Space Cover #102, Special Message from USS Intrepid
Gemini 3, the 1965 manned space flight that sent Gus Grissom and John Young into space was launched on March 23, 1965. Here is an interesting cover sent on launch day from the USS INTREPID the aircraft carrier that recovered the craft and the crew.
My father, Paul Calle was assigned to the Intrepid to document in a series of drawings the recovery operations and the medical debriefing of the crew. He often told us of his time on the ship and the preparations he went through as they waited for the splashdown.
He set to work almost immediately after boarding the aircraft carrier to understand the layout of the ship, how and where the crew would arrive and most importantly what the procedure was for the debriefing. He asked members of the crew to run through the timeline and even set them up like Grissom and Young would be in order to prepare for where he would stand while sketching and asked the medical personnel to run through what they would be doing, where the crew would sit, etc.
While enroute to the area in the Atlantic designated for the splashdown my father sketched the captain, the crew, and the helicopter taking off to pick up the crew. One of my favorite drawings is a pen and ink sketch which later evolved into a four part series of large pencil drawings of the crew waiting in a long line to view the inside of the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" (see images 60-64).
What makes this cover really special to me is that it was mailed to me from my father. The letter enclosed on USS Intrepid stationary reads -
My Dearest Chris, Fun stuff!
I know that you can't read yet but perhaps some day you will find this letter of interest. It will be mailed to you on the day the first two man Gemini capsule is launched and this ship that your father is on picks it up after it's trip through space. I send you all my love and kisses,