APOLLO RECOVERY SHIP COVER & POSTMARK VARIETIES

Apollo 6 (AS-502) - 4 April 1968 - Unmanned

Recovery Force Ships
Ship Type Designation Covers
Atlantic
USS Austin SRS - Amphibious Transport LPD-4 Y
USS Chikaskia SRS - Oiler AO-54 Y
USS York County SRS - Tank Landing Ship LST-1175 Y
USS Dupont SRS - Destroyer DD-941 Y
USS Opportune* SRS - Salvage Ship ARS-41 N
Pacific
USS Okinawa PRS - Carrier LPH-3 Y
USS Carpenter SRS - Destroyer DD-825 Y
Recovery Control Centers
Honolulu Pacific Recovery Center N/A Y
Norfolk3 Atlantic Recovery Center N/A Y
Tracking & Communication Ships
USNS Range Trackeri TS - Unknown T AGM-1 Y
USNS Redstone1 TS - Atlantic T AGM-20 Y (only 1 known)
USNS Watertown TS - Pacific T AGM-6 Y
Uncertain
USNS Twin Fallsii Tracking Ship T AGM-11 U/K
Not Involved
USS Suffolk County SRS - Tank Landing Ship LST-173 Y
* Not Mentioned in the NASA Mission Report (MSC-PA-R-68-9)


Postmark Variations
Ship Description of Postmark Scarcity

Norfolk Naval Air Station4

Large Postmark Common

Norfolk3

Smaller Postmark Common
 
Cachetsiii
Cachet Description of Cachet Colours Type
Navy Recovery Force Cachet - Atlantic

Designed by Morris Beck  - Used on all the Atlantic Ships

Maroon Rubber Stamp
Navy Recovery Force Cachet - Pacific

Designed by Morris Beck  - Only used on the USS Okinawa

Maroon Rubber Stamp
Navy Recovery Force Cachet - Atlantic & Pacific Designed by Morris Beck  - Used on all the Atlantic Ships Black Rubber Stamp
Beck Cachet - Atlantic Similar to Navy Cachet Blue-Gold-Black Printed
Beck Cachet - Pacific Similar to Navy Cachet Green-Gold-Black Printed
Orbit Cachet Complex Printed Cachet showing Goddard, Astronaut and Rocket etc - Navy Cachet usually on Back Dark Green Printed

Navy Recovery Force Cachet Colours & Beck Cachet Numbers

Ship

Known Cachet Colours

Beck Numbers

USS Austin Maroon, Black 750
USS Chikaskia Maroon, Black 752
USS York County Maroon, Black 751
USS Dupont Maroon, Black 749
USS Okinawa Maroon 747, 748

Interesting Cachets & Covers
Cachet Description of Cachet Colours Type
USS Okinawa6 Skip's Cachet plus Captain's corner card - only one seen Maroon Rubber Stamp
USS Okinawa Ship's Cachet Maroon Rubber Stamp
USS Okinawa5 An unusual cachet Red Printed
USS Okinawa A Beck B747 cover with an extra Boston postmark. Multicolour Printed
USS Okinawa A companion cover to the above. This time a Beck B748 cover. Note the same addressee. Multicolour Printed
USS York County Navy Cachet - Airmail - Interesting Postage Due Stamp Black Rubber Stamp
USS York County As above but with a 4c to Canada instead of 2c domestic Postage Due stamp Black Rubber Stamp
USS Carpenter3 A different cachet plus a signed corner card Blue Rubber Stamp
USS Carpenter Unusual Capsule Orbiting the Earth cachet Maroon Rubber Stamp
USNS Watertown3 A different cachet plus a signed corner card Red Rubber Stamp
USS Redstone3 Postmark of US Navy 10958 BR. (Bermuda) probably on the way to Apollo 6 station Black Corner Card

 

Notes General:
i ) The USNS Range Tracker is mentioned by several sources but does not appear in the NASA Mission Report
ii) Mentioned by Donald Schultz in 'Project Apollo ... three steps and the moon' and in NASA's Press Kit. However there is no mention of the ship in the Mission Report. There is the slight possibility that it was on standby for the mission.
iii ) Note that all the Altantic ships used two different Navy cachets. One, using maroon ink, was marked Altantic. The second, using black ink, was marked both Atlantic & Pacific.

Notes Other:
1) From the collection of Toni Rigo
3) From the collection of Tom Steiner
4) From the collection of Steve Durst
5) Sold on eBay during 2011
6) From the collection of Anthony B O'Brien
 

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Last modified on 1 June 2016

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