|Funny Money -
by Charlie Taliaferro
Money" aka Military Payment Certificates (MPC)
American "greenbacks" have long been sought by foreign governments and societies because of one main reason....solid worth!!
In Vietnam, and most wars, the U.S. government has printed Military Payment Certificates or MPC for use by members of the military who are outside the United States and in foreign lands. This "Funny Money", as the troops called it, was spendable and good for use within the confines of the military stores, but was useless to anyone not in the military. Such efforts were successful in basically eliminating the "Black Market" for good old U.S. "greenbacks".
Attached are examples of several denominations of Military Payment Certificates used in Vietnam. It was a common practice to change the color and the design of the certificates from time to time to further control their use on the black market.
All MPC notes have a series number. This is comparable to the date on regular U.S. money. The series numbers will always be found on the front of the note, but not always in the same place. The series number consists of three numbers; the first two digits the year of issue and the last digit the issue number. For example 641 represents 1964 and 1st series printed. 692 represents 1969 and 2nd series printed. MPC was printed in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50 cents, and 1, 5, 10, 20 dollars. Some series do not contain all the denominations.
There have been 13 issues of MPC beginning with 461 and ending with 692. The day for converting from one series to another was called "Conversion Day" or C-Day, however some examples have survived. Attached are several series seen and used in Vietnam, and you have the best one that I sent you earlier.
Note how there seems to be two years between new issues!