Not often a collector can find such a true passport historical treasure. A red passport issued by the State of Vietnam in 1957. It is not exaggerated when I say this travel document is extremely rare.

The State of Vietnam was a state that claimed authority over all of Vietnam during the First Indochina War although part of its territory was actually controlled by the communist Việt Minh. The state was created in 1949 and was internationally recognized in 1950. Former Emperor Bảo Đại was chief of state (Quốc Trưởng). After the 1954 Geneva Agreements, the State of Vietnam had to abandon the northern part of the country to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV). Ngô Đình Diệm was appointed prime minister that same year and—after having ousted Bảo Đại in 1955—became president of the Republic of Vietnam.

The United States recognized the State of Viet Nam on February 7, 1950, when the U.S. Department of State made an announcement to that effect. Vietnam previously had been part of Indochina as a Protectorate of France and had become an independent state as part of the French Union in 1949. The State of Viet Nam incorporated all of the territories of contemporary Vietnam. The United States established its first full consular post in the French colony of Indochina in the city of Saigon on December 9, 1907. There had been a commercial agent in this city since 1889. The United States established additional consulates as follows: Hanoi (1947); Hue(1957).

Diplomatic relations were established on February 17, 1950, when the Consulate General at Saigon was raised to Legation status with Edmund A. Gullion as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. The United States Legation in Saigon was raised to Embassy status on June 24, 1952, when Ambassador Donald R. Heath received confirmation of his appointment from the United States Senate. This followed a joint announcement by the Governments of the United States and Vietnam to this effect on June 6, 1952.

As a result of the First Indochina War and the Geneva Conference of 1954 that marked its conclusion, the territory of the State of Vietnam became divided along the 17th parallel, with separate regimes in the North and South. The United States was not a signatory to the Geneva Accords and so did not recognize the Government of North Vietnam. The United States maintained its Embassy in Saigon and conducted diplomatic relations solely with the Government of South Vietnam, which in 1955 reorganized itself as the Republic of Vietnam.

The Passport

The passport was issued in Saigon in 1957 and was valid until 1959

State of Vietnam - Passport 1957 (extremely rare)

State of Vietnam - Passport 1957 (extremely rare)

 

Ephemera Society UK: Collecting old passports

State of Vietnam – Passport 1957