Stars and Stripes sold for a nickel in Europe and most of Asia. About 61,000 free copies went to Vietnam daily and were distributed in the field. In addition to the government-authorized Stars and Stripes, an estimated 2 million copies of U.S. newspapers flow into Vietnam each month along with 400,000 paperbacks and 150,000 magazines. (Newsweek’s circulation in Vietnam: 15,000).
Stars and Stripes got its start as a newspaper for Union troops during the Civil War. After a decades-long hiatus, publication resumed during World War I and then had a second renaissance in World War II.
Stars and Stripes newspaper has been published continuously since 1942 in Europe and 1945 in the Pacific. Stripes reporters have been in the field with American soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen throughout World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo and the current global war on terror.
Although the newspaper is authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense, it is editorially independent. Stars and Stripes operates as any First Amendment media organization in America; all editorial decisions are made within its own independent chain of command, free of any censorship and control. Its publisher and most of its employees today are civilians.