s return. Some had quite a wait, as soldiers were given various occupational duties, but each returning veteran was treated to a hero’s welcome. Parades and celebrations featuring these heroes were held everywhere.
American had changed while the veterans had been away. Although the country looked much the same, with the addition of some new factories, social and political changes had permanently reshaped the nation. Millions of women had taken jobs outside of their homes and experienced the benefits and high pay of industrial jobs. African-Americans were given new opportunities – the Fair Employment Practices Committee created by President Roosevelt in 1941 prevented job discrimination in defense industries. And due to higher wartime wages, a larger property-owning middle class had been created.
Surveys showed that returning servicemen had been worried about their future employment and the return of the Great Depression, but years following World War II were quite prosperous. For most Americans simply being at peace was the best reward.