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  Apollo 15 mission patch: variants and versions (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Apollo 15 mission patch: variants and versions
dmash4077
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From: Prattville Al
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posted 05-22-2007 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dmash4077   Click Here to Email dmash4077     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can anyone tell me the significance of the silver border (rather than blue border) Apollo 15 embroidered crew patches?

Jay
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posted 05-22-2007 08:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay   Click Here to Email Jay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been a collector for over 35 years, and I had never seen a vintage silver bordered Apollo 15 patch.

spaced out
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posted 05-23-2007 01:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know anything about these silver border versions, although I would like to get one some time just to see it up close.

Bill Hunt
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posted 05-23-2007 01:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This to me doesn't seem like any kind of particularly special patch, other than that it's a nice variation from the norm. I certainly wouldn't mind having one of the silver bordered variations, but I wouldn't pay too much for it.

dmash4077
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posted 05-23-2007 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dmash4077   Click Here to Email dmash4077     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just got a silver border patch in today, very good looking patch, and it is vintage with bare back. I am surprised we haven't seen these around before?

E2M Lem Man
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posted 05-24-2007 02:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My father went aboard the recovery carrier 'Okinawa' as it left Hawaii for California in 1971 brought his star-struck son some goodies:
  • A carrier recovery Jacket
  • a plastic Apollo 15 patch cup holder
  • and strangely — an Apollo 15 large patch with no crew names on it!
Has anyone seen this before? Why no crew names on the patch?

spaced out
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posted 07-18-2007 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whilst putting together my Crew Patches website I noticed that there appears to be a distinct hallmark present on both the silver and gold thread versions of the Apollo 15 crew patch.

I don't remember seeing this mentioned before. Does anyone know what it represents?

NB: Image since modified to take into account findings of thread.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Go4Launch
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posted 07-19-2007 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's interesting. I don't know, but at minimum it seems reasonable to think it may be an additional protective hallmark only added to the silver and gold versions?

Harald Kraenzel
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posted 07-20-2007 01:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you accept that the possible hallmark could be "4H" it might read "for Henry"?

The father of the actual President of AB Emblem (Mr. Bernie Conrad) was Mr. Henry Conrad. Maybe an uncommon thought but...

Harald Kraenzel
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posted 07-20-2007 02:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In addition to my earlier post (the hallmark reads "4H") it could also mean:
  • 4 for fourth moon landing
  • H for Hadley-Apennine region as the landing site

Harald Kraenzel
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posted 07-23-2007 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally I asked AB Emblem to tell something about these patches.

Today I received the following answer:

I checked with Mr. Conrad on the Apollo 15 patch. There is an XV stitched in the patch, but the other parts you were asking about does not seem to be part of the design. They are in two different locations on the patch leading me to believe they were not made by the same patterns. I have no true explanation for them.

spaced out
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posted 07-24-2007 01:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe if someone is going to SpaceFest they can ask Dave Scott. With a good clear printout of the two patches and the hallmark highlighted it might prompt his memory (if the crew were involved in that kind of detail).

Voskhod
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posted 07-24-2007 03:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Voskhod   Click Here to Email Voskhod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know Al Worden has the answer. At one of his Autographica talks in the UK he mentioned the XV to the right of the badge design and the other logo hidden bellow. Now here's the difficult important bit: I can't remember, but believe it is the initials of the patch designer.

Voskhod
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posted 07-24-2007 03:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Voskhod   Click Here to Email Voskhod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Found this on a website:
"The mission patch for Apollo 15 was basically designed by the Italian dress designer, Emilio Pucci. He was, as I best recall, an aeronautical engineer, and had a good feeling for flight... The symbolism is of three stylized birds flying over the lunar surface, each indicating one of us who were on the flight.." - Al Worden, Command Module pilot.
I remember Al Worden saying Emilio Pucci the designer included the symbol at the bottom of the patch.

spaced out
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posted 07-24-2007 05:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually Robert suggested this possibility when I mentioned the hallmark to him. I did a quick search but couldn't find a logo for his design work. I suppose the mark could be a stylized E with a P overlaid at the top...

Harald Kraenzel
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posted 07-24-2007 06:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was able to find the following link.

On the lower left you can see a writing where the first "letter" looks somewhat similar to the hallmark we are discussing here.

KSCartist
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posted 07-24-2007 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Harald, based on that link I believe you nailed it. That "4H" hallmark is Emilio's initials.

spaced out
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posted 07-24-2007 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice searching. It's actually the signature you spotted on the website that matches. I can't post an image here but if you look at the way the hallmark is written on the Silver XV version it's definitely the stylised "E" from the designer's signature.

The bottom open rounded hook in the website image is converted into a straight closed hook on the patch, but otherwise it's the same. On the gold XV version the hallmark is actually upside down.

Another mystery solved by the collectSPACE team.

spaced out
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posted 07-24-2007 11:58 AM     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 the webpage and the illustration of the hallmark. If you refresh the image in my first post you'll see my interpretation of the hallmark versus Emilio Pucci's signature.

edorr
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posted 07-24-2007 07:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for edorr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Too cool guys! It's just so exhilarating to see new stuff still being uncovered and shared about these older, pre-STS patches. I keep hoping to find stories to add to my site (which focuses specifically on such patches), but get discouraged about the prospects as the years roll inexorably past. Major kudos to you!

aerospace educator
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posted 07-26-2007 03:04 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the "hallmark" in question on the Apollo 15 patch is indeed that of the patch designer Emilio Pucci, why does it not show up in the NASA image of the official logo? The "X" and "V" are shown in the NASA image of the logo and are made from the shadowed edges of two and a half craters.

In the book "All We Did Was Fly To The Moon," Command Module Pilot Al Worden is quoted as saying:

The mission patch for Apollo 15 was basically designed by the Italian dress designer, Emilio Pucci.

We had as a crew evaluated some 540 different designs for our crew patch. They appeared either too mechanical or too complicated or to have nothing to do with the flight, so finally, through a mutual friend, we asked Pucci if he would help us with the design.

Now, Pucci, as I best recall, was an aeronautical engineer and had a good feeling for flight. With his artistic nature, we felt that he would be very helpful in the patch design.

He did send us a design which was basically the same as the patch we eventually used, however, the colors were in the normal Pucci blues, purples and greens. We took his design, changed it from a square to a circular patch, made it red, white and blue and put a lunar background behind the three stylized birds that were the major Pucci contribution.

The symbology is of three stylized birds flying over the lunar surface, each indicating one of us who were on the flight.

The lunar surface behind the patch shows the landing site (next to Hadley Rille at the foot of the Apennine Mountains) and directly behind the stylized birds is a crater formation that spells "15" in Roman Numerals.

You can also see from the stylized birds that they fly in formation with one on top and two closer to the lunar surface, indicating those who actually landed.

By this account, the Apollo 15 crew and not Pucci put in the lunar background that included the "XV.

Harald Kraenzel
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posted 07-26-2007 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can also ask, "Why does the upside down and slightly rotated "15" shown at the bottom of Lion Brother Apollo 15 patches not show up in the NASA official logo?"

And further on why do the initials of all astronauts and cosmonauts of that mission on the special 5-inch ASTP patches made by AB Emblem not show up in the NASA official logo?

These are special patches which all use the official logo as a base and have it modified following the needs.

And the both Apollo 15 patches discussed here are special patches having the "XV" stitched with silver and gold threat and therefore are not the official patches. Hence I think those special patches cannot be compared with the official NASA logos.

KSCartist
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posted 07-26-2007 03:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The fact that the initials or "4H" hallmark is not in the "official artwork" doesn't mean the anecdotal evidence presented here isn't accurate also.

Certainly arrangements could have been made to make a number of patches with the hallmark included.

Whether or not Pucci did this or one of the crew made those arrangements may never be known. If true, it would have been an appropriate tribute to the artist.

I wish I had thought of it when I worked on Expedition 11.

aerospace educator
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posted 07-27-2007 09:10 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry, I did not realize you were discussing fake patches.

spaced out
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posted 07-27-2007 10:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by aerospace educator:
Sorry, I did not realize you were discussing fake patches.

I assume you're being deliberately provocative with your flippant use of the word fake to refer to one of the rarest and most sought-after patches of the Apollo era.

Using the word 'fake' to refer to a patch made by the official NASA patch supplier for use in official presentations by NASA and for the personal use of the Apollo XV crew themselves seems to be a stretch.

I'm sure Scott, Worden and Irwin, did not consider these patches that were made especially for them to be fakes, nor did the leaders of every country who received one mounted next to a flag of their nation that had been flown to the moon on the mission.

In fact I would imagine the hallmark was added to these patches partly to help differentiate them from potential fakes or copies.

spaced out
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posted 07-27-2007 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
By the way, if you have one of these 'fake' patches I'd be happy to take it off your hands in exchange for a 'genuine' AB Emblem vintage Apollo 15 patch (as worn by the crew post-flight).

spaced out
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posted 09-10-2007 07:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know how I missed this at the time, but I just noticed this lot in the Aurora Spring 2006 auction. It's a handwritten note from Dave Scott to a Stan (presumably the person creating the crew patch) reading ' The "E" to be included in the surface of the design is formed thus :' followed by a drawing of the stylized "E" of Emilio Pucci. The lot also came with a copy of a letter from Pucci to Scott, the details of which are sadly not included in the listing.

lunareagle
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posted 10-02-2007 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunareagle   Click Here to Email lunareagle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In regard to the Pucci signature, the flown silver and gold Apollo 15 Robbins Medals with the misspelled Apenine landing site that are numbered 1-127 also have the Pucci insignia at 6:00 on the medal. The unflown restrikes with the corrected Apenine spelling that are numbered 128-304 had the Pucci insignia removed.

spaced out
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posted 02-11-2009 01:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I originally put the Apollo 15 page of my Crew Patches site together I found nice clear patches of the patches on the crew's recovery flight suits showing they were using the AB Emblem patch.

The images from photos taken at a meal onboard the recovery ship later the same day weren't so clear but I put the differences down to lighting angles and thread sheen. At the time it didn't really occur to me that they might have used different patches on different suits.

Following the realisation that the Apollo 12 crew did indeed wear different patches on their different suits I decided to take a better look at some of the other crews.

So, it looks like the Apollo 15 crew used a different patch on the flight suits they changed into after recovery, as shown in the images below.

The layout, border size, writing etc are all practically identical to the regular AB patch but the lunar surface has lots more dark areas and the "XV" is embroidered in grey thread rather then black.

It may be an AB variant but it's not one I've seen.

I'm hoping someone out there has an example so I can add a good scan to the site. Come on Bill...

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Voyager1975
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posted 02-11-2009 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Voyager1975   Click Here to Email Voyager1975     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It also looks to me that the "mystery patch" also has light blue trim around the border as opposed to the darker blue trim on all the other crew variants of this patch. Maybe it is just the lighting in the picture?

spaced out
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posted 02-11-2009 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The blue border does look a little lighter but it's difficult to be sure.

I've just updated the original pictures with a couple of higher-res scans thanks to J.L. Pickering of RetroSpaceImages.com. The details are much clearer now.

I'm still waiting for one of the usual supects to pull an example of this patch out of a drawer and send in a scan.

Voyager1975
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posted 02-11-2009 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Voyager1975   Click Here to Email Voyager1975     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds great! Also are you sure it is not a Lion Brothers patch?

spaced out
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posted 02-12-2009 03:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's not a match for any of the patch versions already in the gallery section of my site.

andrewcli
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posted 09-01-2009 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found out 4 proofs for the Apollo 15 patch were created by AB Emblems, the silver, gold, and black "XV." Any idea what the 4th one was? Could it be the one with the original Pucci colors of purple and green, or the one with the silver border?

Go4Launch
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posted 09-05-2009 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm extremely dubious that the "new" patch in question is anything terribly special. Most if not all of the variances mentioned could well be attributed to lighting, contrast, etc. -- even the lens used on the camera and the angle the photo was taken. It's also possible they may have just come from different production runs at AB, as Chris speculates. They are both AB-made for sure.

As for "proofs" -- again, I would highly-doubt AB would do a proof patch in Pucci's colors. Indeed, according to Worden, the crew turned down Pucci's color scheme at the same time they rejected his proposal of making it a square patch.

AB did make proofs with the outer "name ring" of the patch embroidered in both silver and gold mylar.

spaced out
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posted 09-05-2009 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My feeling today is that the 'mystery' patch is indeed the standard AB patch in unusual lighting conditions. Whilst most photos are in daylight, the above images were taken inside the recovery ship, probably under flash lighting. I think this gives the patches a completely different appearance.

I'll try to update the page on my site shortly.

Bill Hunt
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posted 09-05-2009 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know about the proof with the silver border, and I've seen an astronaut proof set with 1 black XV, 1 gold VX and 1 silver XV. The black XV patch is indistinguishable from the standard issue. So my guess is that the patch pictured is indeed a regular issue. Colors looking slightly different could be about lighting conditions and photochemical photo/age of photo issues. As for the border looking slightly different, this COULD be due to stitching around the border as well.

On edit: It could ALSO be one of the silver XV proof versions, and the angle of the light just makes the XV look gray in this photo. The one on the left in particular looks like it's got a lot of dark stitching/shadows that COULD be the artist signature.

spaced out
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posted 06-26-2012 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I came across a version of the Apollo 15 mission patch this last week which was new to me and by complete coincidence John Bisney spotted an example of the exact same patch whilst on a SpaceFest tour of the Pima Air & Space Museum.

My example was very discolored and had been previously mounted but it has a bare cloth back which makes it potentially vintage. That said, the fill stitch style visible in the outer white border and in the gray background areas looks to me to be quite modern so it may be a more recent reproduction patch.

With no manufacturer information to go on I've given this the AS15UNK3 identification on my site for now.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

p51
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posted 06-26-2012 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know what the original design was? Al told me last year that the original design was laughable and they only kept the three arrow shapes...

FFrench
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posted 06-26-2012 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Original design description on P.144 of "Falling To Earth."

And two later-draft designs can be seen on this page.


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