US Navy Covers and First Day Covers by Morris W. Beck
FREE Online Reference Catalog, FREE Checklists and BLOG for US Navy Cover
and Space Cover Collectors
Our 21st year managing this BECK site.
A Resource and Blog for Collectors of
Morris W. Beck Philatelic Covers.
Beck's 1000 set of covers is
acknowledged as the most desirable US Navy Space Recovery covers
FREE Numbered Series Checklists available
Hundreds of eBay auction prices realized are NOW updated and live as of May 2021
This Beck 762 sold for $431 on eBay. Perhaps the highest price paid for a Beck Space cover.
Has P.M. in cancel. Scarce $20
Beck's printing log indicates that B336-was for USS Charles R Ware
The following scans were sent to us by Larry Johnson
Here are a couple of very informative articles featuring W R Skelley and his efforts during the space program.
Great information. Scans are courtesy of Jeff Mills.
CLICK ON ARTICLE TO MAKE IT LARGER TO READ
Charlie Hamilton sent us this scan of a 1947
We have a similar cover on the site but it has a different cancel and is dated 3 JUL 1947. See HERE
The USS Hornet Apollo 11 cover with Neil Armstrong autopen is for sale. $145 ppd. Inquire. Check or Paypal
Skelley Really Hit the
Jackpot with all his Access to Recovery covers
Here is another B640 addressed to Skelley. Note the cancellation on the stamp. It is NOT the same cover as above.
Beck Space Covers Seldom
Beck 873 was scheduled for USS Kawishiwi. 874 is usually seen with Kawishiwi cancel.
B629 missing the blue background
Scan courtesy of David Ball
Beck State Series Printed
on Picture Postcards
Larry Johnson sent us these 1952 Beck States cachets printed on the back of a picture postcard.
Mr. Beck was happy to print his cachets on envelopes or cards at the request of his customers.
Beck B821 with Border
Apollo 12 B821 cover with the preprinted Navy
Apollo 14 Crew Cover
Sold on eBay for $43.50
Beck Space Cover Used for
This very unusual First Day cover on a Beck cachet is
The cover sold on eBay for $94.75
Unlisted Beck Space Cover
Addressed to Skelley
This sold Sept 14 on eBay. Probably one of a kind. Sold for $93.50 + SH
Beck Space Covers With
Tony O'Brien sent us scans of some Beck Space Covers autographed by the Ships CO
Adding A Few Interesting
Beck covers Sold on eBay One for Over $300
An Early Beck 1943
Previously Unlisted Beck Space Scans
One of our readers, Mark Burton sent us the following scans.
Beck Space Covers
Just Keep Appearing
One of our readers, Mark Burton sent us these scans.
Amazing UNLISTED Beck CREW Space Covers
One of our readers sent the following scans of Beck CREW Covers.
All These Beck CREW covers are postmarked
at Kennedy Space Center for Apollo flights.
Beck Space Covers
The cover above was added to our site in May
2014. It is the only one we have seen. Note that it
is addressed to Skelley, the
How Mr. Beck's cover service worked
Updated July 31,
Morris W. Beck of Wisconsin was a collector starting while in high school in the early 1940's and later was a cover dealer after he returned from service in WWII. He stopped producing covers in the mid 1970ís.
His most popular series of Naval covers was the set from 1962-1975 and consisted of 1000 cachets (covers).
He advertised his
cover service in the philatelic newspapers offering to print a
cachet on collectorís envelopes for a few cents each.
He printed cachets
for Navy ship commissioning, launchings, anniversaries,
first day covers, etc.
The most popular cachets (covers) were the
Mr. Beck tried very
hard to get the recovery force information from the US Navy
as early as he could before a flight, but as
The US Navy had a
coordinator to receive space cover postmarking
requests from collectors and dealers.
As a "side note"
please note that Beck's printed color cachets and the rubber
stamp cachets used by the US Navy were very
Above Right: Envelope with Mr. Beck's printed color cachet and "B Cachet Number". Navy applied postmark only.
Both the example
ASTP covers probably had address removable labels and both
were sent to the collector as usual
On the later Apollo flights you will notice that the image of the rubber stamp cachet that the US Navy used was smaller than the cachet Mr. Beck printed. Large rubber stamps were hard for the US Navy to apply so they requested smaller images. Remember that Mr. Beck provided the rubber stamp cachets to the US Navy free.
Mr. Beck's Naval Cover Service
Mr. Beck provided the service of printing a multicolor cachet on collectorís SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) envelopes sent to him.
Collectors could also send a SASE directly to the Navy for the single colornrubber stamp cachet and postmarking.
For Mr. Beck's cover
service, Collectors would send a supply (25-50) of SASE to
Mr. Beck with a small service fee for cachet printing.
information provided by the Navy regarding the total number
of ships in the recovery force,
Look at some of the print log sheets Mr. Beck filled out that are shown on our site. http://beck.ormurray.com/becklog/index.htm
So if the Navy told
Mr. Beck there would be 12 ships in the recovery force, then
Mr. Beck would print
the multicolor color cachet on the envelopes sent to him by collectors.
When the Navy received the shipments of printed color cacheted envelops from Mr. Beck, they distributed the envelopes to the ships of the recovery force.
This is where it got
ďmessyĒ because someone at the Navy opened boxes and
redistributed envelopes without
We have an article about Beck's multicolor envelopes without the B number. These are called CREW covers. See article HERE
|Beck Space Covers|
Beck CREW Cover Added
This lot of 3 Cooper covers with two CREW covers sold for $162.50 on eBay
In this example, Skelley's label covers up the address for Clyde Sarazan.
This seems odd. If you have other examples of this please send us a scan.
High Prices Paid for Some
The Apollo 13 PRS Beck cover B838 with the "skewed" cancel. See HERE for examples of Iwo Jima cancels.
This Beck cover sold on eBay for $40.00. B838 Skewed Hand Cancel with name at bottom sees to be the most common.
Notice inside Beck 575 Found
The printed notice was inside Beck 575 cover. It was included inside the cover sent to VIPs by the shipyard. The cover marked the launching of SSBN-658. It wasn't unusual for the shipyard to send covers marking important events. If you look at Mr Beck's printing log, it shows about 100 covers for B575 higher than others with similar date/year. A total of 619 covers were printed by Beck for cachet number 575. Thanks goes to Tony Montgomery for sending us this scan.
|Beck Covers March 28, 2020
|If you are not a
member of the USCS or The Space Unit, please consider joining.
Application for the USCS
Application for the Space Unit
Covers added February 14, 2020
Scan courtesy of Larry Johnson
Scan courtesy of Dr Ross Smith.
|Very Elusive Beck
Cover y MWB 146 added February 10, 2020
Larry Johnson sent us the following 3 scans. The top one of
MWB146 has been missing from our listing.
|Nice variety of Beck
Covers with Harry Gordon Text Stamps Added February 3, 2020
Harry Gordon covers are popular and distinctive. His text stamps adds to Beck covers and others.
Scans courtesy of Charlie Hamilton
GT-4 Cover Beck CREW Cover (Below Right) Sold on eBay for $105
January 12, 2020
The GT-4 cover is shown here to help illustrate the patch. The Beck CREW cover sold on eBay for $105.
The patch sold in a space auction, January 18 for $180 before buyer premium.
|More FAKE Beck Covers on eBay
More M W Beck Covers Sent in by Collectors for our site
G W Driskill was in management with Sperry Rand
Corporation. He was a specialist in Torque Balance Control
|The Article About CREW Covers
Is Totally Revised
Morris W. Beck Naval Covers for Collectors
Naval covers have been popular since about the time of Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet. A naval cover is an envelope or postcard postmarked on board a naval ship. The cover might commemorate a naval event such as a keel laying, launching or commissioning of a navy ship. Other covers are simply sailorís mail that now has historical value for the postmark on the US Navy cover.
Collecting memorabilia from US Navy ships is a very interesting hobby and shares a piece of US Navy history. Some people collect pictures, ash trays, lighters, photos, launching or commissioning programs, US Navy patches, and envelopes or postcards postmarked aboard US Navy ships. Similar in appearance to a first day cover, a naval cover commemorates a US Navy event or simply be sailorís mail sent home with a letter enclosed. In any case, these covers are very collectable.
Today, the Universal Ship Cancellation Society, USCS, in an international society where collectors of US Navy ship covers and postcards exchange information about their favorite collecting interests.
Many collectors specialize in a special type of naval covers or envelopes. Some US Navy veterans have a special interest in the ships they served on. Ships like destroyers, aircraft carriers, submarines, battleship, etc. Some collectors of first day covers or FDCs also collect navy covers as a specialty.
The US NASA manned space program and the US Navy recovery ships are also very popular subjects for naval covers. The US Navy postmarks from the US Navy ships in the Atlantic or Pacific fleet that picked up the US space astronauts like John Glenn, Neil Armstrong or others are very popular. One of the most desirable modern naval covers is from the USS Hornet that picked up the astronauts, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins after the Moon landing Apollo 11 NASA mission. Dozens of US Navy ships participated in the US Space recovery program including, USS Hornet, USS Wasp, USS Intrepid, USS Lake Champlain, USS Guam, USS Mason, USS Randolph, USS Ticonderoga, USS Iwo Jima, USS Kearsarge, USS Okinawa, USS Essex, USS New Orleans, USS Guadalcanal, USS Bennington, and many others. All astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab programs were recovered by US Navy ships. There are covers for most of these events. The covers for the earliest manned space flights are among the hardest to find. Some of the most popular covers are for aircraft carriers, submarines, destroyers, battleships, and other types of US Navy ships.
Over the years there have been many individuals and groups produce some very attractive naval covers for US Navy events and space events including Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab manned space flights. Morris W. Beck was a collector of US Navy covers and started a service to provide other collectors with quality printed US Navy, space covers, and first day covers.
Beck served in the US Navy during World War II aboard a US Navy Destroyer. Morris W. Beck covers are well known among collectors. Beck produced a very popular series of 1000 US Navy event covers 1962-1975. Beckís effort was a labor of love and his charge to service covers for collectors was only pennies per cover. This web site is dedicated to the US Navy event covers, president series, state series, nuclear ships and first day covers (FDC) produced by Morris W. Beck.
Morris W. Beck Cover Basics
About this Web Site
This is an Online Reference Catalog. Please note that the naval covers
illustrated on this Web site
Copyright ©1999-2021 Owen R Murray. All Rights Reserved. Revised: Wednesday June 23, 2021.