Wednesday, February 28, 2007

South Vietnam Military Postal Rates in 1972

This cover has several aspects that set it apart from typical ARVN training covers of the period.

It was sent by a soldier training at the Thu Duc Infantry School (KBC 4100) in 1972 on a piece of United Nations stationery. He was in the 5th class of 1972 (Khoa 5/72). I am guessing that TBTX is an abbreviation for "Tham Bao Thien Xa" or Recon Unit Sharpshooter. Tell me if you think I am completely off the mark.

Despite the western (or at least American) style lines in the upper left corner for a return address, the sender created a triangle in the lower left corner typical of Vietnamese military correspondence.

The stamp, a coil version of the King Quang Trung stamp (Scott 411a) pays a 6d rate from a military personnel to a civilian address. A Quan Buu machine postmark cancels the stamp.

The sender wanted to make sure the return correspondence was properly addressed, so inside he drew up what the envelope should look like, including the addition of 10d postage.

Based on this cover, postage rates in August 1972 were 6d from military personnel and 10d sent to military personnel. The 10d rate is common, but I don't recall seeing a 6d rate. I need to dig through my covers to see if I have others I have forgotten about. Or of course the sender might have just gotten away with using a cheaper stamp.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Jim G. Lucas - Journalist

A 25-year reporter for Scripps-Howard as a Washington and foreign correspondent, Jim Griffing Lucas won the Pulitzer prize for journalism in 1954. He was selected for Ernie Pyle awards during the Korean War in 1953, and the Vietnam War in 1964. No stranger to adventure, he was a member of Admiral Richard E. Byrd's 1947 Expedition to the South Pole. Mr. Lucas was buried in Oklahoma in 1970 and honored in his hometown of Checotah with the library named in his honor.

This cover was sent from Hanoi on 12 May 1954 by Jim Lucas as a member of the "Camp de Presse". Presumably Lucas was reporting on the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The French had fallen to Vo Nguyen Giap's forces less than a week before this cover was posted.

The recipient, Clark H. Getts, was a public relations counsel and booking agent.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

National Police Training Center

Sent in 1960, this cover contains a love letter from a woman in Khanh Hoi to her boyfriend at the National Police Training Center in Vung Tau.

The Rach Dua training center, under Colonel
Nguyen Van Be trained police (Canh Sat Quoc Gia), undercover police and youth member forces.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Garde Nationale Thai Binh

This cover sent in 1952 by a sergeant, "Le Commandant" of the Thai Binh, National Guard ("Garde Nationale") Nord-Vietnam. Thai Binh is located about 20 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin and not far from the Red River, Southeast of Hanoi.

The cover is from a group of covers sent to a language institute in Paris that I picked up at the Washington 2006 show.


Saturday, February 3, 2007

NVN Military Stamp Wanted on Cover

I am looking for a copy of the brown "invalids on water wheel" North Vietnamese military stamp postally used on cover with a clear cancel. Ideally it will be used around the time the stamp was issued, but anything before April 30, 1975 would be okay. Please contact me if you have one to sell or trade.

Very Early BDQ (Ranger) Cover

The South Vietnamese Ranger organization (Biet Dong Quan) was officially formed in July 1960. The depicted cover is the earliest Biet Dong Quan cover known to me. It was sent on Sept 21st, 1960 to a sergeant on the training staff of the Ranger Training Center (Huan Luyen) in Dong De, Nha Trang.

The Thu Duc registry label and clear postmark make this a nice cover from a philatelic standpoint as well.