Happy Birthday Gerald Ford! 

U.S. #4199 was issued the year after Ford’s death.

Leslie Lynch King Jr., better known as Gerald Rudolph Ford, was born on July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska.

The future president’s parents separated when he was very young and his mother eventually married a man named Gerald Rudolff Ford. In 1916, they changed the young boy’s name to Gerald Rudolff Ford Jr. When he legally changed his name in 1935, he adopted the more conventional spelling of his middle name.

Ford would go on to become a Boy Scout (the first Eagle Scout to reach the Oval Office) and a football star. In fact, he had the opportunity to play professional football, but instead chose to pursue a career in law. He attended Yale Law School and returned to Grand Rapids to open a law practice. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 caused him to change his plans.

U.S. #4199 FDC – Ford Silk Cachet Combination First Day Cover.

Ford didn’t want to wait for the draft, so he joined the Navy. He reported for active duty on April 20, 1942. After a month of training Ford became an instructor for seamanship, ordnance, gunnery, first aid, and military drill. He also coached all nine sports taught at the Preflight School. By 1943, Ford was promoted to Lieutenant.

Gambia #3129 was issued in Ford’s honor after his death.

Ford then applied for sea duty and was assigned to the USS Monterey. He served as the ship’s assistant navigator, athletic officer, and antiaircraft battery officer. During Ford’s time aboard the Monterrey, he participated in several Pacific actions with the Third and Fifth Fleets. They helped protect Makin Island in the Gilberts, launched strikes against Kavieng, New Ireland, the Marianas, Western Carolines, and Northern New Guinea, supported the landings at Kwajalein and Eniwetok, and participated in the Battle of Philippine Sea. They also participated in battles at Wake Island, the Philippines and Ryukus, Leyte, and Mindoro.

Micronesia #747 features photos of Ford throughout his political career.

Ford was also present on the Monterrey when it was hit by a typhoon on December 18 and 19, 1944. During the storm, several of the ship’s planes broke loose from their cables and started fires. During this time, Ford left his battle station, but the ship rolled 25 degrees, making him lose his footing and slide down the deck. He nearly slid overboard, but was saved by the two-inch steel ridge around the deck. He later recalled, “I was lucky; I could have easily gone overboard.”

Item #97838 – Ford Platinum Medal Commemorative Cover.

After that typhoon, the Monterrey was deemed unfit for service. Ford was then sent to California where he worked in the Athletic Department of the Navy Pre-Flight School. He was released from the Navy in 1946. For his service, Ford received the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with nine engagement stars as well as the Philippine Liberation and World War II Victory Medals.

Remember – You can learn more about these stamps and covers simply by clicking on the images above.  For some, you’ll find additional covers and conditions so you can choose what’s right for your collection.

Click here for more about Ford’s life.

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  1. I saw President Ford at the park area in Keene, NH with the high school students from Austine School for the Deaf of Brattleboro, Vt as the field trip. He was shake with the people’s hand including myself around the park near the street with tv cameras and the secret agents in the Fall of 1975 (September 1975) ran for the president of US reelection.

  2. A WW2 veteran, congressman, a solid citizen, a good man. He became Vice President when Agnew resigned in disgrace. He became President when Nixon resigned in disgrace. The years of his presidency were difficult, not only in the aftermath of Nixon, but included a long and difficult depression. as well. He was severely criticized for pardoning Nixon. But he served his country well.

    1. A “long and difficult depression? When? The only actual depression the country suffered was in the 30’s.

  3. I didn’t get a chance to read it yesterday, but I really enjoyed reading it today, thanks for all the
    imput that I really didn’t know. I did have a priest ask me why he didn’t get elected the second time
    it was because he pardon Nixon, but he did his job well. I like all the stamps they used on President
    Ford, a very nice job.

  4. His ship was the Monterey not the Monterrey. It’s named after a city in CA not one in Mexico. We wouldn’t do that.

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