This Web site is dedicated to listing the various ships involved in the USA Manned Space program (up to ASTP), and illustrating the various covers and cachets issued for those ships. The ships can be divided into the Recovery Forces (in the Atlantic and/or Pacific) and the Tracking & Communication ships. The Recovery Forces consisted of the Primary Recovery Ship (PRS), usually an aircraft carrier or similar ship; the Secondary Recovery Ships (SRS) which include destroyers, oilers, minesweepers and others; and a number of smaller vessels. The smaller vessels, which are poorly documented, were limited to launch site abort recovery duties, usually accompanied by a salvage class ship.

The site will initially list the ships and the main covers and cachets issued for them. In addition, postmark variations will also be listed. In most cases the same cachet was used for most, if not all, the ships involved in a particular mission. In these cases, rather than repeat almost identical covers, only the cachet and the various postmarks will be illustrated. Covers which are significantly different to the standard will be fully illustrated. One off covers, Captain covers, Beck covers issued in very small numbers and other 'special' covers will not initially be illustrated. However, over time, I hope to expand the site to include these covers.

I hope that, over time, an important part of this site will be user input. I welcome information on ships and/or covers not illustrated and, in particular, scans of such covers. Please send all such correspondance to the Webmaster.


An upgrade to a new website has meant a large increase in the available space for storage of scans of covers etc. Therefore, over time, postmark scans will be replaced by scans of the entire cover. This extra space will also allow extra information to be added over time.


This page © Dr Ross J Smith
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Last modified on 15 May 2009