GEMINI RECOVERY SHIP COVER & POSTMARK VARIETIES

Gemini 12 - 15 November 1966

Recovery Force Ships
Ship Type Designation Covers
Atlantic
USS Wasp PRS - Amphibious Assault Shipiii CVS-18 Y
USS Canisteo SRS - Oiler AO-99 Y
USS Kankakee SRS - Oiler AO-39 N
USS Joseph P Kennedy SRS - Destroyer DD-850 Y
USS Preserver SRS - Salvage Ship ARS-8 N
USS Charles H Roan SRS - Destroyer DD-853 Y
USS Lloyd Thomas SRS - Destroyer DD-764 N
Pacific
USS Hollister SRS - Destroyer DD-788 Y
USS Kawishiwi SRS - Oiler AO-146 Y
USS Ozbourn SRS - Destroyer DD-846 Y
USS Joseph Strauss SRS - Guided Missile Destroyer DDG-16 Y
Tracking & Communications Ships
USNS Rose Knot TS - Pacific - Off the West Coast of South America T-AGM 14 Y
USNS Coastal Sentry TS - Pacific - NE of the Philippines T-AGM 15 Y
USNS Wheeling TS - Pacific - Hawaii Area T-AGM 8 Y
Not Involved
USNS Kingsport Communications Relay Ship T-AG 164 N

Cachets
Cachet Description of Cachet Colours Type
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GT-11

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

 Maroon, Black Rubber Stamp
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GT-12 - Atlantic

Designed by Morris Beck it shows small Gemini capsule and

 Maroon, Black Rubber Stamp
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GT-12 - Pacific

Designed by Morris Beck it shows small Gemini capsule and

 Maroon Rubber Stamp
Beck Cachet GT-11 Same as Navy Cacheti   Atlantic : Blue-Red Printed
Beck Cachet GT-12 - Atlantic Same as Navy Cachet  Yellow-Blue-Green Printed
Beck Cachet GT-12 - Pacific Same as Navy Cachet   Pink-Maroon-Green Printed
 GT-12 Cachet A small circular text cachet usually appears as an extra cachet. Produced by Morris Beck or Harry Gordon  Black, Red, Blue Rubber Stamp
Goldcraft cachet1 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
Gemini 12
Complex Printed Cachet showing Astronauts and Rocket etc - Navy Cachet usually on Back Green Printed
Orbit Cachet
Project Gemini
Complex Printed Cachet showing Astronauts and Rocket etc - Navy Cachet usually on Back Green Printed

Postmark Variations
Ship Description of Postmark Scarcity
 USS Wasp Machine Cancel Common
 USS Wasp Hand Cancel  Less Common
USNS Coastal Sentry2 Marked 16 Nov 1966 Difficult to Find
USNS Coastal Sentry Marked 16 Oct 1966 and corrected to 16 Nov 1966 Difficult to Find
USNS Wheeling US Navy 17005 BR Postmark (Midway Is) Difficult to Find
USNS Wheeling2 San Francisco Postmark Difficult to Find

Navy Recovery Force Cachet Colours & Beck Cachet Numbers

Ship

Known Cachet Colours

Beck Numbers

USS Wasp GT-11 - Maroon, Black (Extremely rare)
GT-12 - Maroon, Black
685, 686, 687, 706, 707, 708, 709, 710, 711
USS Canisteo Maroon, Black 709
USS Joseph P Kennedy Maroon, Black 707
USS Charles H Roan Maroon, Black 708
USS Hollister Maroon 703
USS Kawishiwi Maroon 705
USS Ozbourn Maroon 704
USS Joseph Strauss Maroon 702

Interesting Cachets & Covers
Cachet Description of Cachet Colours Type
USS Wasp Both a ship's cachet and a Navy cachet - note the late postmark Black Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp Interesting cover with a mission emblem addressed to Robert Boudwin Multicolour Printed
USS Wasp Great cover with both a machine and a hand cancel plus a rare black Gemini 11 Navy cachet Black Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp3d Wonderful Martin Marietta cover with M.M. cachet, Mission emblem and Navy cachet Various Printed and Rubber Stamp
Variousii Splashdown and Recovery Operation cachet shows capsule on parachute & rescue ships Black Printed
Variousii Gemini Recovery Operation cachet shows two small ships  Black Printed
USS Joseph P. Kennedy Very unusual cover postmarked for Gemini 12 but with a Gemini 9 cachet (Black Gemini 12 cachet on back) Maroon Rubber Stamp
USS Joseph P. Kennedy Navy cachet on top of Ship's Stationary Maroon on Aqua Rubber Stamp on Printed
USS Canisteo An interesting Captain's Cover Type 2 Maroon Rubber Stamp
USS Ozbourn2 Standard Navy cachet with a USS Ozbourn postmark but a USS Kishwaukee corner card? Maroon Rubber Stamp


Fake Covers
Cachet Description of Cachet Colours Type
USS Wasp Both the cachet & postmark are fakes. Believed to be done by a prisioner Purple Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp3a Another example of the fake. Believed to be done by a prisioner Purple Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp3b A particularly interesting example on top of a valid Gemini 12 cover with a Gemini 11 cachet Purple Rubber Stamp


Signed PRS Covers including Helicopter Recovery Covers - these covers were actually aboard the PRS during recovery
Postmark Description of Cover Postmark Date
USS Wasp3 Signed by the Swim Team Leader 15 November 1966
USS Wasp3 Beck printed cover with a hand cancel signed by the Commanding Officer, Melvin R. Etheridge 15 November 1966
USS Wasp Navy cachet - signed by Commanding Officer Captain Melvin R. Etheridge 15 November 1966
USS Wasp Project Gemini cachet plus Beck GTA-12 cachet and a Navy cachet on the back- signed by Manager of the Gemini program, Charles W. Mathews 15 November 1966
USS Wasp Signed by 3 members of the Search Two helicopter 15 November 1966
USS Wasp3c Flown Recovery Helicopter cover 15 November 1966

 

Notes General:
i) GT-11 cachet was only used on the USS Wasp
ii) Used on a number of ship covers. It is unknown which ship covers these cachets were used on.
iii) Often described as a Helicopter Carrier

Notes Other:
1) From Steve Durst's CD Book
2) From Tom Steiner's collection
3) Sold on eBay during 2010 a) 2011 b) 2012 c) 2013 d) 2017

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Last modified on 3 September 2018

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