- Australian soldiers first met
American MPC in Korea.
- Later in Viet Nam it became a
- Here is what it looks
like and below are details from some experts.
Military Payment Certificate,
commonly known as MPC, was a substitute for American money paid to
American military personnel serving in foreign countries. MPC,
of course, was used to keep American dollars off the Black Market.
Certificates were issued in an effort to prevent and combat black
market activities and to stop a continued drain of worthless
occupation money printed by the Russians being converted to US dollars
in occupied areas immediately after World War II. Any amount of MPC
could be converted to the local currency, but once converted, it could
not be reconverted, effectively insulating the US dollar. Issued to
service personnel and some types of civilians, they were used much
like regular money, except they could not be used as a form of payment
to entities outside the influence of the U.S. government without
special permission. They could be used on bases, ships, canteens, and
other similar places but could not be used to buy local goods or
services without special permission and only by those authorized to
measures were in place, MPC would eventually find its way into the
local economy by fraud, theft, or other means. When officials felt
that substantial quantities of MPC were embedded into the local
economy, or that the current series of MPC was in some other way being
compromised, another series would be released to replace and devalue
the current one.
Only those personnel authorized to have MPC when
C-Day, or Conversion Day, rolled around, had the chance to convert
their soon to be worthless MPC to the newly issued MPC and retain
Once converted, the old MPC was destroyed - usually by
burning. The black marketers, pushers, and other non-authorized
individuals were now stuck with worthless paper thus effectively
disarming them from their underground activities.
The following information comes from
Larry A. Summers:
"In case you did not know: They would change MPC to discourage
Black Market trading by the Japanese Nationals. Some GIs would spend
MPC off base. The change was supposed to be a surprise except they
would tell us GIs that we had so many days to turn in our old for new.
The "smart" GIs would go off base and purchase old MPC from
the locals at a discount. Some made some bucks doing this!"
Issue Dates for
Series 481 - 6/20/51 thru
Series 521 - 5/25/54 thru 5/27/58
Series 541 - 5/27/58 thru 5/26/61
Series 591 - 5/26/61 thru 1/6/64
Series 611 - 1/06/64 thru 4/28/69
Series 641 - 8/31/65 thru
Series 651 - 4/28/69 thru 11/19/73
Series 661 - 10/21/68 thru 8/11/69
Series 681 - 8/11/68 thru 10/7/70
Series 692 - 10/7/70 thru 3/15/73
Larry A. Summers
The MPC on this page
was very kindly provided by Larry A. Summers.