North Vietnam, Shoot-Down of the 2,000th U.S.Aircraft over North Vietnam, June 5th, 1967, Michel Nr. 481-482; The Vietnamese Government found the need to tout it’s successes in the face of relentless aircraft attacks by U.S. troops a compelling story that they wanted to share with their own population and foreign collectors. Two stamps with a basically identical motive were issued in perforation 11.0 and in nominals of 6 xu and 12 xu.

Here is the mint set:

Mint blocks of four:

     

These stamps were not officially released imperforate however, a very small number of imperforate trial proofs have come to market. Here are two of them.

The motive of the stamps was based on a photograph that showed a diminutive female North Vietnamese Army  member leading away an American pilot, his hands bound on the back. Here is a photograph of the soldier, now a grandma, with her grandson, holding the original photograph:

Postcard with a photo of To-Na depicting a downed U.S. aircraft.

On occasion of the 4,000th shoot-down Postal Authorities on October 17th,1972 also produced a commemorative booklet distribute by Xunhasaba (the official distributor of philatelic materials in North Vietnam) that depicted the photograph on its cover and contained all the various propaganda issues pertaining to the subject and issued between 1966 and 1972. This is the front of the booklet:

Back of the booklet featuring a propaganda cachet that was produced on occasion of the 4,000th shoot down plus a handwritten dedication from a Vietnamese to an apparent East German friend.

The contents of the original booklet contained cancelled to order specimens of all the various propaganda issues from 1966 though 1972:

A second printing of the booklet occurred later and was executed through a different printing method. The black color of the second booklet appears more dull while the black on the original booklet is shinier:

Also, the second printing only contains a single mint 6 xu stamp of the series but no other stamps:

Here is a perforation error on the 6xu stamp. The perforation comb struck twice in-between the two pairs resulting in a double perforation.

Rare express mail letter mailed to Klewitz in November 1967 featuring the set. Interestingly, the sender used the blue military stamp without nominal that was also issued in 1966 but was only approved for domestic military use. The blue military stamp on postally used cover is very rare. Adding the inherent 12 xu value of this stamp the overall franking amounted to 1.53 Dong.

Mixed franking of the 12xu Morrison stamp together with the 6xu Downed Aircraft stamp and the 12xu Birds stamp for a total postage of 30xu on a letter to West Germany. The required tariff to Western countries was 50xu fora standard 20g letter so this one is actually under-franked. Nevertheless, no postage due remarks were added.

Registration Nr. 101450

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