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  Apollo 16 mission patch: variants and versions

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Author Topic:   Apollo 16 mission patch: variants and versions
Cascader
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Posts: 19
From: London,England, UK
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-03-2012 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cascader   Click Here to Email Cascader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After checking the Crew Patches website I found I had an orange border/chevron version of the Apollo 16 Lion Brothers patch.

Chris thought originally it might be prototype but maybe not? Are there others out there?

Kevin T. Randall
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Posts: 490
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 04-03-2012 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I have one example of this Lion Brothers patch.

fredtrav
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Posts: 996
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 04-03-2012 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As do I.

spaced out
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Posts: 2638
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-14-2013 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've just updated my site with what I now believe is a specific variant of the AB Emblem Apollo 16 patch that was worn by the crew after the recovery.

This idea was originally brought to my attention by patch collector Colin Burgess (not the author) but I wanted to get an example to examine in person which has proved a long wait.

It's not clear whether this variant was just an early version from AB that was also offered commercially like the Apollo 13 patch or whether it was more limited in distribution.

My impression so far is that it is if anything more uncommon than the Apollo 13 crew patch, although obviously the difference between this Apollo 16 variant and the regular AB version is less marked than that between the Apollo 13 crew patch and regular AB Apollo 13 patch.

One thing to be aware of is that later AB Emblem plastic backed patches quite often look similar to this variant.

In any case I'll leave it up to collectors to read my write up. Maybe it's more common than I think and many people already have an example in their collections.

Liembo
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Posts: 86
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-14-2013 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am amazed that 40 years after the fact that we can still find new potential discoveries such as these. I am just wishing the discovery occurred a day before I put the one example up for auction! I kid. I am glad it helped with this information. Good work!

spaced out
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Posts: 2638
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-15-2013 01:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Liem - But if you consider the luck involved in getting that lot of patches in the first place you didn't do badly at all, and you did get two examples.

It's not every day that a seller lists a lot of interesting patches like that, including a Gemini 12 crew patch, then sticks an arbitrary and very low buy-it-now on them, and blocks overseas bidders.

Actually it would be interesting to know if there was any background to that patch lot, because Gemini 12 crew patches weren't widely distributed.

The same seller has also sold a third example of these Apollo 16 patches, also with overseas bids blocked. I did advise them to remove the buy-it-now and list as an auction but they ignored me.

Kenny
New Member

Posts: 8
From: Johnson City, Tennessee USA
Registered: Nov 2013

posted 11-15-2013 08:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kenny   Click Here to Email Kenny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice work, y'all!

(...hastily drops computer and runs to the other room to check his Apollo 16 patch...)

Liembo
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Posts: 86
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-16-2013 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This means that every Apollo mission now has a distinct version that is at least slightly dissimilar to the common souvenir versions.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 438
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 11-17-2013 07:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cascader:
...I found I had an orange border/chevron version of the Apollo 16 Lion Brothers patch.
A couple of months ago I received a patch from eBay that was listed as a Lion Bros. patch, but missing the hallmark. I was interested knowing that Lion Bros. Apollo 16 have the hallmark, so I bid. When I received the patch ($12 if I recall correctly), it turned out the hallmark was there and the seller apparently didn't know what to look for. So I put it with the only other Lion Bros. Apollo 16 patch I have and never gave it a second thought.

Until now...

I just checked and the two that I have represent both versions. Then when I reread this thread I found from Chris' post above that many later plastic-backed versions look like this new orange variant as well. So I pulled my two out again and they are both cloth backed. So yes, here is another example of the orange bordered, cloth-backed version.

Maybe it's not as rare as first thought?

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 438
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 11-17-2013 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After my previous post, I again reread this thread from the start and want to make something clear for all.

There are TWO patches being discussed in this thread, one from AB and the other from Lion Brothers. This confused me when I read this so I want to point this out to others.

The OP talks about an orange bordered, cloth-backed patch from Lion Brothers. It is distinct from the usual yellow-orange bordered Lion Brothers patch and not to be confused with the later plastic-backed versions.

Chris talks about a newly discovered AB patch that qualifies as a crew patch, discovered by Colin Burgess. It has darker grey coloring in the background than the usual AB patch commonly found. This is indeed an AB patch, worn by the crew.

Also, to note, the Lion Brothers patch was NOT worn by the crew, but possibly flown as evidenced from the sales of them coming from John Young. Chris does not state on his website whether it was the usual yellow-orange bordered version or the orange-bordered version that was flown. So that is a remaining question. But he does state that 4 out of 5 of the flown examples sold from John Young were Lion Brothers patches.

Anyway, these two patches, this new AB crew version vs. the orange-bordered version from Lion Brothers, confused me for a bit when I was reading this thread so I wanted to point this out to avoid confusion for others.

Liembo
Member

Posts: 86
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-17-2013 02:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Lion Bros. orange border variation seems to be a difficult one to detect in an eBay photo unless it was posted adjacent to the common yellow Lion Bros. version. I would imagine that spotting it, by itself, in a photo would prove to be a very tough task without additional identifying marks...

Perhaps a number of people, who are satisfied with having the one in their collection may not know that they indeed have the scarcer version because they have no context. Even the "Purple" Lion Bros. Apollo 7 can be tricky to spot on its own.

I suppose if the orange thread matches the orange thread in another Lion Bros. Apollo patch, it could be identified that way when sold in a lot of patches. Gonzo: does the orange thread in your patch match the orange thread in any of your other Lion Brothers Apollo patches?

At least this "new" Apollo 16 A-B Emblem crew version is readily identifiable from the back.

Cascader
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Posts: 19
From: London,England, UK
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 11-17-2013 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cascader   Click Here to Email Cascader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just checked my "orange" version of Lion Brothers Apollo 16 patch. It matches the "orange" edge Apollo 11 Lion Brothers patch.

Liembo
Member

Posts: 86
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-17-2013 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's informative, but is that an orange bordered variant Apollo 11 patch as well? I was hoping for a common thread color to compare it to within the regular Lion Brothers Apollo line...

Gonzo
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Posts: 438
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 11-18-2013 05:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Liem - I'll check this afternoon when I get off work and post the result here. From memory, I believe it is the same orange on this Apollo 16/Lion Brothers that is on the orange Apollo 11/Lion Brothers. But I'll compare them this afternoon to be sure and post what I find.

Cascader
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Posts: 19
From: London,England, UK
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 11-18-2013 05:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cascader   Click Here to Email Cascader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What I meant to say was that the border of both patches is the same orange colour.

Gonzo
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Posts: 438
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 11-18-2013 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just listed on eBay (121217182912), a possible Lion Brothers Apollo 16 with the orange border?

mach3valkyrie
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Posts: 247
From: Albany, Oregon USA
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 11-18-2013 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mach3valkyrie   Click Here to Email mach3valkyrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw the same patch listed last week and asked the seller about it. He replied that "it's a standard period LB patch". It does look orange in the photo.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 438
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 11-19-2013 05:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To confirm what Cascader stated, the orange on both patches match. That is, the orange on the "orange" Apollo 11 patch is the same orange on the "orange" Apollo 16 patch.

This lends me to think that maybe it was just a substitution of colors for a given run for both patches? It really didn't signify anything other than someone used the wrong color when the run was produced?

spaced out
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Posts: 2638
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-19-2013 06:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It may well be that the orange thread was used on both the LB Apollo 11 and 16 patches for a while at the same time.

However, unlike the Apollo 16 variant, the orange border Apollo 11 patch also has another color switch with the pale blue detailing on the lunar surface and tail feathers being replaced by a mid grey color, which certainly seems like a deliberate change rather than a mistake or subtle color substitution.

Go4Launch
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Posts: 409
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 11-19-2013 09:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I bought what Chris correctly IDs as The Crew Patch at the time of the mission from a commercial source (I just can't remember where 41 years later), so I would think many of these were made, as opposed to some limited special run for the crew.

I noticed the lighter gray thread in a later AB patch several years ago and didn't attach much significance to it, since AB made many changes to its Apollo patches at different times in subsequent years, but I had never considered it to be "The Crew Patch."

Liembo
Member

Posts: 86
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 11-20-2013 01:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Go4Launch:
I bought what Chris correctly IDs as The Crew Patch at the time of the mission from a commercial source (I just can't remember where 41 years later), so I would think many of these were made, as opposed to some limited special run for the crew.
A-B's Apollo 13 "crew" patch was also available commercially (I have one in stapled KSC packaging), but apparently in much more limited quantities than the common souvenir version.. Actual numbers are probably impossible to determine, though.

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2638
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-20-2013 04:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking through old listings scans of Apollo 16 bare cloth back AB patches I've sold over the years I found 13 examples in total. These 13 patches were acquired from many unrelated sources over a period of years so they represent a random sample of the patch population, albeit a small one.

Of these 13 patches, 12 were the regular pale grey type and 1 looks to have been a Crew variant. So in this random sample only 7.7% of the patches are of the Crew variant which I would say implies a fairly limited production period.

AB presumably produced bare cloth back Apollo 16 mission patches from 1972 (or late 1971) through to perhaps 1977 (when plastic backings were brought in). Although they obviously manufactured in bulk during this period it is still a fairly short time-frame of around 6 to 6 1/2 years. If the Crew variant was produced for perhaps the first 6 months of this period that might have resulted in the kind of frequency we are seeing today.

For what it's worth, the lot of patches the Crew example came in also included an Apollo 13 Crew Patch and one of the silver border Apollo 14 backup patches, which we know were produced as a 'limited' run of 1,000 examples.

All times are CT (US)

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