Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Stamps & Covers
  Space Cover 11: Apollo 11 Bendix Cachet

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Space Cover 11: Apollo 11 Bendix Cachet
micropooz
Member

Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 06-28-2009 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 11 (June 29, 2009)

With the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 first manned moon landing rapidly approaching, all of us "Space Cover of the Week(ers)" are going to be showing you Apollo 11 covers until the end of July.

Space Cover #11, The Apollo 11 Bendix Contractor Cover

We will kickoff this Apollo 11 extravaganza with the Apollo 11 Bendix contractor cover. This cover was postmarked at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on the morning of July 16, 1969, the day that Apollo 11 was launched. It carried the US Apollo 8 stamp that was issued on May 5, 1969. The engraved cachet was printed by the Bendix Launch Support Division at KSC as a way to celebrate and promote their participation in the mission. It also carried a letter from Frank W. Vaughn, the general manager of Bendix Launch Support Division expressing pride in Bendix's participation in the flight, the accomplishments that led to the flight, and wishing God speed to the astronauts. This was part of a series of covers that Bendix issued for the launches of Apollo 4 through Apollo 17.

Such covers, produced by contractors of the space program are termed "contractor covers" and these constitute their own niche of space cover collecting. Many contractors have produced covers commemorating a launch or other flight activity over the history of the space program.

Often, these contractor covers were mailed to astronauts, captains of industry, or government officials. In the case of this cover, it was mailed to the Hon. James A. Byrne (D-Pa) who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1953 - 1972. Finding these addressed to such people is yet another fun challenge of contractor cover collecting.

If any of the rest of you have Apollo 11 contractor covers that you'd like to show off, please feel free to post them in this thread!

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 07-02-2009 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Bendix cachet covers for Project Apollo are perhaps some of my favorite space cover productions.

But for the record, Bendix also produced their cachet covers for three first day of issue events from 1967-69; the Gemini twin stamps, Apollo 8, and man's first lunar landing.

Some of the aerospace company's earlier cover issues included a letter inside the envelopes, as noted above, that were hand-signed by the firm's general manager.

During the Apollo era, the Bendix Launch Support Division at Kennedy Space Center was the prime contractor that provided technical and launch support services for numerous programs of NASA here at Kenendy. Altogether Bendix employed 2400 workers of the launch support division.

There were other aerospace company-issued cachet covers throughout Project Apollo; such as Grumman, Boeing, RCA, TWA, the Rocketdyne Stamp Club, KSC fire services, along with a few others.

But there is one in particular--a special issue production--from NASA itself! It contains a printed cachet along with a letter inside hand-signed by a veteran rocket pioneer. Just for the fun of it, as a trivia question, does anyone know what it is?

Apollo-Soyuz
Member

Posts: 868
From: Shady Side, Md
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 07-04-2009 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken- Could it be Kurt Debus?

------------------
John Macco
Space Unit#1457

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 07-05-2009 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John--A good guess, but it wasn't Debus. Actually, it was a close associate's of Debus as both knew/worked with each other since the 1940s. Are there anymore guesses?

Bob M
Member

Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-05-2009 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hans Gruene, Director, Launch Vehicle Ops., NASA/KSC, 1964-74?

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 07-05-2009 07:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob--Yep, it was Gruene. Perhaps we can later illustrate the #10 size cachet cover that was issued by his KSC-NASA Saturn Launch Vehicle Operations directorate for the historic launch of AS-506, or better known as Apollo 11. Inside each commemorative cover, after they had been postmarked from KSC on July 16, 1969, was a hand-signed letter from Gruene addressed to each LVO team member.

When Dr. Kurt Debus established the Experimental missile Firing Laboratory at Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, AL, Gruene was named his deputy. They were the first two employees of the organization which evolved to become the Kennedy Space Center.

Gruene's first look at the Cape Canaveral area was in 1952 when he and Debus drove down from Huntsville to inspect possible launch sites of the new Joint Long Range Proving Ground of the Cape and Merritt Island sites.

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 07-06-2009 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken and Bob -

Would this be it?

If so, thanks for clearing up a mystery for me! My copy did not have Gruene's letter in it, so I was never quite sure what to make of it.

Could somebody shoot a copy of their Gruene letter and e-mail it to me, so I can put at least a copy into my cover? Thanks!

Dennis

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 07-06-2009 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dennis, just saw your above post along with the illustrated cachet cover. The cover you have is the overall same cachet type that was printed for the LVO group. But there are variations from two-known different cover-produced groups. Gruene only included his personal letters inside cachet envelopes that were addressed/mailed from the KSC HQS bldg. post office to NASA/LVO civil service employees. Yours, on the other hand, was posted from Cape Canaveral (not KSC) on launch day and were used as commemorative souvenirs with a limited general distribution. I'll send Bob one of my Gruene signed cover-letters soon for scanning.

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 07-06-2009 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ahhh, ok! Thank you for clearing things up for me, Ken!!!

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement