The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 13, March 26, 2023, Article 5


A new edition of The Comprehensive Catalog of Military Payment Certificates has been published. Here's the announcement. -Editor

Comprehensive Catalog of Military Payment Certificates
Fifth Edition released at MPC Fest

Military Payment Certificates, 5th Ed. book cover The fifth edition of The Comprehensive Catalog of Military Payment Certificates is being released within a few days of the fiftieth anniversary of the withdrawal of MPC from use in Vietnam on March 15, 1973. The military money was completely discontinued on November 19, 1973. This colorful money was first issued on September 16, 1946, and collectors immediately added examples to their collections. The first catalogs of MPC began appearing in the 1960s.

The overall reason for issuing MPC was to attempt to control the black market which flourished in Europe at the end of World War II. The introduction (September, 1946) of this new money for use by military personnel necessitated additional, often interesting to collectors, issues.

The new edition by Fred Schwan and Larry Smulczenski is very different from the early books and even other numismatic books today. This edition consists of 240 full-color pages of information, images, data and charts of interest to collectors.

In the tradition of the previous four editions, this book includes innovative new features. Two of these are POGs and counterfeits.

MPC5 Release 6 POG The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) issued circulating gift certificates 2001-2018. Commonly and generally, they were called POGs. They were immediately popular with collectors. In an interesting twist, some of the POGs use images taken from MPC! This concept itself was used earlier when military payment certificates were designed borrowing elements from earlier federal paper money. The book includes a robust section on AAFES POGs contributed by Bill Myers.

For the first time, the book includes an entire section on counterfeit MPC. Shortly after MPC was first issued in 1946, counterfeits also entered circulation. Of course, these counterfeits have been of interest to collectors since then, but little information has been available--until now. This interesting section is by Joseph Boling, the leading numismatic authority on paper money counterfeiting.

This book lives up to the comprehensive title, covering in detail issues that are not even mentioned in other sources.

  MPC5 Release 4 MPC training

Military banking facilities were opened with checking services available to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. The checks were payable in MPC! These same military personnel could buy gasoline (and other fuel) on a limited basis without paying local taxes. This system generated coupons which amounted to being currency. Usually called ration coupons these items are collected by a few intrepid collectors. You can see images of and learn about these amazingly complex issues in this new book.

Korean and Thai forces in Vietnam were paid in military payment certificates. As part of the controls instituted for this use, the Thai and Korean personnel were required to use coupons along with the MPC. These coupons were virtually unknown to collectors until the late 1970s. Here you will find the most complete listings of these rare items ever assembled much less published.

  DOA paymaster collection

You probably are not surprised that an episode of M*A*S*H. centered on MPC, but you will be surprised to learn that the program was inspired by Edd Page, an MPC collector. You can see the M*A*S*H money here in a section devoted to stage, training and souvenir issues.

All of the above features are in addition to the meat of the book which is the detailed catalog of the thirteen issued and two unissued series of military payment certificates. Each series is exhaustively cataloged and illustrated. The previous edition of this book introduced the fact that most of the series were produced in multiple printings. These multiple printings make identifiable varieties, all of which are cataloged in detail. The authors include many interesting photographs of MPC in use. Many of these have never before been published.

  MPC5 Release 3 MPC fance SN

Collectors love replacement notes! For more than fifty years, Schwan has sought and recorded MPC replacement data. Management of this survey has been taken over by collector--and computer geek--Doug Bell. Now more than 5000 replacements have been recorded. They are all listed here by serial number! Beyond that, quite amazingly, Schwan and Bell have calculated and reported the sheet number whence each replacement came! This is important information for serious replacement collectors.

Did you know that only one of the ninety regularly issued replacements is still not reported in any collection? It is the $5 of Series 651 (used until November 1973). Additionally, several primings of replacements have not been found or recorded! You can (should!) consider this book a treasure hunters' guide for replacements (and other issues, too).

Specimens of MPC are popular with collectors as you can imagine, and they are also important for research. But have you ever even seen one? If you do not have the auction catalog selling the Paymaster Collection, you probably have not. Here in this new book you can see--and read about--many specimens from that collection and others.

Serious MPC errors are rare, but a few extreme examples are not only known, but also legendary among collectors. Of course these errors are discussed and illustrated in this new book, as are less extreme errors.

  MPC5 Release 1 MPC 692 $10

Len Buckley is the legendary designer of Series 692. At the time that he designed this beautiful series, he was a new employee at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The $20 denomination of this series is featured on the cover of this new book. Buckley provides an informative foreword.

Earlier editions of this remarkable book received awards, including recognition by the Numismatic Literary Guild as Book of the Year.

With the introduction of this landmark new work, the publisher is launching a new Internet site to be used in conjunction with the book, the MPC community, and the free newsletter MPCGram (see This site,, will be used to update and archive MPC information.

This new book will be available at MPCFest 24 on March 17 or from Schwan and BNRPress on or after March 20 for $75 (postpaid until April 1, 2023). This, book will also be available as an ebook ($45). Email Schwan at for fastest shipping or snail mail the publisher at 132 E. Second St, Port Clinton, OH 43452.

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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