30 December 2011
Added a unique USS Bordelon cover with the ship's cachet instead of the usual Navy cachet to Gemini 9 thanks to Tom Steiner.
29 December 2011
Added a photo of the three Skylab 4 astronauts seated aboard the Recovery Ship. Added a hard to find USS Leonard F. Mason 'Return to Port' cover to Gemini 8. Added a USS New Orleans cover with an interesting cachet to Apollo 14.
28 December 2011
Added several stamps to 'Stamps, Minisheets and Other Items'.
27 December 2011
Note: After again being unable to update this site for a week, it is now back in business.
17 December 2011
Two great covers today. The first from the PRS for Apollo 15 is signed by Astronaut Jim Irwin, RADM J B Hayward Commander of TF-130, the EO of the USS Okinawa and the Recovery Helicopter pilot. Also the cover is addressed to another Astronaut, Chapman! A second great cover from the PRS for Skylab III is signed by the three Skylab III astronauts, the Commanding Officer Capt. Ralph E. Neiger, the TF-130 Commander and the Recovery helicopter pilot.
16 December 2011
Implemented a major addition to STS-51L including the addition of extra ships and the addition of a summary of the Rogers' Commission report Appendix O which lists the ships officially involved in the deep water salvage operations. Added an interesting USNS Twin Falls cover (not involved) to Gemini 5. Added a USS Iwo Jima cover with an interesting cachet to Apollo 13.
16 December 2011
Note: After being unable to update this site for a week, it is now back in business. A number of updates will be added in comming days.
14 December 2011
Added a Gemini 9 launch abort cover for Jun 1.
9 December 2011
Added a cover with a Navy cachet and a Corpus Christi postmark to Gemini 3.
1 December 2011
Added an Aubrey Fitch cover to STS-51L. Also added a signed PRS cover to Skylab 2. Also see Recently Sold Interesting Covers for the prices paid for these and other covers.
30 November 2011
Added a wonderful Gemini 6A Captain's Cover with the Recovery Force Commander's corner card and signed by various people! Not postmarked but probably unique. Added more stamps and minisheets added to 'Stamps, Minisheets and Other Items'.
29 November 2011
Added an extremely rare Mercury 9 USS Mansfield Beck crew cover. This is first one seen.
24 November 2011
Several stamps and minisheets added to 'Stamps, Minisheets and Other Items'.
22 November 2011
Added the hard to find R/V Paul Langevin III cover to STS-51L thanks to Tom Steiner.
17 November 2011
Added Big Joe 1 Return To Port postcard. Added Gemini 6A Captain's cover without a stamp. Added Little Joe 5A Wallops Island cover with machine cancel. Added an interesting crew mail from the USS Lake Champlain during Gemini 5. Finally added an interesting USS Renshaw cover to Mercury 8.
12 November 2011
Reorganised Captain and Crew Covers.
7 November 2011
An extremely rare MR-2 USS Warrington cover sold on eBay for $250! Two other covers recently sold on eBay are also shown in Recently Sold Interesting Covers.
5 November 2011
Added a rare Apollo 9 Captain's Cover signed by the three Astronauts thanks to David Ball. This is the very cover shown in Ray Cartier's handbook.
2 November 2011
Added several minisheets to 'Stamps and Minisheets'. Added a hard to find Kunia cover to Apollo 8. This is the first I've seen.
28 October 2011
Added a table of US Domestic Postal Rates between 1958 & 1975.
22 October 2011
Added a very desireable Apollo 11 Captain's cover with a Type 2 machine cancel. Apollo 11 Captain's covers are known with all three types of cancels.
21 October 2011
Added several covers to 'Interesting Recently Sold Covers". Added a USS Boxer cover with the hard to find black cachet to Apollo 201. Added two signed PRS covers to Apollo 14.
14 October 2011
Added the USS W. S. Sims to the list of STS-51L Recovery ships thanks to correspondence from a former crew member Bob Watts.
7 October 2011
As promised I've added a page listing the pilot and co-pilot of the Recovery helicopter for each mission. Unfortunately there are still plenty of gaps so please email me if you can fill any.
5 October 2011
Added an interesting Navy Recovery Force cacheted cover with a Navy 13766 (Yokosuka Japan) postmark to Gemini 4. Updated the scans of covers from 22 September.
30 September 2011
Added another scarce Gemini 6 (abort) USS Wasp cover thans to David Ball. That now makes 5 including one machine cancel and 4 hand cancels, one of which is the only known Captain's cover. If you have a GT-6 USS Wasp cover (25 October 1965) please let me know and I'll add it to the others. Also added four scarcer covers that recently brought good prices on eBay.
25 September 2011
Added a Gemini 9A USS Wasp cover with an interesting cachet and the scarce inverted 1966 postmark thanks to Dave Blog. Also added a better scan of the hard to find Gemini 2 USS Lake Champlain Beck B456 cover thanks to Martin Schwebs Rasmussen.
23 September 2011
Added two covers sold in the recent RR Auction. One was an ASTP cover signed by Deke Slayton, the ship's Captain and various members of the recovery team. The second, one of the famous Apollo 15 covers that were carried to the moon by the crew of Apollo 15. It was sold for $7139 + 20% buyers premium.
22 September 2011
A rare GTA-6 (abort) USS Wasp cover sold on eBay for GBP 72.50. A possibly unique USS Constellation postmark on a Beck B881 cover sold for $36. Finally added a rare Beck B797 cover with a USS Rich postmark. Better scans are coming.
21 September 2011
Two more scarce covers thanks to Timothy Preston. A GTA-6 USS Wasp Crew cover with a hand cancel and a GT-7 USS Wasp B608 cover with a hand cancel. In each case only one cover was known before Timothy's find. Also, recently sold on eBay, a very nice Apollo 13 USS Iwo Jima Crew cover signed by the pilot and co-pilot of the Prime Recovery Helicopter, an Apollo 6 USS Okinawa cover with an unusual cachet and an Apollo 11 USS New cover with a hard to find Goldcraft cachet.
20 September 2011
I've devoted today's lot to a great cover thanks to Timothy Preston. A Mercury 9 S Kearsarge Helicopter Recovery cover signed by the pilot Mead Massa and co-pilot! And with an associated letter from Massa. I really great find!
15 September 2011
An important new discovery. A website devoted to the USS Hassayampa (http://www.angelwind.com/hassayampa/history.html) documents the ship's history with NASA. In addition to Gemini 8 & Gemini 9 the site confirms that the Hassayampa was involved in supplying the Recovery Force for Apollo 11 and adds the new information that it was also involved in Apollo 12. At the same time an Apollo 12 USS Hassayampa cover was sold in a Space Unit auction (it pays to belong). A scan of the cover plus a couple of other nice items from the auction will appear when I receive the scans.
10 September 2011
Add several signed PRS covers plus a signed photo to Apollo 11. Added a USS Kearsarge cover M/C cover with an additional red double circle USS Kearsarge New York cancel to Mercury 8.
8 September 2011
A hard to find Gemini 2 USS Lake Champlain Beck B456 Cover sold on eBay recently for $39.
7 September 2011
Add a new section on PRS Hand Cancels starting with Apollo. Added new information on Mercury Scout 1.
29 August 2011
Antoni Rigo has discovered a new Apollo 501 USS York County postmark variety. The common cover has a PM time slug while Antoni's cover has a AM time slug.
28 August 2011
Reorganised 'Interesting Recovery Cachets'.
26 August 2011
Added two interesting Gemini 10 Crew covers to 'Captain and Crew Covers'.
24 August 2011
Added a rather poor fake Beck GT-3 cacheted cover with a Norfolk postmark to ASTP. Also added an unusual late postmark from the USS Blandy for GT-4.
17 August 2011
Added a signed PRS (USS Wasp) cover to Gemini 9.
16 August 2011
A great personal account from John C. Stonesifer Chief, Recovery Systems Branch, Landing and Recovery Division of Recovery Training Exercises.
12 August 2011
Added a most unique cover thanks to David Ball. It is an Apollo 10 USS Princeton cover, not only with the rare hand cancel, but also with the only black cachet so far reported.
10 August 2011
Added two covers with unusual cachets to Apollo 16, USS Ticonderoga and Norfolk. These were recently sold on eBay.
7 August 2011
Important new information has been added to Apollo 13. See note 0.
3 August 2011
Add several stamps and minisheets to 'Stamps, Minisheets and Other Items'
27 July 2011
Another Gemini 8 USS Boxer cover with the rare silver cachet sold on eBay. See 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers etc'. It's extremely unusual for a second such cover to become available within a month.
21 July 2011
Added a very unusual (possibly unique) Apollo 12 Captain's cover which was postmarked in Pago Pago the day before the recovery! Recently sold on eBay.
20 July 2011
Added a Boerger cachet to Gemini 5 and two Artopages cachets to Skylab 4'
18 July 2011
Added a Beck B720 KSC cover with an additional official KSC cachet to AS-501 (Apollo 4). Also added an Artopages USS Iwo Jima cachet to Apollo 13. Both thanks to Randy Constantin. Added a Relay helicopter recovery cover to Skylab 4.
17 July 2011
Added a very unusual cover to Beck Unusual Covers thanks to Randy Constantin. It is a Beck Crew cover with a Norfolk postmark and a TF-140 RSC on the back!
15 July 2011
Added a very nice Gemini 6 Captain's cover with has an additional Ship's cachet, thanks to Randy Constantin.
10 July 2011
Added an article on Gemini 8 USS Boxer Cachets to General Articles
8 July 2011
Added a USS Spiegel Grove Mission Emblem cover to Apollo 14. Unusual for a Secondary Recovery Ship. Added a signed PRS cover to Apollo 11.
7 July 2011
Added stamps and First Day Covers to 'Stamps, Minisheets and Other Items'
3 July 2011
Added some attractive Inner & Outer Space covers to Apollo 16 & Apollo 17.
2 July 2011
The first ever cover from Apollo 11 USS Hassayampa has been found in a recently sold collection put together by MegAnn Chancellor's father, Dr. Santiago Sanchez. The cover has an extremely poor postmark but the date is clear and there are enough letters visible to identify the ship.
29 June 2011
Added a mission emblem USS Ozark cover to Apollo 11. Very unusual for a SRS. Also added a USS Okinawa cover to Apollo 15 that had postage due of 3c.
27 June 2011
Added covers to Mercury Precursor flights where they exist largely due to Steve Durst's CD book.
20 June 2011
Two rare covers were sold on eBay recently. Firstly a Gemini 8 USS Boxer cover with the rare silver cachet and secondly a Gemini 9 USS Wasp cover with an inverted 1966 in the hand cancel. See 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers etc'
15 June 2011
Added an unusual cover with a Navy Recovery Force cachet and a Houston postmark to Apollo 13.
13 June 2011
Added a signed PRS cover to Apollo 14 thanks to Antoni Rigo. However, this one is on a cover with the scarce black cachet.
11 June 2011
Added an article showing all known date variations from MA-9 ships.
8 June 2011
Added a MA-8 USS Bon Homme Richard cover where the 3 in the postmark is reversed! Added a USS New Orleans cover signed by the Commanding Officer to Skylab 3. Added important notes to Mercury 9 and Gemini 8 regarding participation by the USS Myles C. Fox.
1 June 2011
Added a rare MA-9 USS Gainard Beck B331 cover postmarked on the 15th to Mercury 9! Only two have been reported. Also added an equally rare MA-9 Beck B317 cover with a USS John W. Thomason postmark to Beck covers.
26 May 2011
Added an interesting several helicopter recovery covers to Skylab 2,3 & 4.
25 May 2011
Added an interesting MR-3 USS Lake Champlain Return To Port cover.
18 May 2011
Added a USS Opportune cover (CC postmark) from 12 Feb 1986 to STS-51L. Added a PRS cover signed by a member of UDT21 to Gemini 9.
16 May 2011
Added a Crew cover from the USS Lake Champlain to Gemini 2 thanks to Steve Durst. It is particularly interesting as it is on ship's stationary which includes a picture of the ship.
11 May 2011
Added a helicopter recovery cover to Skylab 4. Added several recovery cachets to 'Interesting Recovery Cachets'.
9 May 2011
Added a new section entitled 'General Articles'. The first article shows how different colours were used for cachets by showing a transitional cover which uses both maroon and black ink. The transitional cover is thanks to Ray Cartier
8 May 2011
Added a fake USS Wasp cover to Gemini 12. Also added some new covers with prices to 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers etc'.
2 May 2011
Added a great USS Lake Champlain cover with an AM time slug to Gemini 2 thanks to Antoni Rigo.
30 April 2011
Finally added the section on Captain and Crew Covers.
27 April 2011 Special
Added a great MA-9 cover. It's a crew cover with signatures of both the ship's CO and Astronaut Walter Schirra (one signature is genuine and one autopen). It has both machine and hand cancels and finally the CO's signature uses a black pen whereas my other crew cover (also shown) uses a blue pen. A possibly unique cover,
27 April 2011
Added signed PRS covers to Skylab 2 and Skylab 3.
26 April 2011
A couple of interesting covers. The first is an Official envelope from the Commander Manned Spacecraft Recovery Force to the Commanding Office of the USS Guam (Gemini 11) while the second is a USS Mansfield cover from MA-9 with a Desron 9 cachet in addition to a KK cachet and signed by the Commanding Officer. Also a USS Ticonderoga cover from Apollo 16 with a Commander in Chief Pacific corner card thanks to Steve Durst's CD Book.
24 April 2011
Another batch of Mercury Recovery ship covers were sold on eBay. Two postmark variations are shown in MA-8 while the good prices for such covers continue in 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers etc'.
18 April 2011
Some very interesting covers were just sold on eBay including a MA-9 Crew cover, an unusual MA-9 USS Kearsarge cover with Hand Cancel and a hard to find Gemini 11 USS Severn cover. See 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers etc' for the prices these covers brought plus a selection of other Mercury recovery ship covers.
11 April 2011
Added a very unusual dual cancel (both machine & hand cancels) USS Lake Champlain cover to Gemini 5. Added signed PRS covers to Apollo 15, Skylab 2 & Skylab 3. Some Interesting prices are shown in 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers etc'
2 April 2011
Added a very unusual Joseph P. Kennedy cover to Gemini 12. While being postmarked for Gemini 12 it has a Gemini 9 cachet!
31 March 2011
Have a look at your USS Rankin covers from Apollo 8 and see if you notice something unusual. Give up. Check my note 7 under Apollo 8.
30 March 2011
Major Discovery! A MA-5 USS Stormes cover postmarked on the correct date has been found by Walter M. Hopferwieser. Until now none were known. Thanks Walter.
21 March 2011
Added four covers recently sold on eBay: MA-8 USS Lake Champlain with an unusual cachet, Apollo 5 USS Rose Knot with a different cachet, GT-9A USS Robert L. Wilson with a mission patch & Navy cachet, and a Helios B USNS Vanguard cover.
11 March 2011
Added another USS Lake Champlain to MR-3. See 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers etc' for prices.
5 March 2011
Added a great cover, a MA-9 Beck Crew cover signed by the Commanding Officer! Added a couple of very unusual covers to 'Beck Error, Crew and Unusual Covers'. All thanks to Owen Murray's website.
4 March 2011
Added several tracking ships which didn't participate to Gemini 4. Added a bi-colour Kunia cachet to Skylab 4. Added an Gemini 6A Captain's Cover sold on eBay to 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers etc'.
3 March 2011
Added an Apollo 11 Captain's Cover sold on eBay to 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers etc'.
23 February 2011
Added three rare Beck covers: a B751 with a USS Chikaskia postmark, a B773 with a USS Guadalcanal postmark (only one known) and a B784 also with a USS Guadalcanal postmark.
21 February 2011
Added a great cover thanks to Woody Witt - an Apollo 11 Captain's cover signed by the ship's Commanding Officer! Also added two interesting covers from Japanese ships to ASTP (probably not involved) thanks to Alec Bartos. If anyone can identify the unknown ship please let me know. Added stamps from Mauritania and Nicaragua to 'Stamps, Minisheets and Other Items'.
14 February 2011
Added two more training missions including two photos to 'Training Missions and Exercises'.
13 February 2011
Added a new page to the information section of my site 'Training Missions and Exercises'.
9 February 2011
Added an extremely interesting Beck cover. A USS Harold J. Ellison B525 cover with a brown/gold postmark. Only the second recorded. See Beck Error, Unusual m& Crew Covers. Also added a very unusual cover - a USS Power postmark on a USS Jonas Ingram envelope with a Navy GTA cachet.
7 February 2011
A scarce Robert Boudwin ASTP PRS cover sold on eBay for EUR 83.10. See 'Interesting Covers'.
5 February 2011
Added the following covers: A warning for an Apollo 7 series of covers; a MA-8 posponed from 1 October cover; a Skylab 2 Kunia cover with two postmarks; a OFO (Orbiting Frog Otolith) Range Recoverer cover to 'Other Recovery Ship Covers';
31 January 2011
Added three covers to 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers' including a Beck B525 with an extremely rare gold/brown postmark!
21 January 2011
Today we have 4 interesting signed covers from the recent RR Auction. The first is, at first, a rather ordinary MA-6 USS Enterprise cover (the ship was not involved). However this cover has been signed not only by John Glenn, but also the Commanding Officers of the USS Randolph (designated PRS), the USS Noa (actual PRS) and the Recovery Commander. A very nice and rare combination. The second is a rare MA-7 USS John R. Pierce with a 'Aurora Seven' cachet and signed by Scott Carpenter. The third is a GT-6 Captain's cover without a postmark but signed by Schirra and Stafford as well as the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer of the USS Wasp plus the Recovery Force Commander. Finally, a Beck B684 GT-11 USS Guam 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. See 'Recently Sold Interesting Covers' for prices on these and other covers.
19 January 2011
Added a colourful Astro cachet with a Norfolk postmark to Skylab 2. Added a USNS Redstone CC Jul 24 postmark to ASTP. Added a new section to display a selection and colourful and interesting Recovery cachets (non-ship). See 'Interesting Recovery Cachets'.
15 January 2011
Added a GT-9 cover from a member of the crew of the USS Wasp to his son. Included is a letter in which he describes a number of trials of recovery procedures including the use of a dummy capsule. A very interesting find! Also a AS-201 cover from the USS Waldron. The cover is interesting in that it uses a general cachet which is unusual for Apollo SRS covers. Finally added three non-ship covers; a tracking station cover for MA-6 posponed from the 25 January, a Cape Canaveral cover for AS-501 posponed from 6 November and a cover marking the change of name from Port Canaveral to Cape Canaveral (see MA-8).
12 January 2011
Several rare Beck covers today. Two new Beck crew covers today, a GT-2 Lake Champlain (PRS) and a AS-202 USS Robert A. Owens. This second one is highly unusual for a crew cover as it is on an airmail envelope! Also added a Beck B604 cover with a USS Wasp postmark (first I've seen) and a Beck B653, also with a USS Wasp postmark (very few known). Also fixed a problem with the unusual Beck B515 cover scan. See 'Beck Error, Crew and Unusual Covers'.
9 January 2011
Added 2 signed covers to Gemini 6A. Added better scans to some Apollo 13 signed covers plus a couple of new covers including a nice USS Iwo Jima signed Beck B838 cover to Apollo 13.
7 January 2011
Added USS Lake Champlain with Orbit cachet to GT-5. Added Beck 5th Anniversary cover to Apollo 11. Added a Norfolk double ring postmarked cover to Apollo 17. Added two signed PRS covers to Gemini 12 and a nice signed Ekas PRS cover to Apollo 15. Added a second USS New Orleans 'Return to Port' to Skylab 4.
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