Sunday, July 1, 2012

Free U.S. Military Mail from Vietnam to Canada

During the Vietnam war, letters and cards mailed by U.S. servicemen to Canadian addresses were mailable free of postage. Free Mail to Canada was introduced by the U.S. Post Office on March 1, 1966 but not all postal employees were aware of the privilege and some free mail was incorrectly rated for collection of postage due from the Canadian addressees. Postal employees were advised of the situation in the August 18, 1966 issue of the Postal Bulletin:

The cover shown below is an example of free U.S. military mail from Vietnam to Canada. The letter was mailed in 1968 from the 65th Engineering Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (U.S. Army) base camp at Cu Chi, to Joseph E. Seagram and Sons, Waterloo, Ont.

APO number 96225 was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division

Army and Air Force Postal Service 96225 machine cancellation
February 24, 1968

The "Castle Club" was an enlisted men's club for the
65th Engr. Bn. at Cu Chi

25th Infantry Division

The Cu Chi base, about 40 miles northwest of Saigon, was one of the six most important American military establishments in Vietnam. It was the headquarters for the whole area to the north-west of Saigon towards Cambodia.

25th Infantry Division Base Camp
Cu Chi

From 1966 to 1970, the 25th Division fought the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong north and west of Saigon.

65th Engineering Battalion

In 1965, the Battalion deployed to Vietnam and during its deployment participated in twelve Vietnam campaigns, receiving a Meritorious Unit Commendation, two awards of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and the Civil Action Honor Medal. The Battalion departed Vietnam in December 1970.