Friday, May 30, 2008
Chieu Hoi Document and Safe Conduct Pass
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.