33¢ World War II
Celebrate the Century – 1940s
Issue Date: February 18, 1999
City: Dobbins AFB, GA
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
World War II killed more people, destroyed more property, disrupted more lives, and probably had more far-reaching consequences than any other war in history. It hastened the fall of Western Europe as the center of world power, and led to the rise of the Soviet Union. The development of the atomic bomb during the war opened the nuclear age.
World War II began when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, and ended when Germany, and later Japan, surrendered in 1945. Military deaths as a result of World War II numbered about 17 million. Also, millions of civilians died because of starvation, bombing raids, massacres, epidemics, and other war-related causes. Battles were fought all over the world: Southeast Asian jungles, North African deserts, Pacific islands, Soviet battlefields, Atlantic beaches, and European streets.
N.C. Wyeth’s “Buy War Bonds” poster, created in 1942, is featured on the 1999 U.S. postage stamp depicting World War II. One of the few posters designed by the artist, it shows a flag-waving, finger-pointing Uncle Sam ordering civilians to buy war bonds. Completing the scene is a seemingly endless number of American planes and troops heading off into battle.