Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Military Payment Certificates and P38s

Military Payment Certificates and P38s

January 8, 2015 - March 6th, 2007

January 8, 2015 - March 6th, 2007

January 8, 2015 – The mother of a childhood classmate who died in Vietnam passed away just recently. I was looking through my files to refresh my memories of the events from about 45 years ago and came across this post down memory lane from 2007 – and I decided to re-post it. Enjoy….

March 6th, 2007 - I was actually researching, of all things, C-rations (the predecessor to MREs – Meals Ready to Eat) and the H-21 Shawnee (a tandem rotor flying banana helicopter 1949 - 1967,) when I came across this entry on military payment certificates.  I had not seen one of these in ages.

I also, on the same web site as I found the pictures of the MPCs, came across a picture of (what I remember being called in the Marines, 1971-1973, NOT deployed to Vietnam) a “church key.”  Is that correct or is my memory failing me in my old age?  It is a “P38” can opener.

For the young folks out there who are not familiar with MPCs or the P38 can opener – see the attached below.  It is from a web site titled, “Tall Comanche,” which appears to be a site for “Company C, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Calvary Division, Vietnam 1965 – 1972:

It is a pretty neat site – check it out…

The pictures of the MPCs and the can opener were found here:

It was illegal to carry American currency in Vietnam.  As soon as you arrived "in-country", you had to turn in your "greenbacks" for MPC.  Officially, the Vietnamese currency was the piaster, but there was little the MPC couldn't buy.  In order to keep the MPC from being the real currency, every few months everyone had to turn in their old MPC for new ones - and each series would be different from the others.  Of course, this caused a panic in the Vietnamese who had accepted MPC from GIs.  These samples are from 1969, and were contributed by Mike Hayes.

Okay - did you carry yours with your dog tags, or did you carry yours on a key chain?  For the uninitiated, this is a can opener - and its shown approximately actual size.  From Mike Hayes, April 1969 to May 1970.


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