2013 46¢ Army
Medal of Honor: World War II
Issue Date: November 11, 2013
City: Washington, D.C.
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Offset
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11
In 2013, the U.S. Postal Service issued a set of two stamps commemorating the 464 men who received the Medal of Honor during World War II. Photos of the last twelve living recipients were pictured on the front of the prestige folio, a new stamp format, with the names of all those rewarded printed in the back.
Corporal Melvin Mayfield was the last soldier to earn the Medal of Honor during World War II. His daring actions in the Philippines saved the lives of fellow soldiers under attack.
On July 29, 1945, Mayfield was fighting in the Cordillera Mountains with American and Filipino forces. The native soldiers were pinned down by enemy fire. Mayfield skillfully maneuvered to four enemy caves to eliminate the opposition. While attacking the final outpost, a bullet damaged his gun and injured his hand. He returned to his unit for more hand grenades, then destroyed the last cave.
Mayfield’s actions motivated other soldiers to remove all Japanese in the area and to advance their own position. Within weeks, the Japanese surrender was announced, and Mayfield and his fellow soldiers returned home. The following May, President Harry Truman presented Mayfield with the Medal of Honor for his heroism and excellent leadership.
One of the requirements for being awarded the Medal of Honor is to act with “intrepidity,” which means “strength of mind to carry on in spite of danger.” Like his fellow honorees, Mayfield’s bravery in the face of overwhelming odds made him highly qualified for this prestigious distinction.