North Vietnam, For the Armed Forces, June 15th, 1962, Michel Nr. M6; While this stamp was clearly issued for the armed forces it does carry a nominal of 12xu (which represented the standard domestic letter rate for a 20g surface letter). It is not clear why postal authorities added a nominal on this stamp while most other military stamps were issued without any nominals but given that the previous free franks were also worth 12xu it was basically no change in policy and the stamps were still handed out free of charge. It may be that the nominal was added so that military personell could buy supplemental stamps in excess of their two stamps per month allowance.
Here is a copy of the bulletin text Xunhasaba sent to stamp dealers and collectors when the stamp was issued.
Here is the mint stamp.
The stamps know to exist in “poor” and “clean” perforation. The two vertical pairs below illustrate this difference.
Postally used stamp.
This stamp was not officially released imperforate however a small number of imperforate trial proofs have come to market. Here is one of those proofs.
Postally used letters with this stamp are quite rare. Here is an interesting local letter that was sent from Hanoi in April of 1963 to Thanh Hoa. It carries cyrilic writing at the bottom suggesting that this letter was sent by a Soviet Military Advisor that was assisting the North Vietnamese. Mho-Xuan transit cancel on the reverse.
Local letter sent by a member of the military in Vinh Phuc to Hanoi in January of 1963. Hanoi machine arrival cancel on the reverse.
Local letter sent by a member of he military in Son-Tay to Hanoi in February of 1964. Hanoi machine arrival cancel on the reverse.
Another local letter sent by a member of the military (note the Hom Thu number in the sender line) to Ha Bac in December of 1964. Fragment of an arrival cancel on the reverse.
Late usage of the 12 xu stamp on what may be a standard civilian usage of the 12xu stamp in March of 1980. This may point to why a nominal was included on this stamp. May be members of the military could buy additional stamps at 12xu in order to supplement their two free stamps per month. Transit and arrival cancel on the reverse.
Registration Nr. 100722