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Gold Star Mothers Issue

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3-cent Gold Star Mothers single

The Post Office Department issued a stamp honoring Gold Star Mothers - mothers who have lost a child in service to the nation - in 1948. The stamps became available on September 21. Mrs. Thomas F. Sullivan of Waterloo, Iowa, who lost five sons when an enemy torpedo sank the cruiser Juneau on November 13, 1942, received the first sheet of stamps. The Gold Star Mothers stamp was the first in eight years to honor women or a women's organization. Until 1948, only ten US postage stamps had celebrated women.

The stamp's design features a palm branch and a star, below which appears "Gold Star Mothers."

In recognition that fathers too had lost children to warfare, James Waldo Fawcett, in his Washington Star stamp column of March 28, promoted the idea that the stamp also recognize fathers. He urged those who favored this enlargement of the stamp's concept to communicate their wishes promptly to Third Assistant Postmaster General Joseph J. Lawler, Washington DC. The Post Office Department retained its original plan.

Charles R. Chickering, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, designed the stamp; A.W. Dintaman engraved the frame, lettering, and numerals; R.K. Barrick engraved the vignette.


  • American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. www.goldstarmoms.com.
  • Bureau Specialist. West Somerville, Massachusetts: Bureau Issues Association, Inc. (June 1949), 144.
  • Stamps. Hornell, New York: Lindquist Publications. (April 17, 1948), 81.
  • Western Stamp Collector. Mill City, Oregon. (May 1, 1948), 6.

Steven J. Rod

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