As the United States shifted gears from a nation at peace to a nation at war, the Post Office Department continued its tradition of commemorating anniversaries of statehood. Kentucky’s 150th anniversary of statehood was the subject of the first stamp issued in this period. On the other hand, of the eighteen commemoratives issued during these two years, the majority had war-related subjects. Thirteen of these commemoratives comprised the Overrun Countries Issue. And though the Four Freedoms Issue didn't relate overtly to the war, it spoke to the reasons for the Allied fight.
The Allies had gained the advantage by mid-1942. From early 1942 to late 1943, the armed services inducted another 6.5 million Americans. By New Year’s Eve 1943, American and British forces controlled Italy and North Africa. In the Pacific, American naval forces had devastated the Japanese navy at the Battle of Midway, and American Marines had captured the strategic island Guadalcanal. As American industry beefed-up production of goods to meet war needs, the Post Office Department also increased its production of stamps, issuing almost 24 billion during this period.