Memorial Day: U.S. Mint celebrates World War II victory and the generals who helped achieve it

Coin World is leading up to Memorial Day with a series of features on coins of major U.S. wars
By , Coin World
Published : 05/21/14
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In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday on May 26, Coin World is publishing a series of posts taking readers through coins related to major U.S. wars. 

Previous Memorial Day posts:

The United States entered World War II after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 and stayed in until the Allied powers defeated the Axis powers in 1945. According to PBS, 292,131 U.S. soldiers died on the battlefield, and another 115,185 died as a result of battlefield injuries, disease or accidents. 

The fourth post in our Memorial Day series focuses on coins that honor those dead and the leaders that made sure they didn't die in vain.

1993 50th Anniversary of World War II commemoratives: The U.S. Mint issued clad half dollar, silver $1 and gold $5 coins dated 1991-1995 to honor World War II veterans a half century after the Allied victory.

The three different coins feature three different design combinations:

  • Clad half dollar: Obverse features faces of three armed services members over “V for victory” symbol, reverse features Pacific theater battle scene.
  • Silver $1: Obverse features soldier storming Normandy Beach, reverse features Allied sleeve insignia and Eisenhower quote.
  • Gold $5: Obverse features soldier celebrating victory, reverse features “V for Victory” with corresponding Morse code symbols.

The 2015 Red Book pegs MS-67 versions of the coins at $21 for the half dollar (197,072 were distributed), $40 for the $1 (107,240 distributed), and $400 for the $5 (23,672 distributed).

2013 5-Star Generals commemoratives: The clad half dollar, silver $1 and gold $5 feature on their obverses, respectively, World War II generals Henry “Hap” Arnold and Omar N. Bradley, George C. Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Douglas MacArthur.

The reverse of the half dollar features the crest of Fort Leavensworth, while the $1 and $5 reverses feature the Leavenworth Lamp. 

The 2015 Red Book values an MS-67 half dollar (distirbution of 38,097) at $23, an MS-67 $1 (distribution of 34,639) at $55, and an MS-67 $5 (distribution of 5,658) at $420.

1990 Eisenhower Centennial $1: A silver dollar celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ike featured two profiles of him on its obverse—right-facing as the 34th U.S. president and left-facing as one of the aforementioned 5-Star World War II generals.

The coin’s reverse features the Eisenhower home at Gettysburg. 

An MS-67 version of the coin, of which 241,669 were distributed, is valued in the 2015 Red Book at $35.

Other World War II related numismatic items include:

Military bronze medals honoring important World War II servicemen, including the  Tuskegee Airmen, Montford Point Marines, Nisei Soldiers and Native American Code Talkers.

2005 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary $1: The obverse features a reproduction of the famous photo of a team of marines lifting the American flag at Iwo Jima.

Which Civil War-related coins are we forgetting? Tell us in the comment section below!

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