GEMINI RECOVERY SHIP COVER & POSTMARK VARIETIES

Gemini 6A - 16 December 1965

Recovery Force Ships
Ship Type Designation Covers
Atlantic
USS Wasp PRS - Carrier CVS-18 Y
USS Ability SRS - Ocean Minesweeper MSO-519 N
USS Aucilla SRS - Oiler AO-56 Y
USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr SRS - Destroyer DD-850 Y
USS Meredith SRS - Destroyer DD-890 Y
USS Paiute SRS - Fleet Ocean Tug ATF-159 Y
USS Power SRS - Destroyer DD-839 Y
USS Waccamaw SRS - Oiler AO-109 N
USS Waldron SRS - Destroyer DD-699 Y
Pacific
USS Cochrane SRS - Guided Missile Destroyer DDG-21 Y
USS George K MacKenzie SRS - Destroyer DD-836 Y
USS Ponchatoula SRS - Oiler AO-148 Y
USS Renshawi SRS - Anti-Sub Destroyer DD-499 Y
USS Rupertus SRS - Destroyer DD-851 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 Range Tracker TS - Pacific, East of Hawaii T-AGM 1 U/K
USNS Kingsport Communications Relay Ship - Position Unknown T-AG 164 Y
Not Involved
USNS Wheeling TS - Pacific T-AGM 8 N

Cachets
Cachet Description of Cachet Colours Type
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GTA-6 - Atlantic

See Gemini-Titan 6 Abort

Red, Black Rubber Stamp
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GTA-6 - Pacific

See Gemini-Titan 6 Abort

Red, Black Rubber Stamp
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GT-6 - Atlantic

Designed by Morris Beck it shows 2 capsules

Black Rubber Stamp
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GT-6 - Pacific

None are known

None Rubber Stamp
Beck Cachet GTA-6 - Atlantic Similar to Navy GTA Cachet Pink-Silver-Black Printed
Beck Cachet GTA-6 - Pacific Similar to Navy GTA Cachet Green-Brown Printed
Beck Cachet GT-6 - Atlantic Similar to Navy GTA Cachet with 'A' removed See Below Printed
Beck Cachet GT-6 - Pacific Does not Exist None Printed
Sokolsky Cachet See Article Various Rubber Stamp
Harry Gordon Cachet Text cachet Red Green / Blue Rubber Stamp
Orbit Cachet Complex cachet shows astronauts, capsule & various other items Green Printed
GT-6 Cachet A small circular text cachet usually appears as an extra cachet. Produced by Morris Beck or Harry Gordon Red, Black Rubber Stamp

Postmark Variations
Ship Description of Postmark Scarcity
 USS Wasp Machine Cancel PM  Common
 USS Wasp  Machine Cancel AM  Less Common
USS Wasp Machine Cancel - Inverted Year Scarce
 USS Wasp Hand Cancel  Scarce
USS George K MacKenzie A.M. Time Slug Common
USS George K MacKenzie P.M. Time Slug Common
USS Paiute 16 December Jacksonville - Cover marked 15 Dec Hard to find
USS Paiute1a 15 December Cape Canaveral Hard to find
USS Waldron Ship's name at top of postmark Common
USS Waldron Ship's name at bottom of postmark - may not exist - only 1 reported third hand but not seen Rare if it exists

Navy Recovery Force Cachet Colours & Beck Cachet Numbers

Ship

Navy Cachet Colours

Beck Numbers

Beck Cachet Colour

GTA-6

GT-6

USS Wasp Maroon Maroon 584 Pink-Silver-Black (GTA-6)
USS Aucilla Black Black 612 Light Maroon (GT -6)
USS Cochrane Maroon   581 Green-Brown (GTA-6)
USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr Maroon, Black Black 611 Aqua (GT -6)
USS Power Maroonii, Black(rare) Black 585
613
Pink-Silver-Black (GTA-6)
Silver (GT -6)
USS George K MacKenzie Maroon   580 Green-Brown (GTA-6)
USS Meredith   Black None -
USS Ponchatoula Maroon   579 Green-Brown (GTA-6)
USS Renshaw Maroon   583 Green-Brown (GTA-6)
USS Rupertus Maroon   582 Green-Brown (GTA-6)
USS Waldron Black, Maroon Black 610 Aqua (GT -6)

Interesting Cachets & Covers
Cachet Description of Cachet Colours Type
USS Wasp Ship's Cachet

Official Ship's cachet shows a Wasp

Black Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp Ship's Cachet

Official Ship's cachet shows a Wasp - another example

Black Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp Ship's Cachet

Official Ship's cachet plus a Gordon text cachet and a hand cancel

Black / Red Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp Ship's Cachet3 Official Ship's cachet on a Navy cachet and with an inverted year postmark Black / Maroon Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp On a Beck B613 printed cover which was designed for the USS Power - Extremely rare - only 2 known Silver Printed
USS Wasp2 Both a rare black Navy Gemini 7 cachet and a ship's cachet but with a Dec 16 postmark (Gemini 6A). Sent by crew member. Possibly unique. Black / Black Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp2a Wonderful cover has an amusing and very well done drawing as well as a Navy and the ship's cachet on the one cover. Only two done. Multicolour / Black / Maroon Various
USS Power Very unusual cover - USS Power postmark on a USS Jonas Ingram envelope - plus Navy GTA cachet Maroon Rubber Stamp
USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr Unusual cachet shows capsule in the Ocean Grey-Green 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 Wasp Navy cachet -signed by one of the frogman 16 Dec 1965
Cape Canaveral A very nice Cennential Cover signed by Primary Recovery Pilot, Air Boss and Tom Stafford 16 Dec 1965
None1 GT-6 unpostmarked Captain's cover signed by Schirra and Stafford as well as the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer of the USS Wasp plus the Recovery Force Commander None
USS Wasp Signed by the main Recovery Helicopter pilot 16 Dec 1965
USS Wasp Signed by the Air Boss II for GT-6 16 Dec 1965
USS Wasp Signed by Commander Recovery Task Group 16 Dec 1965

 

Note - General:
i) It appears that the USS Rupertus was a standby Recovery Ship for this mission and may have been stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.
ii) The maroon GTA-6 cachet has only been found on the ship's stationary

Note - Other
1) Sold in RR Auction 2011 a) 2012
2) Sold on eBay 2012 a) 2017
3) From the collection of Gerard Zonneveld

This page © Dr Ross J Smith
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Last modified on 26 June 2018


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