Mao’s only son died in the Korean War

North Korea

On the occasion of Mao Zedong’s 100th birthday, the Korean Stamp Corporation (DPRK) issued a series of postal stationery in honor of Mao. The cards have three-dimensional images, which is why they are quite heavy and made of plastic; but it’s not the comical “wobbly images” often seen in 3D – that would probably not have been serious enough to use 3D technology.

It’s a series of 6 cards, catalogued in the Korean Stamp Catalogue (1946-2015) with numbers Ps360-Ps365 (14 October 1993). All of them have the 25 won stamp shown above as a stamp indice, which is also available within a stamp series for the same occasion.

The 6 cards show Mao on different occasions. However, the stamp indice and the front of card Ps365 are something special. It shows Mao talking to his son Mao Anying. On November 25, 1950, Mao Anying died at the age of 28 as a result of a napalm attack during the Korean War in northern Korea. Mao Anying was previously an artillery officer in the Soviet Red Army. He fought on the Belarusian front in World War II and took part in the conquest of Berlin by the Red Army.

The postcards and stamp indice on the back of the card shown is the only postal representation of Mao Zedong’s son to date. (Items from Chen Yi-Fu’s collection)

Fig.1: Ps360
Fig. 2: Ps361
Fig. 3: Ps362
Fig. 4: Ps363
Fig. 5: Ps364
Fig. 6: Ps365
Fig. 7: Ps365 (reverse)
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