GEMINI RECOVERY SHIP COVER & POSTMARK VARIETIES

Gemini 11 - 15 September 1966

Recovery Force Ships
Ship Type Designation Covers

Atlantic

USS Guamii

PRS - Amphibious Assault Shipiii

LPH-9

Y

USS Forest Royal

SRS - Destroyer

DD-872

Y

USS Wallace L Lind

SRS - Destroyer

DD-803

Y

USS McCaffery

SRS - Anti-Sub Destroyer

DD-860

Y

USS Nimpuc1

SRS - Fleet Ocean Tug

ATF-157

Xv

USS Severn2a

SRS - Oiler

AO-61

Y - Hard to Find

Pacific

USS Theodore E Chandler

SRS - Destroyer

DD-717

Y

USS Kawishiwi

SRS - Oiler

AO-146

Y

USS Mansfield

SRS - Destroyer

DD-728

Y

USS O'Bannon

SRS - Destroyer

DD-450

Y

Tracking & Communications Ships

USNS Rose Knot

TS - West Atlantic, near Sao Tome, Brazil

T-AGM 14

Y

USNS Coastal Sentry

TS - Pacific - NE of the Philippines

T-AGM 15

Y

USNS Wheeling

TS - Pacific - east of Hawaii

T-AGM 8

Y

Other

USNS Kingsport

Communications Relay Ship - Stationed in San Francisco in a ready reserve status

T-AG 164

N


Cachets

Cachet

Description of Cachet

Colours Type
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GT-11 - Atlantic

Designed by Morris Beck it shows several ships and Gemini cachet on parachute

Maroon, Black, Bluei Rubber Stamp
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GT-11 - Pacific

Designed by Morris Beck it shows several ships and Gemini cachet on parachute

Maroon Rubber Stamp
Beck Cachet - Atlantic Same as Navy Cachet  Blue-Red Printed
Beck Cachet - Pacific Same as Navy Cachet Blue-Orange Printed
 GT-11 Cachet A small circular text cachet usually appears as an extra cachet. Produced by Morris Beck or Harry Gordon  Black, Red Rubber Stamp
Goldcraft cachet3 Is a copy of an earlier Project Mercury cachet by Donald Schultz. Shows a Mercury capsule inside a circle of rope plus text Various Printed
Orbit Cachet Complex Printed Cachet showing Astronauts and Rocket etc - Navy Cachet usually on Back Green Printed
 Unknowniv  Splashdown and Recovery Operation cachet shows capsule orbiting the Earth  Black Printed

Postmark Variations

Ship

Description of Postmark

Scarcity

USNS Coastal Sentry

US Navy Hand Cachet - Sept 29 U/K

USNS Coastal Sentry

US Navy Machine Cachet - Sept 21 U/K


Navy Recovery Force Cachet Colours & Beck Cachet Numbers

Ship

Known Cachet Colours

Beck Numbers

USS Guam Maroon, Black, Blue 683, 687
USS Forest Royal Maroon, Black 684
USS Wallace L Lind Maroon, Black 685
USS McCaffery Maroon, Black 686
USS Severn Maroon None
USS Kawishiwi Maroon 679
USS Mansfield Maroon 682
USS Theodore E Chandler Maroon 680
USS O'Bannon Maroon 681

Interesting Cachets & Covers

Cachet

Description of Cachet

Colours Type
USS Guam Navy Cachet on USS Guam stationary. Also known on stampless cover. Blue / Black Rubber Stamp
 / Printed
USS Guam1 Late postmark (Sep 27) on unusual Gemini 11 Recovery cover Greyscale Printed
USS Guam1 Late postmark (Sep 29) on general Gemini 10 Recovery Ship cover with 10 changed to 11. Black & Blue Printed
USS Guam1 Another late postmark (Sep 23 or 25) on Navy cacheted cover Blue Rubber Stamp
USS Guam2a An interesting Official envelope from the Commander Manned Spacecraft Recovery Force to the Commanding Office of the USS Guam N/A Printed
USNS Wheeling Green Gemini cachet in adition to usual MSTS cachet Green / Black Rubber Stamps

Signed PRS Covers including Helicopter Recovery Covers - most these covers were actually aboard the PRS during recovery

Postmark

Description of Cover

Postmark DatUe

USS Guam2

Signed by the Swim Team Leader 15 September 1966
USS Guam4 Beck B684 cover signed by Conrad and Gordon as well as the Commanding Officer of the USS Wasp plus the Recovery Team Leader and a member of the Recovery Team 15 September 1966
USS Guam Signed by the ship's Commanding Officer None

Notes General:
i) Blue is seen on USS Guam covers only
ii) Most USS Guam postmarks for this mission are poor
iii) Often described as a Helicopter Carrier
iv) Used on a number of ship covers. It is unknown which ship covers these cachets were used on.
v) Only one  'leave from port' cover is known

Notes Other:
1) From the collection of Tom Steiner
2) Sold on eBay April 2010    7a) 2011
3) From Steve Durst's CD book
4) Sold in RR Auction January 2011

This page © Dr Ross J Smith
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Last modified on 3 September2018

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