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SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP COVERS:
Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab & ASTP Flights,
with Official & Unofficial Cachets.

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General Ship Notes

  • Not all recovery ship covers are dated for the actual recovery date. The cover can be dated on any date during the flight, or even a few days after the actual recovery.
  • For some ships that do not have a postal facility aboard, the covers are taken to various postoffices when the ship arrives back in port, and thus the dates can be any date of the flight, even on the launch date, but most likely later than the actual recovery.
  • For Mercury recovery ship covers you will find many different cachets since there was no official cachet issued by the US Navy. Starting with the Gemini flights you will begin to see many with the official US Navy rubber stamp cachet, or the Beck printed cachet, as well as other unofficial cachets.
  • For most of the recovery ship covers that exist (especially for the Mercury flights), you will find some that that did not partisipate in ANY way for the flight they are dated for or have the correct cachet for and these are called COMMEMORATIVE SHIP COVERS, these are also collectable.
  • Also included in this pricelist are Recovery Control Center covers for the Apollo flights, these are cancelled at Norfolk VA for the Atlantic center, and Kunia HI for the Pacific center. San Francisco CA is the Pacific center for the ASTP flight.
  • Tracking ship covers are NOT included in this list, with the exception of the USNS Vanguard, which played a duel role in many cases, one being a tracking ship and the other being involved in the recovery. When the ship is involved in the recovery operation it will have a recovery cachet and will be listed in this pricelist.

  • An excellent web source of information on U.S. Recovery Ship covers, is one that was prepared by Dr. Ross J. Smith, you can find his webpage by clicking HERE. It also lists and shows many of the different cachets that exist, including the BECK printed cachets, and it also lists the BECK cachet numbers that exist, as well as postmark varieties. I would recommend bookmarking that webpage for future reference.


General Notes

  • All items are covers unless otherwise noted.
  • All covers are the standard U.S. #6 size (approximately 6 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches), as collected in the USA, unless otherwise noted.
  • Foreign covers may be slightly smaller in size than the standard U.S. #6 size and if so, their size will NOT be noted. Any cover larger than a number 6 size will be noted or any item of an unordinary size will be so noted.
  • All covers are unaddressed unless otherwise noted.
  • All covers are cacheted unless otherwise noted. A brief description of the cachet is given of the event being commemorated.
  • If covers are autographed they are genuine, unless otherwise noted.
  • Where stamp(s) used on the item are of significance, such as being a space stamp or a flag stamp or related to the event or location, it will be described. Otherwise the stamp(s) used on the item may be a definitive issue or an unrelated commemorative issue, and will not be described.
  • Items listed here may not be listed in any particular order.
  • Please print out the ON-LINE ORDER FORM and use it to mark down the covers you need. When ordering, please mark the LIST ID as well as ITEM ID.

Abbreviations

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Price List

LIST IDITEM IDPRICECANCEL DATECANCEL LOC
SRSHIP1A1114AA$5.0007/24/1969 
APOLLO 11: USS NEW, DD-81, ATLANTIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. With a USS New July 24, 1960 hand cancel on a 6 cent Apollo 8 "Earth from the Moon" space stamp (#1371). Cover has a black official NAVY rubber stamp cachet depicting the lunar module and the Apollo capsule and text reading "Apollo 11, AS 506, manned lunar landing, U.S. Navy Recovery Force, Atlantic." (Apollo 11 was the first manned lunar landing flight). Rubber stamp address.

SRSHIP1A1201AA$3.5011/24/1969 
APOLLO 12: USS AUSTIN, LPD-4, ATLANTIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. the USS Austin Nov. 24, 1969 hand cancel is on 10 cent First Man on Moon space stamp (#C76). With a black official NAVY Recovery Force rubber stamp cachet for the Apollo 12 (2nd) manned lunar landing flight. Shows the Apollo capsule connected to the Lunar Module over the Moon, with text reading: "Apollo 12 Manned Lunar Landing, Atlantic, U.S. Navy Recovery Force." Pencil addressed.

SRSHIP1A1201AB$3.5011/24/1969 
APOLLO 12: USS AUSTIN, LPD-4, ATLANTIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. the USS Austin Nov. 24, 1969 hand cancel is on 6 cent Earth from the Moon Apollo 8 space stamp (#1371). With a black official NAVY Recovery Force rubber stamp cachet for the Apollo 12 (2nd) manned lunar landing flight. Shows the Apollo capsule connected to the Lunar Module over the Moon, with text reading: "Apollo 12 Manned Lunar Landing, Atlantic, U.S. Navy Recovery Force."

SRSHIP1A1201AC$3.0011/24/1969 
APOLLO 12: USS AUSTIN, LPD-4, ATLANTIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. the USS Austin Nov. 24, 1969 hand cancel is on a pair of International Naval Review stamps showing an aircraft carrier. With a black official NAVY Recovery Force rubber stamp cachet for the Apollo 12 (2nd) manned lunar landing flight. Shows the Apollo capsule connected to the Lunar Module over the Moon, with text reading: "Apollo 12 Manned Lunar Landing, Atlantic, U.S. Navy Recovery Force."

SRSHIP1A1208AA$3.0011/24/1969 
APOLLO 12: USS HAWKINS, DD-873, ATLANTIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. the USS Austin Nov. 24, 1969 hand cancel is on 10 cent airmail border postal stationery envelope. With a black official NAVY Recovery Force rubber stamp cachet for the Apollo 12 (2nd) manned lunar landing flight. Shows the Apollo capsule connected to the Lunar Module over the Moon, with text reading: "Apollo 12 Manned Lunar Landing, Atlantic, U.S. Navy Recovery Force." Typed address.

SRSHIP1A1501AA$3.0008/07/1971 
APOLLO 15: USS AUSTIN, LPD-4, ATLANTIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. the USS Austin Aug. 07, 1971 hand cancel is on 10 cent First Man on Moon space stamp (#C76). With a black official NAVY Recovery Force rubber stamp cachet for the Apollo 15 manned lunar landing flight. Shows the emblem of the TF 130 (Task Force 130), and an apollo capsule with recovery parachutes, and text reading "Apollo 15, United States Navy". Airmail border envelope, Note: there is a small label stain were a peelable address label was.

SRSHIP1A1501AB$3.0008/07/1971 
APOLLO 15: USS AUSTIN, LPD-4, ATLANTIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. the USS Austin Aug. 07, 1971 hand cancel is on 8 cent Flag stamp. With a black official NAVY Recovery Force rubber stamp cachet for the Apollo 15 manned lunar landing flight. Shows the emblem of the TF 130 (Task Force 130), and an apollo capsule with recovery parachutes, and text reading "Apollo 15, United States Navy".

SRSHIP1A1501AC$3.0008/07/1971 
APOLLO 15: USS AUSTIN, LPD-4, ATLANTIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. the USS Austin Aug. 07, 1971 hand cancel is on 8 cent Flag stamp. With a black official NAVY Recovery Force rubber stamp cachet for the Apollo 15 manned lunar landing flight. Shows the emblem of the TF 130 (Task Force 130), and an apollo capsule with recovery parachutes, and text reading "Apollo 15, United States Navy". With address label.

SRSHIP1A1701AB$5.0012/11/1972 
APOLLO 17: USS ASSURANCE, MS0-521, ATLANTIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. With a US Postal Service SC 294, Dec. 11, 1972 machine cancel on a 8 cent Apollo 15 "U.S. in Space/Space Achievement " space stamp (#1434). With a black corner card rubber stamp address that reads: "Commanding Officer, USS Assurance (MSO 521), FPO New York 09501." With 2 private cachets: a red rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) that shows the Apollo Capsule & the Lunar Module and text reading "Apollo 17 Moon Trip" and a blue one line text rubber stamp cachet that reads: "Last Apollo Moon Landing". With a pencil address. NOTE: This ship does not have a postal facility on board and thus covers are cancelled at the nearest port of call.

SRSHIP1A1718AA$3.0012/19/1972 
APOLLO 17: ATLANTIC RECOVERY CONTROL CENTER. With a Norfolk VA, Dec. 19, 1972 machine cancel on an 8 cent Flag stamp. With a black official NAVY Recovery Force rubber stamp cachet for the Apollo 17 manned lunar landing flight. Shows a square general Recovery Force cachet with small drawings of the NASA emblem and an apollo capsule with parachute in the corners of the cachet and text reading "Apollo 17, U.S. Navy, Atlantic Recovery Force". NOTE: Cover cancelled at the location of the Atlantic Recovery Control Center located at Norfolk VA.

SRSHIP1AS0118AA$4.0007/24/1975 
APOLLO SOYUS (ASTP) USA/USSR MANNED FLIGHT, ATLANTIC RECOVERY CONTROL CENTER. With a space pictorial Norfolk VA, July 24, 1975 machine cancel on a 10 cent Skylab space station stamp (#1529). Cancel shows the Apollo and the Soyuz spacecraft about to dock, with text reading: "Apollo Soyuz Space Mission, U.S. Navy Recovery Force, Atlantic." Cover has a 3 color official NAVY recovery force BECK printed cachet (#B999) for the ASTP flight, showing the Apollo and Soyuz spacecrafts about to dock, and two ships: one is a sailing ship and the other is a recovery ship, with text: "Apollo - Soyuz USA USSR, ASTP, Joint Space Mission. United States Navy Recovery Force, Atlantic. 1775-1975, 200 Years "Building a Proud Tradition. B999" NOTE: Cover cancelled at the location of the Atlantic Recovery Control Center located at Norfolk VA.

SRSHIP1AS118BA$4.0007/24/1975 
APOLLO SOYUS (ASTP) USA/USSR MANNED FLIGHT, PACIFIC RECOVERY CONTROL CENTER. With a space pictorial San Francisco CA, July 24, 1975 machine cancel on a pair of 5 cent Flag stamps. Cancel shows the Apollo and the Soyuz spacecraft about to dock, with text reading: "Apollo Soyuz Space Mission, U.S. Navy Recovery Force, Pacific." Cover has a 3 color official NAVY recovery force BECK printed cachet (#B998) for the ASTP flight, showing the Apollo and Soyuz spacecrafts about to dock, and two ships: one is a sailing ship and the other is a recovery ship, with text: "Apollo - Soyuz USA USSR, ASTP, Joint Space Mission. United States Navy Recovery Force, Pacific. 1775-1975, 200 Years "Building a Proud Tradition. B998" NOTE: Cover cancelled at the location of the Pacific Recovery Control Center located at San Francisco CA.

SRSHIP1G1219AA$3.0011/15/1966 
GEMINI 12: USS JOSEPH STRAUSS, DDG-16, PACIFIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. With a USS Joseph Strauss Nov. 15, 1966 hand cancel. Cover has a violet official NAVY recovery force rubber stamp cachet for Gemini 12 showing a Gemini capsule, the NASA emblem and an eagle/shield emblem, with text: "Gemini Rendezvous Mission, GTA-12, US Navy Recovery Force, Pacific.". Rubber stamp address.

SRSHIP1G1219AB$3.0011/15/1966 
GEMINI 12: USS JOSEPH STRAUSS, DDG-16, PACIFIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. With a USS Joseph Strauss Nov. 15, 1966 hand cancel. Cover has a violet official NAVY recovery force rubber stamp cachet for Gemini 12 showing a Gemini capsule, the NASA emblem and an eagle/shield emblem, with text: "Gemini Rendezvous Mission, GTA-12, US Navy Recovery Force, Pacific.". Label address.

SRSHIP1M0902BA$9.0005/15/1963 
MERCURY MA-9 (GORDON COOPER FLIGHT): USS BEATTY, DD-756, ATLANTIC SECONDARY RECOVERY SHIP. With a USS Beatty May 15, 1963 hand cancel on 4 cent Project Mercury stamp (#1193). Cover has a 3 color Beck NAVY recovery force printed cachet #333 for the MA-9 flight, which shows the Mercury capsule in orbit over a map of the world, a picture of Gordon Cooper's head and text: "Major L. Gordon Cooper, Jr. Orbits the Earth. Date of Recovery, U.S. Navy Recovery Force. Project Mercury. B333." Cancel and date is not all readable as it falls on the dark portion of the stamp(s). It is readable upon close inspection. The bottom part of the cancel that has the DD-756 is clearly readable.

SRSHIP1S0218AA$3.0006/22/1973 
SKYLAB 2 (MANNED SKYLAB 1 FLIGHT): ATLANTIC RECOVERY CONTROL CENTER. With a Norfolk VA, June 22, 1973 machine cancel on a 11 cent airmail stamp. With a black official NAVY Recovery Force rubber stamp cachet for the Skylab 2 flight. Shows a NASA emblem, a small skylab space station over map of the western hemisphere, a small Apollo capsule and another Apollo capsule with parachute, with text reading "Skylab II, Atlantic, U.S. Navy Recovery Force". NOTE: Cover cancelled at the location of the Atlantic Recovery Control Center located at Norfolk VA.

SRSHIP1S0418AA$3.5002/08/1974 
SKYLAB 4 (MANNED SKYLAB 3 FLIGHT): ATLANTIC RECOVERY CONTROL CENTER. With two Norfolk VA, June 22, 1973 cancels: a machine cancel AND a hand cancel on a 10 cent First Man on Moon space stamp (#C76). With a black official NAVY Recovery Force rubber stamp cachet for the Skylab 4 flight. Shows a NASA emblem, a small "Manned Spacecraft Recovery Force Atlantic, TF-140" emblem depicting an Apollo capsule with parachute, with text reading "Skylab Third Flight, Atlantic USN, U.S. Navy Recovery Force". NOTE: Cover cancelled at the location of the Atlantic Recovery Control Center located at Norfolk VA.

DB: stats: tusd(39,17,22,0)


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