Mercury-Redstone 4 - 21 July 1961i   - Virgil I. Grissom

Recovery Force Ships


Designation Covers
Atlantic (Task Force Alpha)
USS Randolph PRS - Carrier CVS-15 Y
USS Alacrity SRS - Oceanic Minesweeper MSO-520 N
USS Conway4 SRS - Destroyer DD-507 Y (E. Rare)
USS Cony SRS - Destroyer DDE-508 N
USS Exploit SRS - Oceanic Minesweeper MSO-440 N
USS Lowry1 SRS - Destroyer DD-770 Y (E. Rare)
USS Recovery SRS - Salvage & Rescue Ship ARS-43 N
USS Stormes SRS - Destroyer DD-780 N
Tracking Ships
USAFCoastal Sentry TS - Indian Ocean Tracking Ship T AGM-15 N
USAF Rose Knot TS - Atlantic Tracking Ship T AGM-14 N
Recovery Helicopters (Sikorsky HUS-1 Seahorse)
Hunt Club 1 Jim Lewis and John Reinhard U/K Y Extremely Rare)
Hunt Club 2 Phil Upschulte and George Cox U/K N
Hunt Club 3 U/K U/K N
Unknown U/K U/K N
Not Involved
USS Burton Island2a Icebreaker AGB-1 Y
USS Lake Champlain6 Carrier (Note:22 July postmark) CVS-39 Y
USS Lake Champlain (also slight variation) Carrier (Note:25 July postmark) CVS-39 Y
USS Francis Marion Attack Transport APA-249 Y
USS Strong2 Destroyer DD-758 Y
USS Waller4 Destroyer DDE-466 Y

Postmark Variations
Ship Description of Postmark Scarcity
USS Randolph USS Randolph at top of postmark Rare
USS Randolph1 USS Randolph at bottom of postmark Even Rarer
USS Randolph1 Red double ring New York USS Randolph registered mail cancellation - applied as a second cancellation. And another example5. Rarer Still
Fake Covers
Ship Description of Postmark Scarcity
USS Randolph2b Riser Fake Rare

Signed PRS Covers including Helicopter Recovery Covers - these covers were actually aboard the PRS during recovery
Postmark Description of Cover Postmark Date
USS Randolph Extremely rare cover signed by the Ship's Captain Harry Edward Cook, Jr. And another copy. 21 Jul 1961
USS Randolph2 Extremely rare cover signed by the Recovery Helicopter Co-pilot. 21 Jul 1961
USS Randolph3 Another Extremely rare cover signed by the Ship's Executive Officer and Gus Grissom 21 Jul 1961

Notes General:
i) Previous launch attempts occurred on the 18th and 19th but were postponed due to unfavourable weather.

Notes Other:
1) From Steve Durst's CD book. Another was sold on eBay in April 2013 for $699.
2) Sold on eBay during 2013 a) 2014 b) 2018
3) From the collection of Florian Noller
4) From the collection of Tom Steiner
5) From the collection of Lee Kok How
6) From the collection of Timothy Preston

This page © Dr Ross J Smith
This page is maintained by the
Last modified on 31 May 2021