GEMINI RECOVERY SHIP COVER & POSTMARK VARIETIES

Gemini 7 - 18 December 1965

Recovery Force Ships

Ship Type Designation Covers

Atlantici

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 Paiute2

SRS - Fleet Ocean Tug

ATF-159

Y (Rare)

USS Power

SRS - Destroyer

DD-839

Y

USS Waccamaw

SRS - Oiler

AO-109

N

USS Waldron

SRS - Destroyer

DD-699

Y

Pacificii

USS Cochrane

SRS - Guided Missile Destroyer

DDG-21

Y

USS George MacKenzie

SRS - Destroyer

DD-836

Y

USS Ponchatoula

SRS - Oiler

AO-148

Y

USS Renshaw 

SRS - Anti-Sub Destroyer

DD-449

Y

USS Rupertusiii

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

Y

USNS Kingsport

Communications Relay Ship - near Hawaii

T-AG 164

Y


Cachets

Cachet

Description of Cachet

Colours Type
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GT-7 - Atlantic

Designed by Morris Beck it shows capsule paracuting into the ocean

Maroon, Black Rubber Stamp
Navy Recovery Force Cachet
GT-7 - Pacific

Designed by Morris Beck it shows capsule paracuting into the ocean

Maroon Rubber Stamp
Beck Cachet - Atlantic Same as Navy Cachet See Below Printed
Beck Cachet - Pacific Same as Navy Cachet See Below Printed
 GT-7 Cachet A small circular text cachet usually appears as an extra cachet. Produced by Morris Beck or Harry Gordon Blue, Red Rubber Stamp
Orbit Cachet Complex Printed Cachet showing Astronauts and Rocket etc - Navy Cachet usually on Back Green Printed
Sokolsky Cachet Shows two Astronauts in Gemini Capsule Blue Printed
Harry Gordon Cachet Text Cachet Purple Rubber Stamp

Postmark Variations

Ship

Description of Postmark

Scarcity
 USS Wasp  Machine Cancel AM Common
 USS Wasp Hand Cancel  Scarce

Navy Recovery Force Cachet Colours & Beck Cachet Numbers

Ship

Known Cachet Colours

Beck Numbers

Beck Cachet Colour

USS Wasp Maroon, Black (Another)iv,4a 603
607
608
Blue
Maroon
Blue
USS Aucilla Maroon, Black 606 Green
USS Cochrane Maroon 599 Black
USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr Maroon, Black 609 Brown
USS Power Black 605 Yellow
USS George MacKenzie Maroon 602 Green
USS Meredith Black None -
USS Ponchatoula Maroon 601 Red
USS Renshaw Maroon 614 Light Brown
USS Rupertus Maroon 600 Dark Brown
USS Waldron Black 604 Orange

Interesting Cachets & Covers

Cachet

Description of Cachet

Colours Type
USS Wasp

Official Ship's cachet shows a Wasp & signed by Frank Borman

Black Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp Both a Navy and a ship's cachet. Possible Dec 16 postmark Maroon / Black Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp4b Both a Gemini 7 maroon Navy cachet and a ship's cachet but with a Dec 16 postmark (Gemini 6A). Maroon / Black Rubber Stamp
USS Wasp4b Both a Gemini 7 maroon Navy cachet and a ship's cachet but the ship's cachet is maroon instead of the usual black.Dec 14 postmark Maroon / Maroon Rubber Stamps
USNS Kingsport3 A different USNS Kingsport cover marked Dec 4 and 18 1965 Black Rubber Stamp

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 Signed by the ship's Commander on a Beck B608 cover 18 Dec 1965
USS Wasp Signed by Pilot of primary recovery helicopter 18 Dec 1965
USS Wasp Signed by 3 members of the UDT recovery team 18 Dec 1965
USS Wasp Signed by the pilot of the Recovery helicopter 18 Dec 1965
USS Wasp4b Signed by a member of the UDT Recovery team. Also note the ship's cachet on the back is maroon instead of the more usual black 18 Dec 1965
USS Wasp Signed by the Commander of the Recovery Group 18 Dec 1965
USS Wasp Signed by the Commander of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Force, US Atlantic Fleet 18 Dec 1965
USS Wasp Wonderful cover signed by Frank Borman on front and various members of the recovery force on the back. Note also the maroon ship's cachet on the back. 7 Dec 1965

Notes General:
i) According to the NASA Mission Report there were only 3 Destroyers in the Atlantic and aone of the Oilers was there for logistic purposes.
ii) According to the NASA Mission Report the Oiler was there for logistic purposes and one of the Destroyers was there for the launch of Gemini 6A
iii) It appears that the USS Rupertus was a standby Recovery Ship for this mission and may have been stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.
iv) Only three covers seen

Notes Other:
1)
2) From the collection of Eddie Bizub
3) From the collection of Tom Steiner
4) Sold on eBay during 2010 a) 2012 b) 2013
5)

This page © Dr Ross J Smith
This page is maintained by the
Webmaster
Last modified on 12 September2018

Return