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Morris W. Beck Naval Covers
 

Copyright 2000-2017 Owen R Murray.  All Rights Reserved.      Revised: Monday January 02, 2017.

 

 Morris W. Beck CREW Covers

WHAT IS A CREW COVER?
For each of the space issues and some other issues, Mr. Beck sent 25 printed envelopes to the US Navy.  These did not have, postage stamps, addresses or the "B" number printed on the cover.  The 25 covers were a gift from Mr. Beck to the ship's Captain and crew for handling the batch of collector's covers.  This is why it is called a CREW cover. Most of the CREW covers were given to senior crew members or VIPs on the ship.  Many of these people receiving the covers were not collectors and to them, the cover was just a memento of the space flight. 

Perhaps most of the crew covers are forever lost and either destroyed or sitting in some box of old navy papers that will never be seen again by collectors. That is why these CREW covers are so valuable.

Early in the Gemini program, Beck gave up trying to find out the exact names of all the ships on a recovery mission.  The Navy wouldn't tell him the ship names until it was too late to print and mail his covers.  His cachet printing log simply says GT-3 or Apollo 8 Pacific, etc.

So he created, for example, 4 different numbered covers for the Pacific Fleet and 3 for the Atlantic Fleet, (example only).  For each numbered cover he printed and sent to the Navy, he include about 25 CREW covers (without stamps and without address).  The Navy then took the covers and distributed them to the ships or VIPs.  There didn't seem to be a consistent method for the distribution and that is why we see several ships with the same Beck cover number.

We have no idea what happened to all the CREW covers he sent.  Sometimes they were sent to the secondary ships and perhaps (guessing only) they were all sent to the prime recovery ship.

The USS Boston CREW cover for the GT-3 was a real interesting find because the ship wasn't listed as an official secondary ship.  So somehow, someone had the cover and had it postmarked.  Another explanation is that Beck may have given some blank CREW covers to various collectors upon request.  I asked him this question but it was too long ago for him to remember details.

Owen R. Murray

 

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Reference Catalog, Checklist and BLOG for US Navy Cover Collectors
Compiled and Managed by Owen R. Murray, A member of the USCS #5676 since 1966, and ATA Space Unit #4500
This Web site has over 3,000 scans of Beck Navy and Event Covers with Reference Text.
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Copyright 2000-2017 Owen R Murray.  All Rights Reserved        Revised: Monday January 02, 2017.