Sunday, April 29, 2007


I have a backlog of material to research, post to this blog and write up for the Indochina Philatelist, but spring is here and I just can't seem to stay out of the yard. I'll post some more things soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to mention that I will be at NAPEX on Saturday, June 2nd in time for the SICP annual meeting. I look forward to seeing everyone who can make it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Registry and Urgent Delivery Rates on Military Covers

An "M3" style letter sheet with a Registry label is shown front and back. The cover was sent on 15 Nov 1972 franked with 24 dong in stamps - in addition to the military free-frank stamp printed on the letter sheet.

The registry rate was 15d through November 1972. How to account for the additional 9d in postage? In this case, the free-frank stamp apparently did not cover the basic letter rate. The military letter rate was 5d and the civilian rate was 10d. The domestic air mail rate was 18d. Any ideas how the 9d was calculated - or was the amount paid simply incorrect?

The second cover, sent express or for "urgent" delivery was sent from the Vietnamese 8th Marine Battalion at KBC 6618 on 9 August 1973. The cover is franked with 50 dong in postage, covering 10d for the civilian letter rate and 40d for express service.

Thanks to John Carroll for the updated rate tables.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

2500 Planes Shot Down FDC

There is nothing subtle about a lot of Communist Vietnamese propaganda produced during the American war. A series of "plane shot down" stamps commemorate, over the course of several sets, the mounting tally of American and allied planes brought down. According to the propagandists, by the time these two stamps were issued on 6 November, 1967 2,500 planes had met their fiery demise.

The hand-stamped cachet/cancel, shown in both red and black, depicts a B-52 bomber with the tail aflame.

I have not previously seen a First Day Cover of this issue.