Fascinating collection of approximately 94 Autograph Letters Signed (all with original envelopes) from a Republic of Vietnam Air Force officer named Lai Van Tho and several others. Varying sizes (most ca. 8" X 10," small smaller), varying lengths (most 2-3 pages, some more), most near fine and some very good, most dated between March 1963 and December 1975 (with one each from 1977, 1981 and 1983). NOT translated. Item #44440
This meaty collection of roughly one hundred letters awaiting translating is in exceptionally fine condition and clearly warrants further research -- whether the content is war-related, military life or other remains to be seen, but in an archive of this size likely all of the above are present and cover life in wartime Vietnam for over a decade; the 29 aerogrammes penned from two U.S. air forces bases promise to be especially interesting. Lai Van Tho's letters, most addressed to a Ngoc Dung in Cholon, South Vietnam -- whether sister, wife, mother or girlfriend is not known. These are handsomely penned in blue or green ballpoint. From July to November 1964 his letters (all on aerogrammes) hail from Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, which operated a training program for select South Vietnamese pilots. From November 1964 to August 1965 they hail (also on aerogrammes) from Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, which trained South Vietnamese pilots in flying the T-28 Trojan. Likely he learned much English at this program, and occasionally these letters from America contain a smattering of words and phrases in English such as "American Food." A modest number of letters are penned by a Le Van Thieu, Nguyen Thuc and a couple other Vietnamese correspondents. Some of the envelopes from the later 1960s bear at lower left printed patriotic elements (victorious "VN" fighter plane at top with plummeting "US" planes trailing smoke beneath), map of Vietnam, flora and fauna, etc. Number of letters per year breaks down as follows: 1963 = 20, 1964 =18, 1965 = 14, 1966 = 7, 1967 = 5, 1968 = 1, 1971 = 2, 1973 = 4, 1975 = 19.