The Soldier’s Bond

$10.00 Soldier’s Bond issued to Harry Goldberg of San Francisco. The bond was issued by the War Department’s War Bond Office in Chicago indicating Goldberg was overseas at this time. The number 750 in the string of numbers 12-750-74 is the purchase price of $7.50. The number above this is Goldberg’s Service Number. The Army War Bond Office made Addressograph cards for each soldier for imprinting the soldier’s information on the bond.

Veteran’s Day is later this week and I thought I would highlight the $10.00 Series E United States Savings Bond, also known as the Soldier’s Bond.

The $10.00 Savings Bond was introduced in mid-1944. The War Department asked the Treasury Department for this lower denomination bond to be issued to allow more service members to participate in the savings bond program. Treasury inquired whether the Department of the Navy had any interest in providing the lower denomination bond to its personnel but the Navy declined.

Series E Savings Bonds were purchased at 75% of their face value. Prior to the introduction of the $10.00 bond, a soldier’s allotment for savings bonds was $6.25 per month resulting in the purchase of a $25.00 bond every three months. The purchase of a $10.00 bond required a monthly allotment of $7.50 with a new bond being issued every month.

Jorge Vazquez served in the 65th Infantry Regiment during and after WWII, The 65th was made up of National Guard members from Puerto Rico. The 65th spent WWII in Panama. He was still with the 65th Infantry Regiment when it was sent to Korea. He was reported missing in action after his squad failed to return from a patrol. His remains have yet to be found.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing began production of the $10.00 bond in June 1944. The bond features a profile portrait of Benjamin Franklin, the only wartime Series E bond to eature a non-president. In keeping with the BEP’s convention of using Roman numeral equivalents for the serial number prefix, the prefix on the $10.00 bond is the letter X.

The BEP produced 32 face plates for bonds with the signature of Henry Morgenthau, Jr. as Secretary of the Treasury. In August 1945, Fred Vinson replaced Morgenthau as Treasury Secretary and 13 plates were used to print bonds with Vinson’s signature. An additional 20 plates were made when John Snyder replaced Vinson in August 1946.

Secretary Vinson signature on a bond carrying the War Savings Bond legend at lower left. The Treasury Department stopped using the War Savings Bond legend in August 1945 when Secretary Vinson replaced Secretary Morgenthau.

There are some anomalies in the production of the $10.00 bonds. BEP records indicate that a little more than 19,000,000 $10.00 War Savings Bonds were printed. The War Bond legend was supposed to be removed from the bond when the change in the signature of the Treasury Secretary changed in August 1945. However, bonds with the War Bond legend and Secretary Vinson’s signature have been observed in the 21,000,000 and 23,000,000 range.

Low serial number bond bearing Secretary Vinson’s signature and the War Savings Bond legend. Treasury records indicate that this bond should have Secretary Morgenthau’s signature.

Odder still is the existence of bonds numbered in the 6,000,000 and 7,000,000 range that bear both the War Bond Legend and Secretary Vinson’s signature. That serial number range is well within the range that should have been printed with Secretary Morgenthau’s signature. The issue dates on the observed examples are in 1947 and 1948. It is surmised that for some reason the BEP re-printed this serial number range after the war using the post-war Vinson plates but also with the War Bond legend.

Although $10.00 bonds with Secretary Snyder’s signature were produced, none have been observed.

The Army stopped offering the $10.00 bond in 1950.

The relatively small print run of the $10.00 bond and its limited availability to only Army personnel make it the scarcest of the low denomination bonds.

Josephine Dannegger was a 48 year old immigrant from Danzig when she enlisted in the WACs in 1945. She was stationed at a hospital outside St. Louis when this bond was issued to her.

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