U.S. # 4823b
2015 49¢ Army
Medal of Honor: Vietnam
June 1967 saw a heavy infiltration of communist forces into South Vietnam. Mountainous areas in the coastal province of Binh Dinh provided cover for enemy bases. Allied troops constantly sought out the Viet Cong, searching by land and air. Battles erupted as North Vietnamese forces were located and dealt with. One such incident left a helicopter down and its rescue team surrounded.
Specialist Edgar L. McWethy, Jr. and his platoon had secured the crash site’s perimeter, but were taking heavy fire. Their team leader was hit and McWethy responded immediately, running to his aid through a barrage of automatic weapons fire. His quick action allowed the platoon leader to retain command in the fight. But McWethy did not rest.
Hearing calls for help, the combat medic ran across the open battlefield. Hit twice, he struggled on to aid his comrades. McWethy was hit a third time as he made his way to another downed soldier, yet he pressed on.
A fourth and fatal bullet struck McWethy before he could reach safety. For his galant actions, the medic received a posthumous Medal of Honor citation. His courage had not only saved lives, but also “inspired the members of his platoon and contributed in great measure to their successful defense of the position and ultimate rout of the enemy force.”
The 2015 Medal of Honor stamps were designed by art director Antonio Alcalá, using photographs by Richard Frasier. The stamps were printed in a prestige folio, a new format the U.S.P.S. created for the Medal of Honor Series that began in 2013 to honor World War II award recipients. The folio pictures most of the nearly 50 living Vietnam War recipients and lists the names of all 258 honorees.
Value: 49¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: May 25, 2015
First Day City: Washington, D.C. – at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America/Sennett Security Products
Method: Offset with microprinting in double-sided sheets of 72 with 3 panes of 24 per sheet
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 11
Quantity Printed: 10,000,000 stamps
The 2015 Medal of Honor issue was the first in the series to include a stamp for Air Force recipients, as the award wasn’t created until 1965. The other stamps in the series are U.S. #4822-23, honoring World War II recipients and #4822a-23a, for Korean War recipients. The Medal of Honor was also previously honored in 1983 on U.S. #2045.