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Military Monday: Military Payment Certificate (MPC)

While rummaging through some of my father’s personal effects a year after his death, I came upon some interesting currency from his old Army days. What I found were some 5¢ and 10¢ Military Payment Certificates (MPC) he received while serving with the 169 2nd Engineer Battalion in Masiwa, Japan from 1945-1947.

Military Payment Certificate - 5¢

Front of a 5¢ Military Payment Certificate

Military Payment Certificate - 5¢

Back of the 5¢ Military Payment Certificate

To better understand how this certificate was used by my father, I turned to  MPC collector/expert, Brad and his website at C-Day.com. What I learned was after Wold War II, the United States government  stopped paying soldiers who were stationed overseas with US currency for fear it would fall in to enemy hands which could be used against us. Instead, they were paid with  specially designed certificates that had the full value of US money, but could only be used on military bases, ships, and other similar places. These certificates could be converted to the local currency by troops, but they could not be reconverted back into US currency.

My dad must have converted his pay while in Japan because I also found a 1946 Japan 10 Yen (see below) he brought back with him after his tour ended there in 1947.

Front of a 1946 Japan 10 Yen

Front of a 1946 Japan 10 Yen

Back of the 1946 Japn 10 Yen

Back of the 1946 Japn 10 Yen

There were thirteen series of Military Payment Certificates issued to soldiers between 1946-1973. The first series — 461 — is the series that was issued to my father. The denominations printed were 5¢, 10¢,  25¢, 50¢, $1, $5, $10 and $20 varieties. As I browsed the Internet to learn more about the MPC I have tucked away safely, it seems that Military Numismatics is a popular hobby, and for some, a lucrative one.  So if you have some MPCs from love ones in your family tree, share the series and denominations you have below!

  • Nia Taylor

    Pretty cool.

  • Hey Nia! Yeah, I thought these mementos from dad’s military days were very cool too and were the perfect feature to share on Treasure Chest Thursday!

  • Talavera Bob

    Very Interesting blog. I am now a follower. I thought you might want to check out Paradox Principles as well.
    All the best, Bob West
    http://westbob.blogspot.com/2011/03/reversing-your-thinking.html

    • Greetings Bob and thank you so much for visiting my blog and connecting with me. I will reciprocate soon. Again, thanks!

  • D. Martin-Osuagwu

    Enjoying your blog. This was a great history lesson.

    Best,
    Deanna
    http://totallyrelated.blog.com

    • Hi Deanna, thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my blog. I truly appreciate you. thanks for leaving a link to your blog site for I plan to visit you online soon! Again, thanks!

  • Heather Roelker

    Very cool! The military still utilizes something like this. When servicemembers are “downrange” AAFES, or Army and Air Force Exchange Service, pays change in little circular pogs. We have a ton in our house that are now toys for a little ones. So interesting to see something similar from the forties.  

    Heather
    http://www.leavesfortrees.blogspot.com

    • Greetings Heather and thanks so much for stopping by and adding more valuable information to my post about Military currency that is still in use today. Now you have me curious and wanting to know more about these little circular pogs you talk about – LOL!

      My father didn’t talk about his military experience very around me as he did with my older brothers. So to come across tidbits of information and these smalls treasures from my dad’s military life has been great. Again, THANK YOU!

  • Wow – those are pretty neat.  A true family treasure 🙂
    Cheers,
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

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