Friday, May 30, 2008
The Chieu Hoi safe conduct pass shown here is different from any I have previously seen. Safe conduct passes were distributed throughout South Vietnam to encourage Communist soldiers and National Liberation Front personnel to defect.
I contacted Herbert Friedman who has written a lot of about these passes (click here) and he confirmed that he has not seen this one before - and he has more than 1000.
Herbert went on to say, "It is from the 4th PSYOP Group, order number 20 in the year 1968. It would be a tactical leaflet, specifically requested by units in the 4th Combat Zone. Specific units would often request leaflets."
Here is another interesting item, shown front and back. It is a release document from a Chieu Hoi camp in Kien Hoa province. The recipient had been civilian support personnel with the Viet Cong. According the Vinh Nguyen, "These guys would do anything to support the fighting troops, from carrying weapons, building roads to farming and raising livestock."
He was released with 1000$ in his pocket and directed to report to the Dinh Tuong Chieu Hoi Center within 24 hours or he would forfeit the release document.
The individual's photo was removed from the document at some point, but this group photo was included with the document, conceivably depicting his buddies at the camp, together with American advisors.
Monday, May 12, 2008
This roughly opened cover is quite a find, in my opinion. It is addressed from Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) Laos that was formed April 24, 1961 pursuant to an agreement among United States, Cambodia, France, Laos, and Vietnam for mutual defense assistance in Indochina. MAAG Laos was abolished October 1962 in compliance with the Geneva Accords requirement for removal of all foreign military forces from Laos, with the exception of French forces (the MMFI). This cover is dated November 3, 1961.
Even better, the cover was sent by a White Star Mobile Training Team (WSMTT). White Star was the US Army Special Forces program to recruit native Hmong to fight against the Pathet Lao and later to support covert Air America operations. White Star Units were attached to or worked with a unit of regimental or smaller units of the Forces Armee du Royaume (FAR) or Royal Laotian Army.
The cover is addressed home to Fort Bragg where the White Star units were trained.