Four Freedoms Overprint on
Polish Expeditionary Force Issue
Overprints honour F.D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" in various languages.
The Polish Corps commanded by General Wadislaw Anders (1882-1970) saw action with allied forces on the central front in Italy during World War II, especially distinguishing itself at the Battles of Bologna, Montecassino and Ancona. The political situation in Poland at the end of the war left them stranded in Italy. Several sets of stamps were issued by the Corps (denominated in Polish and Italian currency) and their use was tolerated by the Italian Post Office. Although the stamps were withdrawn from service in 1946, overprinted stamps were issued by the "Polish Government in Exile" in London in 1954 commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Battle of Montecassino. This is regarded as a speculative issue without postal validity.
The stamps pictured here with an overprint honouring Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" were never issued. The original set of nine values (without overprints) inscribed "Italii" was issued on December 12, 1945 and remained valid for postal use until October 16, 1946.