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.


  1. The TBTX is an abbreviation for TRAN BINH TRONG 10th (khoa 10 Tran Binh Trong ..official name for each class of THU DUC Infantry School) each year at Thu Duc Infantry School have so many class they name each one by number and the year enter school (5/72)mean 5th. class of year 1972 also each class have name after the famous Generals or Kings from the old kingdom of Viet Nam.You may find some class name TBTV mean TRAN BINH TRONG 5th.( Khoa 5 Tran Binh Trong).

  2. Dear Mr. Andew and Mr. Sonny;

    I am sorry but you two are wrong trying to guess the meaning of the abbreviation of TBTX.
    TBTX is the short for Trừ Bị Thường Xuyên which means Permanent Reservation ( of Reserved Officers )
    I am myself an ex-cadet of the Infantry School ( of the RVNAF )
    I hope this information will be helpful to you.

    Nguyen Huu Thoi
    ( email : )

  3. I am sorry but you too are wrong trying to guess the meaning of the abbreviation of TBTX.

    TBTX is the short for Trừ Bị Thường Xuyên which means Regular Reservation. This is Regular class of Reserved Officers (normal schedule) to differenciate with Trừ Bị Đặc Biệt (Special Reservation) or Trừ Bị Hoàn Hảo (Complete Reservation)

    Trang Trung Chanh