North Vietnam, 2. Space Flight by German Titow, October 17th, 1961, Michel Nr. 181-182; Space flight was all the rage in the day and of course the Soviet Union was an important supporter of the North Vietnamese Government. So two stamps with nominals of 6 xu and 12 xu were issued to commemorate the event. The issue was intentionally issued perforated (1,500,000 sets with perf. 11.0) and imperforate (25,000 sets).

Here is the mint perforated set:

This is a mint block of four of the 12 xu perforated value:

Here is the mint imperforate set in pairs:

Production flaws did occur on this issue. Here are two stamps which were both, most likely, affected by a small object that fell on the printing plate during the printing process. This left small areas without color. These areas look like space comets so are not immediately noticed.

Very rare local letter sent by a member of the North Vietnamese Military from Hai-Phong to Hanoi in December of 1961. Most local letters were destroyed by the multi-decadal war, the tropical climate or recycling due to raw material shortages.

Rare Single franking of the 12xu Titow value on a letter from Yen-Bai (small post office) to Paris, France. It appears that the postal clerk in Yen-Bai was not aware that the postal tariff for letters mailed to Western countries (like France) had been raised from 20xu to 50xu on March 1st, 1960, so no postage due remark was added to the envelope and the letter was transported despite the under-franking.

First Day Cover with two of the stamps mailed to Klewitz in West Germany. The letter was actually under-franked for the West German destination but the clever sender wrote “CHDC Duc” at the bottom of the address which stood for “East Germany” and so the postal clerk used the lower 12 xu standard letter rate to fellow socialist countries plus the 60 xu international registration fee for an overall 72 postage.

Letter sent from Cam-Duong to the Soviet Union. Since the Soviet Union was a fellow socialist brother state the standard letter rate to that destination was only 12 xu. This is met by a single stamp of the pagoda set (6 xu) and a 6 xu stamp of the Titow set.

Mixed franking using the 12xu Harbor stamp plus one 12xu Titow stamp for an overall 24xu postage on a letter from Hanoi to East Germany. Since the required tariff up to 20g was only 12xu this letter must have belonged to the second weight level.

Very rare express mail cover sent registered to Klewitz in February of 1970. The cover carries a complete set of the perforated and im-perforated Titow stamp set. Im-perforated stamps on postally used letters are very hard to find. Given the express sending and registration fee (60 xu) and the standard letter rate to West Germany (50 xu) the letter was franked with 1.56 Dong.

Here is the only international letter the editor has ever seen which carries the weight lifter stamp stamp and one 12 xu Titow stamp. It was mailed in late September, 1962 from Hanoi to Fulda, West Germany. It is actually under-franked for a registered letter to West Germany (Tariff of 1.1 Dong) but the clever sender wrote “RDA” at the bottom of the address which stood for “East Germany”. He therefore apparently duped the postal clerk into accepting the 12 xu rate to East Germany. Since the letter was mailed registered (registration cost 60 xu) the letter should have at least carried 72 xu but math may not have been the strength of the postal clerk. Only 70 xu were attached but no postage due was ever indicated. Extremely rare postal used letter with this iconic stamp.

Mixed franking including the 12 xu value of the set on a registered air mail letter to Klewitz in West Germany. The overall postage amounted to 2.60 Dong. The base letter tariff to the West had increased to 1 Dong as of January 1st, 1975. The international registration fee still stayed at 60 xu. However, an air-mail surcharge was introduced on December 1st, 1976 that amounted to 40 xu for every 5 grams of weight. One can therefore assume that the letter must have weighed around 10 grams. Note the green Fulda customs hand stamp indicating that the letter contained some merchandise (most likely stamps).

Rare registered express mail letter sent to Klewitz in September of 1980. It also carries a number of the Year of the Child stamps plus a 30 xu National Liberation Front (Vietcong) stamp. Due to the fact that NFL (Vietcong) stamps were based on the South Vietnamese Dong NFL stamps were not allowed as postage in North Vietnam. This is the reason why the postal clerk did not cancel the stamp. There are also the 6 xu Titow stamp. The overall postage of the letter (excluding the NFL stamp) amounted to 3.70 Dong.

Rare registered express mail letter sent to Klewitz in September of 1980. It carries a variety of NVN stamps including one of the 1 Dong Day of the Child stamp. Green Fulda custom cachet on front. Hand -made Express Label.

Rare registered express mail letter sent from Ho Chi Minh City to West Germany in August of 1980. It features the 6 xu and 12 xu post master perforation stamps alongside some other NVN stamps. It also carries a 3 Dong National Liberation Front (Vietcong) stamp issued in 1970.  These stamps were denominated in South Vietnamese Dong and hence not valid for postage in North Vietnam. Nevertheless the postal clerk appeared to have been unaware of the fact and accepted the stamp as postage. The overall postage (with the 3 Dong NLF stamp) amounted to 4.39 Dong. There is also one Titow stamps. Frankfurt-Bebra train transit cancel and Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse. Green Fulda custom cachet on front. Unusual hand-made express mail label.

Registered letter sent from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz in April of 1982. The letter carries three of the Day of the Child stamps plus one of the Titow stamps for an overall postage of 8.22 Dong. Red hand stamp “franked by sender”. Unusual red cancels. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registration Nr. 100620

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