APOLLO RECOVERY SHIP COVER & POSTMARK VARIETIES

Apollo 14 - 9 February 1971

Recovery Force Ships
Ship Type Designation Covers
Atlantic
USS Hawkins SRS - Destroyer DD-873 Y
USS Paiute SRS - Fleet Ocean Tug AFT-159 Y
USS Spiegel Grove SRS - Landing Ship Dock LSD-32 Y
Pacific
USS New Orleans PRS - Carrier LPH-11 Y
USS Carpenter SRS - Destroyer DD-825 Y
USS Ponchatoula SRS - Oiler AO-148 Y
Tracking Ships
USNS Vanguard TS - Tracking Ship T-AGM-19 Y
Recovery Control Centers
Norfolk VA Atlantic Recovery Control Center N/A Y
Kunia HI Pacific Recovery Control Center N/A Y

Postmark Variations
Ship Description of Postmark Scarcity
USS New Orleans Normal AM Postmark Common
USS New Orleans3c PM Postmark - Note the unusual P Only 1 Seen
USS Paiute 'PM' below Day Jacksonville Postmark Common?
USS Paiute 'PM' above Day Jacksonville Postmark Common?
USS Ponchatoula Feb 3 1971 (Black Navy Cachet) Fairly Common?
USS Ponchatoula Feb 9 1971 (Maroon Navy Cachet) Common
USS Ponchatoula2 Feb 7 1971 (Note: Looks like Feb 1 but closeup view shows it's Feb 7) with Unusual Apollo 14 cachet ?

USS Spiegel Grove

Normal Postmark with Time Slug Common

USS Spiegel Grove

Postmark Lacks Time Slug See Article on this Postmark Rare
TF-140 Control Center US Postal Service 234? 31 Jan 1971 ?


Cachets
Cachet Description of Cachet Colours Type
Navy Recovery Force Cachet - Atlantic

Designed by Morris Beck it shows two views of the Apollo Lunar Lander

Black Rubber Stamp
Navy Recovery Force Cachet - Pacific

Designed by Morris Beck it shows two views of the Apollo Lunar Lander

 Maroon Rubber Stamp
Beck Cachet - Atlantic Similar to Navy Cachet Orange-Blue-Silve Printed
Beck Cachet - Pacific Similar to Navy Cachet Red-Black-Silver Printed
MSRF TF-140 Cachet Shows TF-140 emblem Black, Blue Rubber Stamp
Artopages General Recovery Ship cachet Orange-Blue Printed

Navy Recovery Force Cachet Colours & Beck Cachet Numbers

Ship

Known Cachet Colours

Beck Numbers

USS Hawkins Black B841
USS Spiegel Grove Black B863
USS New Orleans Maroon, Black (scarce) B861, B864
USS Carpenter Maroon None
USS Ponchatoula Black, Maroon B862

Interesting Cachets & Covers
Cachet Description of Cachet Colours Type
 USS New Orleans EKAS PRS Cachet shows the Carrier and Apollo capsule under parachutes with associated text including name of PRS & Astronauts Red  Rubber Stamp
USS New Orleans Interesting cachet includes the Mission Emblem Multicolour Printed
USS New Orleans A different cachet includes the Mission Emblem Multicolour Printed
USS New Orleans - New York Unusual Maroon Double-Circle USS New Orleans/N.Y. Hand Cancel - only 1 copy seen on envelope with normal Hand Cancel and incorrect Navy Altantic Cachet
Extremely Rare
Maroon Hand Cancel
USS New Orleans Original postmark misses the stamp. Second postmark 12 March 1971 cancels the stamp Maroon Rubber Stamp
USS New Orleans East German Postcard Maroon Rubber Stamp
USS New Orleans2 Unusual Maroon USS New Orleans Hand Cancel - First one seen Maroon Hand Cancel
USS New Orleans3 Interesting Apollo FDI cachet Blue Printed
USS New Orleans3a Interesting Capsule in Ocean cachet Green Printed
USS New Orleans4 Commander In Chief Pacific Corner Card - Navy Cachet Maroon Rubber Stamp
USS New Orleans6 NASA Manned Spacecraft Center Stamp Club mission emblem cover Multicolour Printed
USS New Orleans8 Interesting cover on Associated Press stationary with Navy cachet Blue / Maroon Printed Rubber Stamp
USS Ponchatoula Usual black Navy cachet with Captain's corner card stamped on back of envelope Black Rubber Stamp
USS Ponchatoula Interesting Capsule in Ocean cachet Green Printed
USS Ponchatoula5 Ship's Text Cachet Black Rubber Stamp
USS Spiegel Grove Commander's Corner Card - Another Example2 Black Rubber Stamp
USS Spiegel Grove Mission Emblem cover. Unusual for a Secondary Recovery Ship Multicolour Printed
USNS Vanguard  USNS Vanguard Project Apollo MSTS cachet
Smaller Text
Black Rubber Stamp
USNS Vanguard  USNS Vanguard Project Apollo MSTS cachet
Larger Text
Black Rubber Stamp
USNS Vanguard Postcard Multicolour Printed
Western Samoa Special Recovery Postmark Black Hand Cancel
Western Samoa Aerogram - Special Recovery Postmark Black Hand Cancel
Pago Pago Samoa Splashdown Cover Black Printed
Honolulu Beck RSC with Honolulu postmark. Possible return to Port. Maroon Rubber Stamp
USS Hawkins On a general Apollo 14 on the Moon cover Blue & Red Printed

Signed PRS Covers including Helicopter Recovery Covers - most of these covers were actually aboard the PRS during recovery
Postmark Description of Cover Postmark Date
USS New Orleans Cover signed by the Commanding Officer, Capt. Robert E. Moore 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans Cover signed by the Commanding Officer, Capt. Robert E. Moore - Different Hand Cancel 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans Another cover signed by the Commanding Officer, Capt. Robert E. Moore. But on a cover with the scarce black cachet 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans Nice Beck printed cover signed by TF130 Commander Rear Admiral T. B. Haywood & Commanding Officer Capt. Robert E. Moore 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans Cover signed by the Main Recovery pilot, Bill Walker 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans Helicopter recovery cover signed by the pilot of the Recovery helicopter, W. E. Walker 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans PRS Recovery Cover signed by the Recovery Helicopter copilot Lt. Thomas F. Finley and AWC Davey 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans Cover signed by signed by the Crew of Swim 1 Helicopter includes Cdr. Paul K. Hine, Pilot, James A. Cutdopia, Copilot, James S. Carpenter ,First Crewman, and Patrick A. Maher, Second Crewman 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans Cover signed by signed by the Crew of Swim II Helicopter includes LCdr Thomas C. Barthlolmew, Pilot, Lt. Michael Scuro, Copilot, AW2 Jack H. Mahlman First Crewman, and AW3 John B, Cecil, Second Crewman 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans3 Nice Beck Printed Cover signed by the crew of the Photo Helicopter including LCdr Robert L. Rich, Pilot, Lt. T. G. Hutchinson, Copilot, and AXCS Edward Kulikowsi, First Crewman 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans Another PRS Recovery Cover signed by the crew of Swim 1 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans Signed by four frogman 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans Cover signed by the 4 man crew of Main Recovery Helicopter 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans3a Great cover signed by Recovery helicopter pilots Walker & Finley and the ship's commanding officer Capt. E. Moore 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans3a Great cover members of the Apollo Recovery Team 9 February 1971
USS New Orleans1 Another cover signed by the Commanding Officer, Capt. Robert E. Moore on a cover with the scarce black cachet 9 February 1971
Houston7 While not a PRS cover this is still an interesting cover for the Astronauts' quarantine signed by Ed Mitchell 26 February 1971

 

Notes General:

Notes Other:

1) From the collection of Antoni Rigo
2) From the collection of Tom Steiner
3) Sold on eBay during 2010 a)2011 b)2013 c)2015
4) From the collection of Timothy Preston
5) From the collection of Steve Durst
6) From the collection of Eddie Bizub
7) Scan provided by Robert Fish of the USS Hornet Museum
8) From the collection of Joseph Volutza

This page © Dr Ross J Smith
This page is maintained by the
Webmaster
Last modified on 8 September 2018

Return