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History Of U.S. Currency: Military Payment Certificates (MPCs)

Military Payment Certificates (MPCs) were a form of currency used by the United States military personnel serving overseas, particularly during times of conflict like the Vietnam War. These certificates were issued by the U.S. Department of Defense and were intended to provide a stable and secure currency system for troops stationed abroad.

MPCs were denominated in various denominations, similar to regular currency, and could be used by military personnel to purchase goods and services at military bases and authorized locations. They were designed with specific security features to prevent counterfeiting and unauthorized use.

One unique aspect of MPCs was their limited circulation outside military installations. They were typically not accepted by local civilian businesses, which helped maintain control over the currency within military communities.

MPCs were phased out after the Vietnam War as the need for them diminished, and they were eventually replaced by regular currency and electronic payment systems. Today, MPCs are collectible items sought after by numismatists and collectors interested in military history.

Series 461

This is the first military payment certificate series issued. These notes were used in many European countries and Asia in 1946. The notes were issued in 5, 10, 25, and 50 Cent denominations and 1-, 5-, and 10-Dollar notes. The countries were: Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Philippines, Ryukyus, Scotland, Trieste, and Yugoslavia.   

(1946 $10.00 Series 461 MPC. #262158) 

Series 471

This series was printed in 1947 and replaced Series 461. It offered 5, 10, 25, and 50-cent notes and 1,5-and 10-Dollar notes. These military payment certificates were used in the previously mentioned countries.   

(1947 $10.00 Series 461 MPC. #272593) 

Series 472

This military payment certificate series was issued in 1948 and withdrawn in 1951. It was used in the same countries as the previous series in Europe and Asia. They were issued in the same denominations previously above.  

(1948-1951 $0.05 Series 472 MPC#87788) 

Series 481

This series was issued in 1951 and withdrawn in 1954. The previously mentioned countries in Europe and Asia were the points of distribution. The denominations listed above were all re-issued in this MPC series. 

(1951-1954 $0.50 Series 481 MPC #258535) 

Series 521

This series was issued in 1954 and withdrawn in 1958. The countries of issue remained the same, along with the seven denominations. 

(1954-1958 $0.50 Series 481 MPC #54563) 

Series 541

Series 541 was issued in 1958 and withdrawn in 1961. The notes were distributed in Cyprus, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Philippines, Ryukyus, and Scotland. The seven denominations remained the same.  

(1958-1961 $0.25 Series 541 MPC #251792) 

Series 591

These notes were issued in 1961 and withdrawn in 1964. The only countries of issue were: Cyprus, Iceland, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. The seven denominations remained the same. 

(1961-1964 $0.10 Series 591 MPC #87814) 

Series 611

This series was issued in 1964 and later withdrawn in 1969. The countries of issue were: Cyprus, Japan, Korea, and Libya. The denominations were unchanged.  

(1964-1969 $10.00 Series 611 REPLACEMENT NOTE MPC #272162) 

Series 641

The Series 641 MPC notes were issued in 1965 and withdrawn in 1968. They were used in Vietnam only. All seven denominations were created and used. 

(1965-1968 $1.00 Series 641 MPC #258387) 

Series 651

This series was first issued in 1969 in Japan, Korea, and Libya. It was withdrawn in Japan and Libya later that year. It was removed from Korea in 1973. All seven denominations remained unchanged. 

(1969-1973 $10.00 Series 651 MPC #251797) 

Series 661

This series was used from October 1968 until August 1969. It was only used in Vietnam. The original seven denominations are 5, 10, 25, and 50 Cents and 1-, 5-, and 10-Dollars. A new $20 note was also issued and was used only in Vietnam. 

(1968-1969 $5.00 Series 661 MPC #258386) 

Series 681

Series 681 was issued in August 1969 and withdrawn in October 1970. It was only issued in Vietnam. All eight denominations were issued. 

(1969-1970 $20.00 Series 681 MPC #273232) 

Series 691

Series 691 was intended to be released in Vietnam but was never issued. The government printed $1, $5, $10, and $20 notes but never released them.  

Series 692

This series was issued in October of 1970. The fractional coin denominations were withdrawn in June of 1971, and the Dollar Denominations were withdrawn in March of 1973. All eight denominations were issued.  

(1970-1973 $20.00 Series 691 MPC #89715) 

Series 701

This final MPC series of MPCs saw $1, $5, $10, and $20 notes printed but never released. This was the last series of MPC notes that were authorized.  

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