Stamp Announcement 22-36: Women Cryptologists of World War II Stamp


On October 18, 2022, in Annapolis Junction, MD, the United States Postal Service® will issue the Women Cryptologists of World War II stamp (Forever® priced at the First-Class Mail® rate) in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 482200). This stamp will go on sale nationwide October 18, 2022, and must not be sold or canceled before the first-day-of-issue.

With this stamp, the Postal Service™ honors all of the women cryptologists of World War II. The stamp art features an image from a World War II–era WAVES recruitment poster with an overlay of characters from the “Purple” code, used by the Japanese government to encrypt diplomatic messages.

Established in July 1942, the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) were part of the U.S. Naval Reserve. The key to the Purple code was discovered by a female cryptologist with the U.S. Army‘s Signal Intelligence Service. In the pane selvage, seemingly random letters (ZRPH QF UB SWRORJLVWV RIZRUOGZDULL, FLSKHU, DQDOBCH, and VHFUHW) can be deciphered to reveal some key words. The reverse side of the pane discloses the cipher needed to read the words. Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp and served as art director.

Availability to Post Offices: Item 482200, Women Cryptologists of World War II (Forever Priced at the First-Class Mail Rate) Pane of 20 Stamps

Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices. Post Offices may begin ordering stamps before the first-day-of-issue through SFS Web at

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 120 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office™ or at The Postal Store® website at They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

FDOI – Women Cryptologists of World War II Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by February 18, 2023.

How to Order First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the USA Philatelic catalog and online at Customers may register to receive a free USA Philatelic catalog online at

Locally produced items are not authorized. Only merchandise that has been approved and assigned an item number by Headquarters Retail Marketing may be produced and sold.



Women Cryptologists of World War II Stamp

Item Number:


Denomination &
Type of Issue:

First-Class Mail Forever


Pane of 20



Issue Date & City:

October 18, 2022, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701

Art Director:

Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA


Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA


Joseph Sheeran

Manufacturing Process:



Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd (APU)

Press Type:

Muller A76

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

18,000,000 stamps

Paper Type:

Nonphosphored Type III, Block Tag

Adhesive Type:



Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

0.84 x 1.42 in/21.336 x 36.068 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

0.98 x 1.56 in/24.892 x 39.624 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

5.92 x 7.50 in/150.368 x 190.50 mm

Press Sheet Size (w x h):

12.62 x 22.75 in/330.548 x 577.85 mm

Plate Size:

240 stamps per revolution

Plate Number:

“P” followed by four (4) single digits

Marginal Markings:


Header “ZRPH QF UB WOMEN CRYPTOLOGISTS OF WORLD WAR II SWRORJLVWV RIZRUOGZDULL” • Left side: “DQ DOB CH” • Right side: “FL SKH U” • Bottom: “VHFUHW • Plate number in bottom two corners


Encryption Cipher • ©2021 USPS • USPS logo • Two barcodes (482200) • Promotional text • Plate position diagram (6)