Vui Tui

The Vui Tui, or vewee twee as it is sometimes spelt, has a curious history with the Australian military. It started life as a commercial photograph album sold in Vietnam in the mid 1960s with a set of plastic pockets to put photographic prints in. When Australian troops were deployed to the Vietnam War they started buying these little pocket sized albums and putting important operational documents in them so they could access them and view them in the field without worrying about them getting wet and damaged. The clear plastic pockets could be written on with chinagraph pencils allowing maps to be annotated or the same form used repeatedly and then erased once no longer needed. An example of the Vietnam War era Vui Tui can be seen here. The term ‘vui tui’ is Vietnamese and means ‘happy joy’, officially they are referred to by the Australian Army as a “Data Holding Booklet”, although the colloquial term is used by pretty much everyone.

Following the end of the Vietnam War the utility of these Vui Tuis was recognised and they were produced and issued as an official piece of Australian Army equipment and it is one of these we are looking at today. It would appear that the Australian Army started trialling them as early as 1966 and they went on issue in around 1968. It is a small folder, slightly bigger than 4″x6″, with a hard green cover with the Australian /|\ property mark, NSN number and date embossed into it:

Inside are a set of clear plastic pockets to allow maps, standing orders, fire control cards etc. to be carried and viewed easily:

Due to the standard size of these Vui Tuis, many military units have pre prepared pages that can be printed out and placed inside them, sized correctly for the books. An example of a cadet’s Vui Tui handbook can be found here and is typical of these documents. Small plastic protractors and templates with useful military symbols are also produced in the correct size to fit into these folders, which can be found with 20 or 40 leaves within them.

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