1941 Airplanes (UO2)
Richfield Products, California, USA

Series Title: Airplanes
American Card Catalog No.: UO2-1 & UO2-2
Issued by: Richfield Gasoline
Copyrighted by: 1941 The United States Printing & Lithograph Company
Country: United States
Number of Cards: 24 Total: 12 cards in Series 1; 12 cards in Series 2
Card Dimensions: 4½ × 5⅞ inches
Circa: 1941
Albums: 2 different, one for each 12 card set
Checklist: Download Checklist


During World II, numerous patriotic trading cards sets, lithograph artwork series, spotter guides, etc. were issued in support of the War effort. The U.S.A. and Foreign War Planes set of 24 color lithographs by Charles Rosner was issued in 1939¹. Two additional sets of UO2 Airplanes 12 color lithographs sets by Charles Rosner were also issued by Richfield Products (Gasoline) in 1941. Details of the Airplanes, Series 1 (UO2-1) and Airplanes, Series 2 (UO2-2) are presented below. The 1941 Richfield Products (Gasoline) sets of "Airplanes, Series 1" and Airplanes, Series 2 used 23 of the 24 lithograph images that were used for the 1939 U.S.A. and Foreign War Planes set of 24 lithographs by Charles Rosner. This set uses the Douglas DC-4 in place of the Japanese Zero Fighter. Therefore, the total number of Rosner images used for the three sets is 25. Minor text and insignia changes were also made to the fronts of the Richfield cards. The back of the cards were completely different from Rosner’s 1939 set. The two Richfield 12-card medium-size color lithographs sets (4½ × 5⅞ inches) feature a total of 24 different World War II aircraft from the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan. Rosner’s aircraft color artwork is some of the most attractive issued during World War II.

Charles Rosner (1894-1975)

The artwork for this series came from the German-American artist Charles Rosner (1894-1975). Charles Rosner was born to a doctor’s family in Langendorf, Germany. His childhood included family holidays in the Port of Kolberg. During these visits he developed a fascination for the sea and its vessels. He went on to serve aboard the sailing ships he admired as a youth and accumulated an impressive five cape horn passages before leaving the sailor’s life in Iquique, Peru at the onset of the first world war. While there he worked in copper mines for the war’s duration, which assuredly helped his passion for traveling resurface. The artist then emigrated to Canada and onward to America, where he soon married and established a permanent home in New York. Rosner’s affinity for the sea propelled him into a commitment as a full-time marine painter of historic sailing vessels, and other sea-faring subjects. It is written that the quality of his work, some later reproduced as chromolithographs, deserved more recognition during his lifetime. Today his artistic accomplishment is apparent through the collections and museums that include Charles Rosner.

Airplanes, Series 1 & 2

As noted earlier Charles Rosner’s U.S.A. and Foreign War Planes set of 24 medium-size unnumbered lithographs was issued in 1939, and was the first in a 3-set series of color airplane lithographs. The front sides of the two 12-card lithograph sets feature attractive color artwork of World War II War Planes in-flight. Some of the cards also feature Squadron Insignia in addition to the aircraft artwork. The lithograph card title is located within the image area, and include the aircraft manufacturer, designation, and aircraft nickname; but not necessarily all three. On some cards, the squadron insignia is also identified. The lithograph image area is surrounded by a 0⅛-inch white border. The card is printed on medium thickness white paper stock. The American Card Catalog reference numbers for the 2 sets are: UO2-1 and UO2-2. Typical card fronts of Richfield’s UO2-1 and UO2-2 Airplanes are shown below.

The card backs of the Airplane series illustrate the primary differences between the 1939 U.S.A. and Foreign War Planes card series and the 1941 Airplanes sets by Richfield Products. Charles Rosner’s original 1939 series was more along the lines of an aircraft recognition card or spotter card. The backs of the Airplanes card sets provide 3-view drawing with dimensions and cross-sections upon which the young model builder could construct a balsa wood detailed model of the aircraft. The card backs are borderless and feature only 2 horizontal elements.

  1. Left side: Richfield Products Bald Eagle logo with the following advertisement beneath the logo … The New Richfield Gasolines are Fortified for National Defense and Your Car.
  2. Detailed 3-view drawing: The detailed 3-view drawing of the aircraft is contained within a thick blue rectangular border. Aircraft dimensions and cross-cut sections are provided to aid the modeler in the construction of the model aircraft.

A comparison of the typical card backs for the 1941 Richfield Airplanes UO2 and the 1939 U.S.A. and Foreign War Planes sets are shown below.

Image Guide - Airplanes, Series 1 & Series 2 (UO2-1 & UO2-2)

Richfield Products Airplanes, Series 1 (UO2-1)

Richfield Products Airplanes, Series 2 (UO2-2)

Richfield Products Airplanes Albums

As noted earlier, there were two albums associated with this series. For lack of any official designations, we’ve simply designated them as Series 1 and Series 2. Both albums are copyrighted 1941 by The United States Printing & Lithograph Company. The albums each measure approximately 6.45 × 5.33 inches and contain 16 pages each … 4 cover pages and 12 lithograph mounting pages.

Richfield Products Airplanes, Series 1 Album (UO2-1)

Richfield Products Airplanes, Series 2 Album (UO2-2)

Shipping Envelopes ?

We are not aware of any traditional wrappers associated with the series. However, there is most likely some sort of shipping envelope that was used for mailing the albums. This is purely speculation on our part based upon the similar series of 1939 U.S.A. and Foreign War Planes also by Charles Rosner. We placed one of the UO2 Airplane Albums inside a 3¢ envelope from the 1939 U.S.A. and Foreign War Planes … it fit perfectly! Any insight on a possible envelope would be appreciated.

Comparison of the 1939 U.S.A. and Foreign War Planes vs. 1941 Airplanes Card Sets

It’s interesting to note the minor differences between Charles Rosner’s 1939 U.S.A. and Foreign War Planes and the 1941 Richfield Products two 12-card Airplanes sets. We are therefore provided side-by-side comparisons of the fronts of the 2 series.



(UO2-1 & UO2-2)

2 × 12-Card Sets, Richfield Products, United States
Card №xSeries 1 Card TitlexSeries 2 Card Title
1Douglas B-19Boeing B-17
2Bell AiracobraEnglish Spitfire
3Vickers WellingtonCurtiss P-40
4Junkers Ju-87BGerman Messerschmitt 109
5Vought-Sikorsky F4U-1Lockheed P-38
6Boulton Paul DefiantEnglish Hurricane
7Consolidated B-24Douglas DC-4
8Focke Wulf KurierGerman Heinkel 112
9Vultee BT-13BVultee Vanguard 48
10Grumman SkyrocketConsolidated 31
11North American NA-73Vought-Sikorsky XPBS-1
12Lockheed HudsonMartin 156
AlbumAlbum with Douglas TBD Front CoverAlbum with Boeing Stratoliner Front Cover


  1. John A. Shupek: Card images via the Skytamer Archive Digital Image Database.

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