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Collecting US WW2 War Loan / War Bond Materials

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

Service Star History and Meanings

Son in Service Pins

Welcome Home - Victory Pennant

Son In Service Pennant

Son in Service Pennant - with hand written service record.

Service Star History and Meanings

Every home in the US was influenced and effected by the onset and burden of war - this era saw rationing and shift in the home and work lives of all - the US government agencies also set about producing and delivering patriotic and informational programs and tokens of participation and recognition. The service star program originated for the Dough Boys that served in WW1 with a blue star (within white background and red border ) for every family member in active service of the US. This was developed further and exponentially expanded within WW2. The program was not popularized / circulated for Korea and Vietnam but the American Legion took it up from the Gulf War onwards. In that time the gold star overlay was developed for a family member killed while in active service. The silver star overlay was also developed for all those mentally or physically injured while on active service:

In this article we will study and compile some of the many programs and their planning, execution and impact on the individual, homes, communities and nation.

Son in Service Pins

Some of the longest running material are the small enamel pins that could be wor by family members - the earliest of these have "1917" on the rear from their first issue. These can be had in one through 7 star configurations. (US families were not limited to 4 family members in service until WW2). These can indicate gold stars in place of blue and are made in base metal that is often plated a gold color, or gold plated. Jewelers also produced these in Stirling Silver and Grades of Gold as marked on the rear. WW2 saw the domestication of thermoplastics and with the urge for metal conservation, items such as these pins were mass produced in thermoplastic and celluloid.

Welcome Home - Victory window pennants. Red, White and Blue were emphasized throughout the war effort and the reduction of marketing color count and focus on the essentials turned the billboards and general store displays from technicolor pre-war to fields of red white and blue - sprinkled with stars, stripes and eagles. Homes also received their share of this treatment.

Here we see a Victory flag 10" tall, 6.5" wide that would hang in a front window of a home. - silk screen blue and red art on a silk background with the words "welcome home" and a stylized eagle clutching and olive branch (for peace) for a householder member that was serving overseas. The tassel work is yellow silk and the pole and spear points are wooden. This was discovered in a bundle of 48 star flags which had shielded it from light and absorbed humidity for decades leaving it a state of perfect but wrinkled preservation - framed in a step frame in black wood (sold at the Forks of Delaware show Winter 2022).

Son in Service window pennant - with attached "honorable discharge" (ruptured duck) patch - presumably from the veteran themselves.

Silk screen blue and red art on nylon background with the blue star for one son in service and "in the service of our country" script. The cross bar is formed painted steel with an attached brass hanging hoop. Framed in a black wooden frame 7" x 10" (for sale at the Swamp Door Antiques Store in Gilbertsville PA).

Son In Service Star window pennant - with Handwritten Service Record - This is a more delux service star with flocking on the red surround. On the rear the flag was dedicated to "Bobby's service in the Second World War" from 1943 until his discharge in 1946.

From his training assignments Bobby was a Seabee and was assigned to posts with the Pacific Fleet seeing service in Iwo Jima and Japan. Bobby returned safely to his home in Elmira NY after discharge in California. Framed in a double glass black wooden frame - with printed transcriptions of the handwritten service records on both sides in the wide margin --16" x 16" (for sale at local Shows and then to be rotated int the Swamp Door Antiques Store in Gilbertsville PA).

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