Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Aviation Investors

Aviation Investors was a civilian front for the CIA and its operational company, Vietnam Air Transport, was used to conduct Operation Haylift. More on this later, but here is a cover from 1962 from an R.F. McGrath "Aviation Investors, Inc."

Helgoland Cover with German Stamps

I have an article in the current Indo-china Philatelist Journal (#177) on the German hospital ship Helgoland that served in Vietnam during the war. The covers illustrated in the article are franked with Vietnamese stamps. Here is one franked with German stamps - or more accurately, "has German stamps affixed and canceled" as it is completely philatelic in nature. The cachet also differs from the ones shown with the article.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Mien Nam Military Cover with Red Postmark

The abbreviation "M.N." on this postmark stands for Mien Nam, as the Communist regime referred to the "southern region" or liberated areas of South Vietnam.

The use of red ink is unusual, but the main appeal to me is its use in conjunction with a military stamp. Mien Nam postmarks typically canceled Mien Nam stamps, such as the ones depicting Ho Chi Minh watering a tree. Military stamps and M.N. postmarks are not often found together.

Tuy Phuoc is near Quy Nhon, and near the site of Champa towers built centuries ago.

UPDATE: This cover is a fake. For whatever reason I was only paying attention to the postmark and the fact that it was applied to a military stamp, but I didn't recognize the obvious - that the stamp was issued in 1982. Thanks to Ta Phi Long and John Carroll for noticing and calling it to my attention.

Friday, March 2, 2007

1947 Cover to Colonel Gardet from Laos

I am looking for some feedback on the return address of this cover. Postmarked April 1947, the cover was sent to Roger Gardet in France, who later served as a general in Indo-china.

From what I can decipher, the return address reads:

Adjunct Chef (Chief Warrant Officer) Maurgouet(?)
Transmission (signal)
Forces du Laos
S.P. 54.035
B.P.M. 411

Any corrections to my interpretation?

What units were operating in Laos at this time that could have been the source of this correspondence?