MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. -- The U. S. Post Office unveiled the Distinguished Marines commemorative 37-cent U.S. Postage stamps during a ceremony held at the Yuma U. S. Post Office Nov. 10.
“The Marine Corps birthday is the perfect time to release these stamps,” said Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Commanding Officer Col. Ben D. Hancock. “They couldn’t have picked a better day.”
“I am very proud to have these stamps in circulation,” said Hancock, a native of Tempe, Ariz. “I’m also proud to own a set and proud to have the ability to use these stamps in the future.”
There are four new stamps, each depicting the face of some of the heros who served throughout the Marine Corps’ history.
The four Marines on the stamps are 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune, Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, Sgt. Maj. Daniel Daly and Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone.
The Lejeune stamp features a 1924 photograph of Lejeune, along with the insignia of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, which Lejeune commanded for one year during World War I.
Lejeune was promoted to major general and appointed 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps July 1, 1920.
The Puller stamp features a photo of Puller from Koto-ri, Korea in 1950, and the insignia of the 1st Marine Division. Puller was a battalion and regimental commander with the 1st Marine Division during World War II and the Korean War. However, Puller is most commonly known as “Chesty” in reference to the five Navy Crosses and the other numerous medals and awards he earned during his time in the Marine Corps.
The Daly stamp features a 1919 photograph of Daly with the insignia of the 73rd
Machine Gun Company, which is a variation of the Army's 2nd Infantry Division insignia. During World War I, Daly served with the 73rd Machine Gun Company in the 2nd Infantry Division. Daly was one of only two Marines to ever receive the Medal of Honor twice.
The Basilone stamp features a 1943 photograph of Basilone and the insignia of the 5th Marine Division. Basilone served and died with the 1st Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, during the invasion of Iwo Jima in February 1945. Basilone earned the Medal of Honor for heroics at Lunga Ridge, where he was credited with at least 38 kills in one night, many at arms length with his sidearm.
he stamps were released on the Marine Corps birthday to honor the fallen Marines and the Marine Corps in general, said David Ager, clerk-in-charge of MCAS Yuma’s Post Office.
“People want these stamps,” said Ager. “That’s why they are in production. The post office will only make stamps that are in high demand. These stamps were originally going to be released last spring, but the U.S. Post Office decided to hold them to release them on the birthday of the (Marine Corps). It just makes sense to honor these men on the birthday of the service they all bled for.”
“These stamps are just another daily reminder of what we, as Marines, must strive for everyday,” said Hancock.
“While the Marines on these stamps serve as a goal for all other Marines to reach, the stamps themselves also serve as a reminder for those that came before us,” said Gretchen Dowing, Somerton, Ariz. Postmaster.
“When you use these stamps, remember all those men and women that served before you and those that serve now,” she said.