1939 “War Planes” (W632)
Charles Rosner Lithographs, U.S.A.

Series Title:“War Planes”
American Card Catalog No.: W632
Issued by: anonymous
Artwork by: Charles Rosner
Country: United States
Number of Cards: 2 × 24 color lithographs
Numbering: Set 1 (unnumbered), Set 2 (1 to 24)
Card Dimensions: 4½ × 5⅞ inches
Circa: 1939
Checklist: Download

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.


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 sets … one set un-numbered and the other set numbered … of 24 color medium sized lithographs by Charles Rosner was issued in 1939. Two additional sets of UO2 Airplanes 12 color lithographs 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 shown here. The medium-size color lithographs (4½ × 5⅞ inches) comprising the four sets of Rosner’s lithographs 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.

As noted earlier Charles Rosner’s War Planes sets of 24 medium-size were both unnumbered (W632-1) and numbered (W632-2) lithographs was issued circa 1939. The front side of the individual 24 lithographs 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 includes the aircraft manufacturer, designation, and aircraft nickname. 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 second set (W632-2) is the only one that contains card numbers. The card number is shown on the card back in the lower left-hand corner.

The card backs are borderless and feature the following six vertical elements:

  1. Aircraft manufacturer and designation: i.e., Bell Airacobra.
  2. Aircraft function: i.e., Army Interceptor.
  3. Descriptive text: Giant Killer is the Bell Airacobra Interceptor, …
  4. Spotters Guide: i.e., Single-engine, long narrow nose, triangular round wings and tail.
  5. Card No.: 1.e. 4 (LLHC), set 2 only.
  6. Origin: i.e. MADE IN U.S.A.
  7. Aircraft Recognition Silhouette: Underside plan-view silhouette drawing of subject aircraft.


As noted earlier, Charles Rosner’s War Planes 24-card set of lithographs featured aircraft from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Japan. The fronts and backs of the two 24 cards are shown below. Behind each of the thumbnail images, is a 600-dpi image that you may access.

Un-Numbered Set (W632-1)

Numbered Set (W632-2)

1939 War Planes
Two Sets of 24 Medium Size Lithographs by Charles Rosner
W632-11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
1b 2b 3b 4b 5b 6b 7b 8b 9b 10b 11b 12b 13b 14b 15b 16b 17b 18b 19b 20b 21b 22b 23b 24b
W632-21 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
1b 2b 3b 4b 5b 6b 7b 8b 9b 10b 11b 12b 13b 14b 15b 16b 17b 18b 19b 20b 21b 22b 23b 24b


We are not aware of any specific album associated with this set.


There were at least two different envelopes associated with the War Planes 24-lithograph cards series. The 1½¢ and the 3¢ POSTAGE WITHOUT MESSAGE envelopes. Both have see-through openings to view the card sets. The 1½¢ envelope is of a conventional style with two-side flaps that are inserted inside the envelope. The 3¢ envelope is a more sophisticated design with four-flaps that fold and inserts to secure the package. The backs of both envelopes feature a SLAM THE AXIS graphic showing Uncle Sam slamming Adolf Hitler, Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini and Hideki Tōjō with a single devastating right hook. The graphic also urges you to Buy More War Bonds! The fronts of the 1½¢ and 3¢ are basically the same design with slightly different wording. Examples of both envelopes with the Bell “Airacobra” are shown below.

Earlier, we noted that the shipping envelopes were of two different designs. The two designs are shown below.

As noted earlier, the backs of both envelopes feature a SLAM THE AXIS graphic. If you look at the graphic on the 3¢ envelope, Mussolini has a Red X over his face. This probably indicates that the set was mailed after the surrender of Italy on 8 September 1943. We also have a 1½¢ set envelope with a 1943 Christmas stamp that does not have Mussolini’s face X’ed out. From these data, we can probably surmise that both styles of envelopes were used up to at least the end of 1943.


1939 War Planes (W632)
24-Card Un-Numbered (W632-1) & Numbered (W632-2) Lithograph Sets, Charles Rosner, USA
Card №W632-1W632-2Card Title Comments
1Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
2Lockheed P-38 The Lightning
3Consolidated B-24 Liberator • Insignia: Bombing Squadron 73
4Bell Airacobra • Insignia: 94th Pursuit Squadron
5North American NA-73 Apache • Insignia: Pursuit Squadron 36
6Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
7Vought-Sikorsky F4U-1 Corsair • Insignia: Patrol Squadron 21
8Grumman Skyrocket • Insignia: Fighting Squadron 5
9Martin 156 Super Transport
10Vought-Sikorsky XPBS-1 Flying Dreadnaught
11Vultee Vanguard 48
12Douglas B-19 Battleship of the Air • Insignia: Bombing Squadron 3
13Vultee BT-13B
14Consolidated 31 Flying Razor Blade
15English Hurricane
16English Spitfire
17Boulton Paul Defiant • Insignia: Fighter Squadron
18Vickers Wellington • Insignia: Bombing Squadron
19Lockheed Hudson • Insignia: Bombing Squadron
20German Messerschmitt 109
21Focke Wulf Kurier • Insignia: Bombing Squadron
22Junkers Ju-87B Stuka • Insignia: Fighter Squadron
23German Heinkel 112
24Japanese Zero Fighter • 96-4 Bomber Planes in Rear
1½¢1½¢ Shipping Envelope
3¢ Shipping Folder


  1. Vallejo Gallery: Charles Rosner, biography
  2. John A. Shupek: Card images via the Skytamer Archive Digital Image Database.
  3. Hendrickson, Stephen: Email: 1/14/2014, Re: Charles Rosner Set

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