Morris W. Beck US Navy Covers

A Resource for Collectors of Morris W. Beck Philatelic Covers.  (About this site)
Owen R Murray, USCS 5676, SU 4500

This page contains older articles that previously appeared on the main page.

Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross Smith
Beck  458 USS O'Hare

Beck's printing log indicates that B458 was for USS Eugene A Greene.  B458 with a cancel from the O'Hare is very seldom seen.  Dr. Ross Smith sent us this great example.

See the examples of Beck covers for this flight HERE

 

Beck 561 Lake Champlain Cover Gemini 5

An interesting Beck GT-5 PRS cover sold on eBay. $16.50  The Beck cover also bears the small circular rubber stamp that Beck applied to collector's envelopes sent to him AFTER the flight.  There are also two rubber stamp text lines applied to the Beck cachet.

If you know the origin of the two text rubber stamps, please let us know so we can share the details on this site.

 

 


Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross Smith

AM  vs. A.M.

Apollo 11 Recovery Ship Cover-Cancel Variety

Dr. Ross Smith brought a cancel variety to our attention.  The cancel shown at left from the USS Goldsborough has PERIODS (dots) after the A and M.

Of the several dozen B803 and B804 printed Beck covers observed, none were found with the periods.  All examples observed were the same cancel but without the periods.  AM instead of A.M.

We've also searched many Navy RS cachets for this cancel and it has only been seen on a few covers reported by Dr. Smith and Steve Durst.  All with RS cachets like the one shown here.

Please review your Beck covers for B803 and B804 and let us know if you have one with A.M.


Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross Smith

Scan courtesy of Luc Jallot, France
TWO Unlisted  Morris W Beck Covers Found

The scans of the covers shown at left were sent to us by Dr. Ross Smith and Luc Jallot. 

After all these years of searching for Beck covers we are VERY surprised to see a GTA-8 Beck cover from the USS L R Mason other than B630.  Dr. Ross Smith was the successful eBay bidder for the cover shown at left.  Beck 629 with the Mason cancel.  Note the address is hand written.  Our guess, (only a guess) is that a Navy Postal Clerk got a hold of the printed covers sent by Beck and addressed this to a family member. This is probably one of a kind!  See HERE

This is the only B629 observed that is other than the USS Cochrane.

The second cover at left, from Luc Jallot, is a B881 from Apollo 16 with the corner card of the previously unlisted Beck cover for USS Alacrity.  We've seen this corner card on Navy RS cachets, but this is the first on a B881.  Take a look at the other Beck covers from Apollo 16 mission and it is clear that Beck supplied the cached envelopes to one or more dealers or collectors.  See HERE

 


Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross Smith via eBay
Beck B998 Cover Found With USS New Orleans JUL 15 1975 Date

The cover shown at left was sold on eBay for only $37.00

This is an amazing cover.  Someone with real connections got this cover.  This is the only one we have seen or heard about.  See the listings under B998 for details about why this cover is so desirable.

 

 


Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross Smith
Unlisted  Morris W Beck B757 Cover Found

The scan of the cover shown at left was sent to us by Dr. Ross Smith.  This cover is a B757 postmarked on the USS Nicholas for Apollo 7 recovery. This is the first B757 we have seen from a ship other than USS Cochrane.

Beck's hand-written printing log shows B756 and B757 were designated for Pacific recovery ships. Until now, the only Apollo7 Pacific covers observed were from USS Cochrane.  The cover shown at left from Smith's collection might be a unique cover.  Note the handwritten note above the cachet.  " D. R. Ray USS Nicholas DD-449"  It appears to be the same handwriting as the address. 

We've compared this cover with all the B756 and B757 and Beck RS cachets we have and observed only the Cochrane cancel on printed cachets.  On the RS cachets we saw several different ships including USS Nicholas.

We have always assumed that when the US Navy received the shipment of printed envelopes from Mr. Beck, they sent all the covers to the Cochrane.  Now we know that at least one made it to the Nicholas. 

Please check your collection to see if can find any other B757 from ships other than Cochrane.

 


Scan courtesy of Luc Jallot, France
Morris W Beck B838, Iwo Jima PRS with Hand Cancel, Name at tope

The scan of the cover shown at left was sent to us by Luc Jallot of France.  This cover is the harder to find of the Apollo 13 B838 covers.

Some interesting covers for the US space program comes from Europe.

 

We need a scan of B890 CREW We need a scan of the cover sold on eBay November 8.  It is Skylab II CREW cover Beck design number 890.  We believe it is postmarked at Norfolk.  If you have this cover, please send us a scan for our reference listings.

 


Scan courtesy of Steve Durst
Morris W Beck Scott #1529 FDC with ALL Skylab Astronaut Autog

The scan of the cover shown at left was sent to us by Steve Durst.  Steve writes: "The Beck first day cover is not especially difficult, but try finding it with
authentic autographs of the 9 astronauts who flew on the 3 manned Skylab flights  and all of them autographing one cover!"
 



Scans courtesy of Greg Ciesielski
Morris W Beck Rubber Stamp Cachets for Space Events

Many thanks to Greg Ciesielski for sending us scans for discussion purposes of covers with Mr. Beck's rubber stamp cachets applied by the Navy.  Beck supplied the US Navy with rubber stamps of the designs he used for the printed cachets.  Many times the "higher quality" rubber stamp cachets are viewed as the printed cachets.  Some times the quality of the rubber stamp cachet is so good it is hard to tell the difference.  Of course the rubber stamp cachets never have the "B" number, so that is the first thing to look for. 

Thanks to Ross Smith, a frequent contributor to this site commented as follows:
"The collecting of recovery ship covers including secondary recovery ship covers is a fascinating area for collectors. While many of the SRS covers are relatively common, some are quite rare and it is a real challenged to put together a comprehensive collection of such covers. My site (http://recovery_ships.rossjsmith.com/ ) lists all known covers and shows examples of most of them."
 


Scans courtesy of David S Ball
Morris W Beck Cover Service Postcard Notices

Many thanks to David S. Ball for sending us scans of postcards actually sent by Mr. Beck to one of his subscribers to his cover services.  Cards are from 1963-65.

Click on each postcard thumbnail at the left to see the postcard and be able to read the text.

For more information on this topic please see HERE

Also see how Mr. Back used postcards like these to keep his scribers informed as postal rates changed.  HERE

 


Scan courtesy of PaulaCover, The Cover Connection on eBay
WWII Morris W Beck Sailor's Mail

PaulaCover, The Cover Connection on eBay sold this great sailor's mail cover on eBay.  It is a cover sent home by Morris W Beck who joined the US Navy directly out of high school in 1944.  It shows his hand writing.  This cover sold for $6.50.

If you have any samples of Mr. Beck's sailor's mail, please send us a scan.

See more covers from Mr. Beck's collection HERE


Scan courtesy of Luc Jallot, France
 
1946 M W Beck Cover added to this Site

Luc Jallot a collector in France located this hard to find cover from the Gemini 12 prime recovery ship.  This cover has the hand cancel instead of the more common machine cancel.

FYI-The hand cancel version of B706 just sold on eBay for $9.99.

 

 


Scan courtesy of Greg Ciesielski
1946 M W Beck Cover added to this Site

Thanks goes to Greg Ciesielski for sending us a scan of a 1946 William R Rush War games cover actually postmarked on the ship.  See scan at left.  The cover we have on this site was postmarked May 27(?), 1946 by machine cancel in NY, NY.  It is great to have one postmarked on the ship.

See the 1946 Beck Covers here



Scan courtesy of Ross Smith
 
Apollo 9 USS Guadalcanal Cachet Variety

The cover shown at the left looks like the "usual" Apollo 9 Beck printed cachet, but it has been modified.  The word "Pacific" has been blocked out and the word "Atlantic" has been added.  If you have any information on this change or knowledge of who actually made the change please let us know.

The USS Guadalcanal, the prime recovery ship was located in the Atlantic for the recovery.

Also see the other Apollo 9 Beck covers here.



Scans courtesy of Ross Smith
 
Apollo 14 USS Ponchatoula Beck RSC Variation

Dr. Ross Smith brought the covers shown at left to our attention.  What you see are two covers from the same secondary ship for Apollo 14 mission, USS Ponchatoula.

One cover with a black rubber stamp cachet (RSC) postmarked February 3, 1971 and another cover with a maroon RSC postmarked February 9, 1971 (the correct date). 

He reports seeing several covers postmarked with the February 3 date on RSC covers only.  No February 3 dates have been seen on Beck printed covers B862.

Check your Beck covers to see if you have a cover with the February 3 postmark.  If you find one, please send us a scan.

 


Scan courtesy of Luc Jallot, France
Great Example of Beck Printing Error

 

Thanks to Luc Jallot for sending us this scan from an auction.  The green color is missing from the Beck cachet.


Scan courtesy of VACOVERS on eBay
B515 CREW for GT3 Sold on eBay $90

This is the third GT3 Beck Crew cover we have seen.  The cover shown here was sold in July 2009 for $90.

See all three covers HERE

Two of the three are addressed to the same person.  We assume that W.R. Skelley Jr. must have been a postal clerk, PIO or other officer on the Wasp during the recovery.  If you have more information on Mr. Skelley, please let us know so we can share it with other collectors.

 


Scan courtesy of Ross Smith
Check Your B584 covers for a Cancel Variety

Ross Smith sent us the scan shown on the left.  Note that the cover has the US Navy rubber stamp cachet (RSC) provided to the US Navy by Mr. Beck.  The important thing to note is the date in the machine cancellation.  The year "1965" is inverted.  Click on the scan to see it larger.

This is the only cover we have ever seen with this variety.  This cover is shown in Ray Cartier's book of recovery covers.

Check your collection, you just might find this variety hidden with your covers.  If you find one please let us know.

 


Scan courtesy of Spaceflori, Germany
AS-501 Set with Rare Greenbelt cover Sells for $51.00
June 30, 2009

Shown at left is a set of 3 covers sold at a lot on eBay.  The selling price was $51.00.  The lot was bid up because of the very hard to find AS-501 cover from the Goddard Space Flight Center and postmarked at Greenbelt, Maryland.

 


Scan courtesy of Spaceflori, Germany
Apollo 11 Beck 801Sold on eBay $6.50.
BARGAIN!  Usually sells for $40-60



Scan courtesy of Spaceflori, Germany
AS-202 Beck 674 Sold on eBay $8.50
 
Summer Bargains on Beck Prime Recovery Ships

There have been some recent bargains found on eBay this month.  Perhaps the summer and vacations has turned collector's attention away from their collections.

When is the last time you found a Beck 801 Apollo 11 Hornet for under $40?  A VERY nice one just sold on eBay for $6.50! See the cover shown at left.







Scan courtesy of Spaceflori, Germany
Apollo 13 Beck 838 Sold on eBay $10.50



Above and right: scans courtesy of Eddie Bizub
 
 

Scans courtesy of Charlie Hamilton
 

Scan courtesy of Luc Jallot
CREW cover for USS Bole.


USS Bole cover on B318. 
The only difference between the two covers shown above is the top is a CREW (no B number and the lower cover has B318 printed on it at the bottom of the cachet.

 


Above: Scans of Beck printing errors courtesy of Eddie Bizub Click HERE to see the additions to Beck Variety Covers
 
 

Scan courtesy of Dr Ross Smith

Variety. Note date in Cancel. It is the 18th and is upside down.
Click HERE to see the Beck covers for MA-9 Flight

 
 

B317 intended for USS Fletcher was distributed to at least 7 ships including USS Kearsarge, the PRS.


B323 was intended for USS Kearsarge, the PRS.  This cover was sold on eBay several times for $100-125 each.
 


Beck B322 postmarked USS De Haven



Note the added line below
 "Date of Recovery"

 

Scan courtesy of Charlie Hamilton.
 

Scan courtesy of Eddie Bizub

 

 

Scan courtesy of Tom Steiner
 
 
Top: B896 CREW   
Bottom: B896 Missing Green
 

November 11, 1943 Argonne, WI



November 11, 1943 Victory, VT

 

 


Scan courtesy of Eddie Bizub.


An example of B720 on a pure white envelope, the background appears green like it should.  This illustrates how the envelope tone influences the cachet color.
 
Beck 720 for AS 205 Apollo 7 Surfaces

USS Essex postmarked this Beck 720 cover for Apollo 7 and it is certainly one of the rarest Beck Space Cover ever!

For many years we only saw a photocopy of this cover and heard that it existed but not until Eddie Bizub sent us a scan could we confirm that it is real!

See more of the story at the link below.

See other Beck covers for this flight HERE

Another interesting point is the color of the background of the Beck 720 USS Essex cachet.  The USS Essex cover seems to have a yellow textured background while the others in the B716-720 series are green. SEE UPDATE

Updated April 29, 2009
Eddie, the owner of this cover has carefully examined his cover and is of the opinion that the appearance of the "yellow" background is due to the tone of the envelope it was printed on.  Therefore we should assume that the background color is not a variety and is consistent with all B716-720 cachets.

 


Scan courtesy of Eddie Bizub.
"Eddie Bizub Does it Again"

Digging deeper into his collection, Eddie sent us a scan we have been looking for.  It is B717 from USNS Vanguard used on Apollo 7

The appearance of a yellow background on this cover is due to the scan and the tone of the envelope.  The actual color of the cachets in the B716-720 series is consistent.



B940 CREW cover. No cachet number.
B940 CREW on eBay

See this link



USS Pierce, available ONLY to crew.


Scan courtesy of Eddie Bizub

 

MA-7 Beck for USS English

Project Mercury, Aurora 7, MA-7, May 24,1962.  M. Scott Carpenter.  Prime Recovery Ship (PRS) was USS Intrepid, but USS John R Pierce picked up the capsule. 

Now, we have seen scans of TWO Beck covers with printed cachets for this mission, USS Pierce and USS English.

The USS Pierce cover (top left) was made available ONLY to the crew of the USS Pierce and not to collectors.

The USS English cover is a mystery because we don't know the story about how it came to be.  Did Mr. Beck send the cover to the USS English for postmarking?  Did someone on the USS Pierce send the cover to the USS English?  How many did Mr. Beck make?

If you have covers for other ships with the printed Beck MA-7 cachet, please send us a scan for this site.

See more information here:

Space Cachet Pg      Un-numbered Series by Date Pg


We Need Your HELP!

Do you know the origin of this rubber stamp cachet?

 

If you know anything about this cachet please let us know.  Use the email link above.

If you have this rubber stamp cachet on a PRINTED Beck cover, please send us a scan for this site.

 



Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross J. Smith
B515 Cachet Was Printed on BACK of Cover

The very interesting TRIPLE CACHET cover shown here has the Beck cachet number B515 printed on the BACK of the cover.

The Project Gemini cachet was applied to the front of the cover
before it was sent to Mr. Beck.  Beck printed his cachet on the back of the envelope and then sent the envelope to the US Navy for postmarking. 

The US Navy applied the round cachet on the front.  There is one other example of a similar cover for GT-5 Beck 561. 

If you have any Beck covers with the printed cachet on the back of the envelope, please send us a scan to put on this site for reference.

See both examples HERE  (B515 and B561)

See other printing errors and varieties HERE
 



Scans courtesy of Covers*4*Collectors
Beck covers used for Combo First Day of Issue

The two covers shown at left were found on eBay being offered by Covers*4*Collectors.  These Beck covers have also have the FDOI cancellation of the 2000 submarine stamps.

See the Beck covers in the series listing using the links below:

Beck 646

Beck 514



Scan courtesy of L. Jallot


Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross J. Smith.


Scan from this site's listing for B622

  See note #4 at right
NASA logo

Your Help is Needed-Please Check Your Collection

A collector in France, Luc Jallot, sent us the scan at the top-left.  At first glance it looks like an unnumbered Beck printed cover for B622 but upon further inspection it could be a Navy applied rubber stamp cachet.

We examined all the printed B622-B627 and the US Navy applied rubber stamp cachets we have.  We carefully examined over a dozen USS Boxer Beck 622 covers and covers with the rubber stamp cachet.  We also asked Dr. Ross Smith to examine the covers in his collection and give us his thoughts.  Below is our collective observations. 

1.The blue rubber stamp (RS) cachet on the Boxer covers for this event are elusive.  Most covers with the RS are maroon in color or perhaps black.  If you have a blue or black RS cachet, please send us a scan and tell us how many you have observed in your collection.

2.The blue RS is hand applied and its location on the cover varies as seen in the second cover on the left.  The position of the cachet on the printed B622 cover is always consistent.

3. If you have a printed Beck cover without the B622 number for this event with a BLUE printed cachet, please send us a scan.

4.Take a look at the NASA logo on the left of this page.  Note how the red "stripe" overlaps on both sides of the blue circle.  On Beck's printed covers for B622 through B627, the left portion of the logo usually doesn't appear but it does on the RS cachets.  Remember that Mr. Beck supplied the (cachet design) rubber stamps to the US Navy for applying the cachet to covers sent to the US Navy by collectors.

5.(Not shown here) The USS Boxer cover was typically postmarked using a machine cancel shown at left.  We have one cover that bears the maroon RS cachet and the Boxer hand cancel.  In Cartier's book, he states "...scarce hand cancellation..."  No doubt about it, the hand cancel is hard to find and the value of a cover with the hand cancel is several times more than the machine cancel.  We have not heard of a B622 cover with the Boxer hand cancel.  If you have one, please send us a scan for this site.

6. Beck's printing log does not indicate how many unnumbered covers were sent to the US Navy as CREW covers, but his usual practice was to send 25 printed unnumbered envelopes for each cover design, 25 for B622, 25 for B623, etc.  Please send us a scan of any CREW covers with the PRINTED cachet you have for this Apollo space event.

See the Beck covers for this flight HERE

 



Scan courtesy of FlagShipGallery.  Sold on eBay April 11, 2009 $27
 
B873 Okinawa PRS Cover Sold on eBay for $27.00

The cover at left was sold on eBay by seller FlagShipGallery.  The cover is the autographed by Commander Coakley, the recovery pilot.

See the Apollo 15 Beck covers HERE



Wasp hand cancel 11/25/66.
Scan is courtesy of Dr. Ross J. Smith.

 
Beck 710 Wasp Hand Cancel 11/25/66

B710 Wasp hand cancel postmarked after the recovery date.  It is postmarked on November 25, 1966.  Actual recovery date was November 15, 1966.  The Wasp hand cancel on a BECK GTA-12 cover is VERY hard to find.   Scan is courtesy of Dr. Ross J. Smith.
 

See the GTA-12 Beck covers HERE



Missing silver color. 
Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross J. Smith.
 
Beck B515 Printing Error Found

Paul Huber, a retired US Navy Captain, dealer and collector found this very unusual Beck cover for the PRS USS Intrepid for GT-3.  The cover is missing the silver color.  The yellow and blue are printed normally.

See other printing errors and varieties HERE

See other B515 covers HERE




Scans courtesy of Steve Durst
Apollo 8 Recovery Newsletter-USS Yorktown
Steve Durst reports finding another unnumbered Beck on an unlikely cover, the USS Yorktown newsletter for the Apollo 8 recovery by the ship and cancelled on the recovery date, December 27, 1968.  The printed Beck cachet is orange and unnumbered, and really stands out.  Please see the scan of the USS Yorktown newsletter as mailed from the ship by the ship's Public Affairs Officer.

Steve has this cover in his collection and has inspected it and believes the cachet to be printed and not a rubber stamp.  It is similar to the US Navy rubber stamp cachet that Beck provided the ships.  It is in orange.  The usual rubber stamp cachets seen are mostly the maroon or black in color.

The cachet's right side is "warped" like seen in some other cachets using the rubber stamp.  It is very possible that the ship simply took a good copy of the rubber stamp design and printed it on their newsletters. 

Just to clarify, Mr. Beck did not print this cover, he only provided the cachet design to the US Navy as a rubber stamp.

If you have any more information on this interesting cover please let us know.

Special thanks goes to Steve Durst and Ross Smith  for their efforts on this story.



Scan Courtesy of Steve Durst
 
VERY Elusive GTA-12 PRS Cover

Shown is a scan of very hard to find B709 with Wasp hand cancel from Steve Durst's new book about Project Gemini event covers. Scan Courtesy of Steve Durst.

The hand cancel is seen on many GTA-12 Wasp covers with the Beck designed rubber stamp cachet, but the hand cancel on Beck 709 cachet is almost impossible to find.  This is the only one we have seen in over 40 years.  If you have one in your collection, please send us a scan.
 



Scan courtesy of Pete Thorsell of Petestamps
 
ASTP Cover Sold on eBay by PeteStamps-$76.00

Cover carried aboard the Apollo Soyuz (ASTP) Prime Recovery Ship, USS New Orleans and cancelled on its return to San Francisco on July 24, 1975. Cover has rubber stamp BECK cachet. The cover is signed by Stuart A Bergman, Dr G Wycliffe Hoffler, Arnauld E Nicogossian, Joseph Baker and John Donaldson. These individuals were aboard the ship to conduct the Inflight Lower Limb Volume Measurement (ASTP007) experiment on the astronauts. Possibly a unique item.  Text and scan courtesy of Pete Thorsell of Petestamps on eBay.



Scan courtesy of Pete Thorsell of  Petestamps
 
Beck 998 Autographed Cover Sold on eBay by PeteStamps-$31.00

Cover cancelled at San Francisco on July 24, 1975 with special Apollo Soyuz pictorial cancel. Cover has Beck Cachet #B998. The cover is signed by M. A. Artuso, CDR, USN CTF130 Recovery Officer. This cover may have on board the USS New Orleans for the recovery and cancelled on the ships return to San Francisco on July 24, 1975. Text and scan courtesy of Pete Thorsell of Petestamps on eBay.

   


Beck 880

Beck 881
Scans courtesy of Dr. Ross Smith

Why do Unserviced Apollo 16 Covers Exist?

The Navy imposed a two cover per collector limit on space flights.  If a collector sent more than two envelopes the Navy returned the covers to the collector in a separate envelope.  This explains why we see some space covers with stamps and not serviced.

Beck's printing log does not indicate a quantity for Apollo 16. He wrote a note in the log saying "Missed Counts on these"

He must have printed an excess number of covers for a special request or dealer because of the numerous covers postmarked in various cities.


Scan Courtesy of Steve Durst
Apollo 16 Beck 881 Titusville, FL Cover

Thanks goes to Steve Durst for sending us this cover to put on the site.  This Apollo 16 Beck cover postmarked at Titusville, FL on the recovery date is one of several different cities serviced by collectors and dealers.  We have seen about 10 different postmarks from cities. See here.

These covers were printed by Mr. Beck and sent to various collectors and dealers upon request.  The collectors and dealers sent the printed covers to various cities for postmarking.  This specific cover is addressed to George Goldey, a very well-known space cover dealer.


Scan Courtesy of Steve Durst
Apollo 17 CREW Cover Norfolk, VA

Thanks goes to Steve Durst for sending us this cover to put on the site. This CREW cover is Beck cachet 886.  We designate it as 886 because  this is the first usage of the printed cachet.  Only 886 and 887 have this cachet design for the Atlantic Recovery Force.  We have not seen any postmarks on 886 or 887 other than Norfolk, VA.  If you have one of these covers with a postmark other than Norfolk, please send us a scan.

 


Scan Courtesy of Steve Durst
Apollo 15 PRS Cover Crew Autographed Plus More

Thanks goes to Steve Durst for sending us this cover to put on the site.  This is a great cover and probably one of a kind with all the autographs it has.  Autographs are: Dave Scott, Al Worden, and Jim Irwin; NASA CapCom Dick Gordon; Recovery Pilot, Ship's CO and XO, and CTF-130 RADM Tom Hayward


Scan Courtesy of Steve Durst
BECK ERROR Surfaces Black Color Missing

Beck 958 Columbus Day cover ERROR cover. The cover at left is missing the black color.  At first, we thought it was a CREW cover because it didn't have a printed Beck number, but them we realized that it was missing a color!  Thanks to Steve Durst for sending us the scan.

See details here


Scan from Ray Cartier's book
We've updated the Space Cachet's page to include this important Beck space cover.

 

See details here


 
November 3, 2008
KSC Rubber Stamp Cachet applied to Beck cover.  Another unusual cover from the collection of US Navy, YNC Skelley. 

Scan courtesy of dealer Spaceflori, via eBay


Scan courtesy of Woody Witt
Beck 638 Boxer Cover Scan now on site

Thanks goes to Woody Witt, a Space Unit member, for sending us the scan of the Beck 638 Boxer cover.  We knew it existed, but could never find the actual cover.

 

   

Beck CREW 888.
Scan courtesy of Don Hensley.
October 27, 2008 Navy Day
Unlisted CREW cover identified by new collector. 

Also see story directly below on Beck 880

The Skylab II CREW cover shown at left was previously unlisted. This scan was sent to us by Don Hensley.  As you may remember, his uncle was on the Ticonderoga during the recovery. See story below.

This is the first CREW cover for Skylab II we have seen. FYI-We have designated this cover as B888 because it is the first number in the series where this Pacific cachet was used.

This story is from June 2008.  The Mystery of the Apollo 16 USS Ticonderoga Beck number 880 CREW covers may be partially answered.  For years, we have kept our eyes out for an example or scan of this cover.  It is one of the few covers that we couldn't find but believed it had to exist.  Don Hensley a new-collector found our Web site while researching his covers.  He wrote us saying that his uncle was a postal clerk on the Ticonderoga during the Apollo 16 flight and was on board during the recovery.  His uncle, now deceased, apparently got a hold of most or all the CREW (printed cachets without the usual Beck number) covers that Beck sent for this event.  Don sent us scans of over a dozen different CREW covers from the Ticonderoga with the HAND CANCEL.  Remember that the hand cancel was used in Hawaii and the machine cancel was left on the ship for crew use.  We don't know any additional details about how these CREW covers were serviced.  They all appear to be unaddressed.  It makes us wonder if the postal clerk actually serviced these covers on the ship that day.  If that is the case, then Hawaii wasn't the only place the hand cancel was used that day!

If you have any more details you can add to this subject please  email us



Scans courtesy of Graeme J.W. Smith
UNLISTED Beck covers

B317 Epperson

B317 De Haven

Both of these covers were located by USCS collector after searching his collection and comparing against checklists.  Note the covers are addressed to Edwin Lyons.  We have seen other interesting covers addressed to him .  Scans courtesy of Graeme J.W. Smith.

UNLISTED Beck cover sold on eBay.
October 20, 2008

Another cover from the same collector "Skelley" has sold on eBay. $104.50 with 11 bids.

Beck 653 shown at left was previously unlisted.  The cover is now listed on the detail pages for 653 and will be included in the upcoming checklist.

 


Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross Smith
UNLISTED Beck cover sold on eBay.
October 13, 2008

Dr. Ross Smith sent us a scan of a previously unlisted Beck cover for the GT-8 event.  USS Boxer machine cancel on B640.  It was included in a lot of two covers.  The other cover was the PRS Mason with a RS cachet.  Total price $61.  Needless to say Dr. Smith is delighted and we are happy for him, but "jealous"! !  This is a good example of how Beck collectors need to really examine the lots of eBay for treasures.  Many collectors saw this lot, include us, and didn't notice the B640 number.  I assumed it was  the common 634 and looked right over it.

 




Scans courtesy of RjiPhilatelics
Important Beck Covers Sold on eBay $100+ EACH
October 2008

Beck 463 USS Lake Champlain PRS $103.50

Beck 323 USS Kearsarge PRS $100.00


 
GT-5 CREW Cover Sold for only $11.50

Were collectors asleep?  What a bargain!


Scan courtesy of Pete Thorsell of PeteStamps
October 8, 2008

 The cover at left shows a machine cancel dated July 26, 2008.  See the updated detail page for B669.

Check your collection to see if you have any of these covers with the Jacksonville machine cancel.  Check the date to see if it is the 25th or 26th.  Please let us know what you find.

 


CREW cover = Beck printed cachet without cachet number.
October 1, 2008

CREW cover for Apollo 13 sold on eBay $19.95.  See the information about the color of the cachet on the detail page for this cover in the numbered series.   HERE

Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross J. Smith


Click on photo to enlarge
Scan courtesy of Pete Thorsell of PeteStamps

 
UNLISTED Beck Cover sold on eBay
September 25, 2008 UPDATED October 8, 2008
We noticed an unlisted Beck Space cover being offered in a lot of 40 different Beck covers on eBay.  The cover was for Gemini 12 and postmarked with a machine cancel at Providence RI.  Cachet B710.

The lot was purchased by the well-known eBay dealer Pete Thorsell of PeteStamps.  Pete sent us this scan of the cover. 
 


Above: Sold on eBay August 2008. $24.10


Above: Sold on eBay Sept 14 2008. Selling price $83.00 after 14 bids.

 

Both of the above covers were part of a 3 cover lot that included the common Beck 998 and 999 postmarked at SFO and Norfolk. So the point here is that the value of the lot sold was really with the July 25th cover from the USS New Orleans.



Dr Ross Smith sent the above scan of another cover from Ramkissoon's collection.  He reports that he paid $82 for the cover from a eBay dealer.


Very scarce Day After Recovery cover from USS New Orleans.  VERY few Beck covers actually made it to the New Orleans for postmarking.  Most went to San Francisco.
We believe that Beck printed cachets postmarked July 24th on the New Orleans do not exist so the 25th date is very important. 

August 27, 2008, Updated September 14 and 19, 2008,

ASTP Beck Cover Postmarked on USS New Orleans on the first day the post office was open to the public after the manned space flight recovery.

AMAZING, Just Amazing...still another of these covers surfaces on eBay from the collection of Dr. Ramkissoon.


The USS New Orleans covers shown at the left are only the third and fourth ones we have observed.  The top one was auctioned on eBay in August 2008.  The final selling price was a very low $24.10 in a lot with two other Beck ASTP covers. What a bargain this collector got. We suspect that not many collectors noticed this cover because it was in a lot of ASTP covers and offered during the prime summer vacation time. 

The bottom New Orleans cover was sold on eBay on September 14, 2008 after 14 bids for $83.00.

The value of these BECK covers, postmarked on the day after splashdown are estimated to be $125.  The covers shown at left are addressed to Dr. R. Ramkissoon.  He spent time on the USS New Orleans during the 1973 Skylab II flight and made friends with many crew members.  In 1975, Dr. Ramkissoon sent Beck printed ASTP covers that he obtained from Mr. Beck to his contacts on the ship for postmarking.  His special connection with crew members made for a very collectible cover. Today, Dr. Ramkissoon is an active space collector and is President Emeritus of the Space Unit.

We recently corresponded with Dr. Ramkissoon and he believes that he sent no more than 6 of these covers to the ship.  We have also seen one hand-addressed to Morris W Beck.  So perhaps 6-8 of these do exist.

Click Here to read more about PRS cancels for Apollo flights. 

See all five covers we have observed Click Here


Morris Beck Sailor's Mail.  Beck's handwriting sending a letter home. Est Value $15.  Scan courtesy of Paul Huber, Fairwinds.
Morris W Beck Sailor's Mail

Thanks to Paul Huber of Fairwinds for sending us this scan of a WWII Sailor's Mail from Morris W Beck.

Contact Paul for this and other Beck covers available directly from his stock.  Paul attends many stamp shows around the country.

Paul Huber Email: Fairwinds


USS Okinawa, PRS on MWB B874
Sold on eBay at $22.00, Sept. 2008

Scan courtesy of Dr. Ross J Smith

Beck cover B874, Apollo 15, PRS  USS Okinawa.
Updated September 4, 2008
 
This is the first one we have seen.  We heard that this cover existed, but have never seen it.  This cover sold on eBay for $22.00 after 8 bids, indicating collectors clearly saw the importance of this cover.

Perhaps this is one of just a couple of these that exist but for now this collector may be the only one to proudly own it! Congratulations.

If you have one of these in your collection please send us a scan.

Also see reference listing for Beck 874.

 


USS Fox with printed address makes an attractive cover.

Scan courtesy of Greg Ciesielski

Example of Printed Address on Beck Cover
August 2008

Greg Ciesielski sent us the scan of a Beck Naval cover for the launching of USS Fox with a neatly machine printed address. We have seen machine printed addresses on Beck covers but not many.  It does improve the overall appearance of the cover.

Collectors subscribing to Mr. Beck's event cover service sent him self-addressed envelopes with stamps on them for printing.

 
Many collectors used high quality "cotton bond" envelopes and many used peelable address labels because of the neat appearance.  They removed the labels upon return of the cover in the USPS mail stream.  Some collectors neatly wrote or typed their address on each cover.  Others had a their address machine printed on the envelope.  It was all a matter of personal taste.  Collectors usually sent Mr. Beck a supply of blank envelopes in lots of 25, 50 or more at a time, so addressing the envelopes took some time.  Having your address machine printed on the envelopes made sense. 
 
Today, 30 or 40 years later, the method of addressing is not as important as the overall quality of the cover.  In our opinion, a neatly addressed Beck cover holds as much value as a similar unaddressed cover.

Above: Fake Cancel on Beck cachet


Above: Genuine cancel on Beck cachet. Note that the color difference between the covers is simply due to different scans.   Also see B872
 

FAKE Cancel on Beck Cover Exposed!
August 2008

There is a VERY informative article in the August 2008 edition of the USCS Log. 

If you are not a member of the USCS you should seriously consider joining now!  Follow this link for membership information.

The article in the August Log is written by long-time USCS Member H-4456 Rich Hoffner.  With the help of fellow collectors Rich has compiled and presented information on Fake and Fraudulent Naval Covers.  The cover shown at top left is a sample of a Fake cancel on a genuine Beck cachet.
Scan courtesy of Rich Hoffner.

The scan at left is a Beck FDC (Scott #1529) and was sold on eBay in July 2008 for $36.00.  It is signed by Ed Gibson of Skylab 4.
Scan courtesy of RJIPhilatelics.
Beck Space Cachets and Data

If you are interested in the US Manned Space program and the recovery covers produced by Morris W Beck, make sure you see this article.

Click HERE

 



See More info on these covers

Morris W Beck Skylab Recovery Covers 896 and 897 with scarce postmark for this event.

New additions to our Web site June 2008.  Scans courtesy of Dr. Ross J. Smith, from his collection.  We heard these covers might exist but have never observed them with Beck numbered printed cachets.  We have seen the solid bar cancellation on CREW covers but not on cachets with the Beck number.

We do know that most cancels for this flight were applied in Hawaii.  Most cancels applied were the wavy line cancel. 

VERY few covers have the USS New Orleans cancel with the solid lines.  It is not known if the solid line cancels were applied in Hawaii or actually on board the ship. 

It is likely that the solid line cancel WAS on board the ship.  In any case, the SOLID line cancel is the cancel seldom seen. Please note that these two covers did not make it into the updated Beck cover checklist published June 4, 2008, but will be added soon.
 

Morris W Beck cover from the 1000 cover series, number 762 from Apollo 7 recovery task force.  This particular cover is special because it does NOT have the usual corner card seen on the USNS Vanguard covers.  This cover has the same Jacksonville machine cancel as the others, it just doesn't have the rubber stamped corner card.  Scan courtesy of "RJIPhilatelics", a seller on eBay. Click on the cover at left to see more covers from Apollo 7.
 
Good example of the postmark from the 1946 Navy Day cover from USS Bristol.   Scan courtesy of Rich of "Nalwife", a seller on eBay.

Scan from Dr Smith of the previously unlisted CREW cover for Apollo 14.
Long-time cover collector and space enthusiast, Dr. Ross J. Smith sent us this scan of another very elusive CREW cover that we've been looking for.  Prior to seeing this scan, it wasn't verified that a CREW cover existed for this ship for Apollo 14.  As Dr. Smith said, "it might not be a pretty cover but I am VERY happy to have found it.  Beck 861 CREW

If you have any BECK covers not shown on this Web site PLEASE email us a scan!
 

New Unlisted Beck (B317) covers from the Cooper manned space recovery.
Courtesy of Dealer Paul Huber of Fairwinds.


Click HERE

 


Scan courtesy of David Ball
 

This CREW cover was postmarked on Jan. 31, 1971 the launch date of Apollo 14 at Kennedy Space Center.
The only one we have every seen. See B841 Here

 



Scan courtesy of Dan Duffy
 
Examples of the "VIP label" seen on many CREW covers sent to VIPs during the space program.
Click HERE (B784) and HERE (B733) to see more information.
 

 

Unique and unofficial FDC Click HERE Sold on eBay April 2007.

 


Above: error-missing color

Above: Correct version

B874 Missing Black Color.  Also see Here
Scan of error cover, courtesy of Dr. Ross J. Smith

 

CLICK HERE to see past articles...


More older articles HERE

Even more older articles HERE
 

 

 Please note that the naval covers illustrated on this Web site are for reference only.
This is a private Web site for the enjoyment of collectors of navy covers. 
There are no paid ads or sponsorships on this site.
 


 

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Copyright 2000-2015 Owen R Murray.  All Rights Reserved.    Revised: Monday June 22, 2015.

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