“Home Defense Series” (F279-7)
Quaker, United States

  • Series Title: Home Defense Series
  • American Card Catalog No.: F279-7
  • Manufactured by: Quaker
  • Package Designed with: Quaker Sparkies Cereal Boxes
  • Country: United States
  • Number of Cards: 2 × 12
  • Card Dimensions: 4.66 × 6.06 inches (nominal)
  • Circa: 1941


The genesis of this card set was the “Little Orphan Annie” radio show of the 1930s. Little Orphan Annie was adapted to a 15-minute radio show that debuted on WGN Chicago at 5:45 pm EST on April 6, 1931, and eventually aired from coast to coast on NBC's Blue Network. The show was one of the first comic strips adapted to radio, attracted about 6 million fans, and left the air in 1942. The show was initially sponsored by Ovaltine, a flavored milk supplement. The scripts for the show were written by Ovaltine's Chicago ad agency staff, and concentrated on pitching Ovaltine, using almost seven minutes of each broadcast to do so. Fans could redeem Ovaltine proofs of purchase for a secret decoder ring or badge that decoded brief messages airing in the last moments of the show. In 1940, Quaker Puffed Wheat Sparkies became the show's sponsor and brought the fictional aviator “Captain Sparks” to the show. Sparks eventually became the star, relegating Annie to a secondary player. On the Backs of Quaker Sparkies cereal boxes, kids could cut out collectible cards of the “Home Defense Series.” Sparkies were inspired by Captain Sparks, combat pilot and sidekick of Little Orphan Annie on the Little Orphan Annie Radio Program.

The twelve-card F279-7 “Home Defense Series” is actually two twelve-card sets of package-design (PD) cards cut-out from the Backs of Quaker “Sparkies” Cereal Boxes. The initial series of PD cards focused on military aircraft, racing aircraft and flying maneuvers. The attractive color artwork was surrounded by a thin white border frame and a large yellow border. The card number was center in the bottom yellow border in the following format: “NUMBER 3 OF A SERIES ... SAVE THEM ALL”

The second twelve-card series is easily differentiated from the first series. The cards either ask a question or have the letter “A” after the card number. The second series utilizes the artwork of nine cards from the first series with different titles and captions. Three of the cards contain new artwork and are renumbered as 4A, 7A and 11A. The cards measure approximately 4.66 × 6.06 inches. The Backs of all of the cards are blank. The American Card Catalog Reference Number is F279-7.

Image Guide

All of the following images have been computer enhanced for presentation purposes. The majority of the images were reconstructed from low-grade scans from multiple sources. Blemishes have been removed, images straightened, etc.

Series 1

Series 2


First Printing Series
1Uncle Sam's Cadet Flyers
2Catapulting Navy Scouts
3U.S. Marine Parachutists
4Racing Planes
5Uncle Sam's Floating Airports
6U.S. Army's Fastest Fighter
7Laying A Smoke Screen
8Fighters “Peeling Off”
9U.S. Navy Patrol Boats
10Transport Landing At Night
11New Navy Interceptor
12World's Largest Bomber
Second Printing Series
1What Ship Do Army Cadets Train In?
2What Are “Shotgun Aviators”?
3What Plane Carries Marine 'Chutists?
4AWhat U.S. Plane Bombed Tokio?
5What Plane Operates From Airplane Carriers?
6What Fighter Plane Carries A Cannon?
7ANavy's Latest Torpedo Bomber
8What Does “Peeling Off” Mean?
9What Is A “Flying Boat”?
10What Is The World's Leading Airliner?
11AWhat Is The Navy's Newest Fighter?
12What Is The World's Biggest Airplane?
Note: We need 600-dpi scans of the cards highlighted in yellow.

We Need Your Help!

As you can see from the above Image Guides, we need help to complete this Card Collection. We are in need of 600-dpi scans of the fronts of the following cards: (first series) 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 12; (second series) 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11A and 12. If you can help us, please contact us via the “Contact Us”. If your scans are used, we will acknowledge your contribution at the bottom of this page, display your business card, and provide a link to your website.


  • Card Images, 600-dpi card scans from the Skytamer Collection, 2011

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