WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The U.S. Postal Service will issue "Distinguished Sailors stamps" Feb. 4 to honor four Sailors who served with bravery and distinction during the 20th century.
William S. Sims, Arleigh A. Burke, John McCloy, and Doris Miller were selected for the honor.
The stamps will be unveiled in a ceremony at a First-Day-of-Issue Ceremony to be conducted at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Vice Adm. William S. Sims served as commander of U.S. Naval Forces in European waters during World War I. He was an outspoken reformer and innovator who helped shape the Navy into a modern fighting force. After his service, Sims continued to write and lecture about naval reform until his death in 1936, at which time the New York Herald Tribune declared that he had "influenced our naval course more than any man who ever wore the uniform." The Navy has named three destroyers after Sims. The most recent, USS W.S. Sims (DE-1059), was commissioned in 1970.
According to the Postal Service, the William S. Sims stamp features a detail from a photograph of Sims (1919). Beside the photograph is a depiction of the crest of the destroyer escort USS W. S. Sims (DE-1059), which was commissioned in 1970.
Adm. Arleigh A. Burke was one of the top destroyer squadron commanders of World War II. He had an equally distinguished post war career in which he played a major role in modernizing the Navy and guiding its response to the Cold War.
When Burke died in 1996, he was hailed as a "Sailor's Sailor" who defined what it meant to be a naval officer: "relentless in combat, resourceful in command, and revered by his crews."
The Arleigh A. Burke stamp features a detail from a photograph of Burke (1951). Beside the photograph is a depiction of the crest of the guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), which was commissioned in 1991 as the first in a whole class of destroyers.
Lt. Cmdr. John McCloy was described by a shipmate as "like a bull" who couldn't be stopped. He has the distinction of being one of the few men in the nation's history to earn two Medals of Honor for separate acts of heroism.
McCloy retired from active duty in 1928 after a 30-year career in the Navy and "a lifetime of service on all the seven seas," and died in 1945.
In 1963, the Navy commissioned a destroyer escort, USS McCloy (DE-1038), which was named in his honor.
The John McCloy stamp features a detail from a photograph of McCloy (circa 1920). Beside the photograph is a depiction of the crest of the destroyer escort, USS McCloy (DE-1038), which was commissioned in 1963.
Petty Officer Doris Miller has been given the title of "the first African American hero of World War II." Miller became an inspiration to generations of Americans for his actions at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Although he was only the first of a number of African Americans to be recognized for their heroism in World War II, Miller is singularly remembered for providing inspiration to a campaign for equal recognition and opportunity for blacks in the military, a campaign that bore fruit in 1948 when then-President Truman ordered "that there shall be equality and opportunity for all persons in the Armed Forces."
The Doris Miller stamp features a detail from a photograph of Miller (1942). Beside the photograph is a depiction of the crest of the destroyer escort USS Miller (DE-1091), which was commissioned in 1973.
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