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U.S.-flag merchant ships soon will be sailing into mailboxes across the country when the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) releases a set of four stamps on July 28.

Each stamp carries the image of a commercial vessel used during different periods of American history. The quartet includes a clipper vessel from the mid-nineteen century; an auxiliary steamship from roughly the same period; a World War II-era Liberty Ship; and a modern containership – the R.J. Pfeiffer, which is crewed by members of several MTD affiliates.

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY will host the dedication ceremony. The stamps pay tribute to the U.S. merchant marine. The USPS noted, “Since the founding of the republic, the United States has looked to the commercial maritime industry for much of its growth and security.”

The stamps will cost 44 cents each and are part of the USPS Forever series, which means they will be equal to the value of the current first-class one-ounce postage rate. They will be available for purchase at Post Offices across the county

The USPS provided background on the four vessels that were illustrated by Dennis Lyall of Norwalk, CT under the art direction of Carl Herrman of North Las Vegas, NV.

The clipper ship features an image of the Sovereign of the Seas, which was launched in 1852. A Collins Line vessel, which sailed between New York and London, provides the likeness for the auxiliary steamship.

Standing in for the hundreds of merchant vessels that supplied American and Allied troops to victory in World War II is a rendition of a Liberty Ship. Finally, the R.J. Pfeiffer, a Jones Act vessel built in 1992 for Matson Navigation, represents the modern U.S.-flag era.