U.S. # 4988a
2015 49¢ Medal of Honor: Vietnam
Of the 248 Medals of Honor awarded for acts of heroism during the Vietnam War, 156 were awarded posthumously. It was proportionately the second largest amount of medals awarded after death of all U.S. wars. (Seventy-three percent of the 146 Medals earned during the Korean War were awarded after death.) Many of those honored were killed in action. From smothering active grenades to drawing fire away from their comrades, all Medal of Honor recipients are true heroes.
Vietnam’s heroes include men like Pararescueman William H. Pitsenbarger, who chose to stay with a surrounded platoon rather than escape with his chopper. He tended to the injured and took up arms in the battle until mortally wounded. Army medic Specialist Edgar L. McWethy, Jr., who ran back and forth through a hail of bullets to help his wounded comrades with no concern for his own safety. And Marine Corps PFC Melvin Newlin single-handedly delayed the enemy long enough for the main Marine force to successfully repel the attack.
Sadly, these brave and selfless acts, and those of many others, ended in the heroes’ deaths. But their sacrifices allowed others to survive – exemplifying the code of valor by which each had lived.
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: 30,000,000 stamps
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.
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.