Morris W. Beck
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
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
of all the ships on a recovery mission. The Navy wouldn't tell him the
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
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