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  Space Cover 112: Did USS Myles C Fox participate?

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 112: Did USS Myles C Fox participate?

Posts: 458
From: Northville MI USA
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 06-07-2011 09:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 112 (June 12, 2011)

Space Cover 112: Did the USS Myles C. Fox participate or not?

This is a follow-up to the Space Cover of the Week 92 which pictured a cover for the 10 day experimental deployment of the Apollo 11 Mobile Quarintine Facility (MQF) aboard the USS Myles C. Fox. Recently Florian Noller had an interesting item up for bid on eBay which contained a similar cover (but cancelled aboard the USS Myles C. Fox on April 29, 1969 instead the January 26, 1969 pictured in Space Cover of the Week 92) and a letter from:

Department of the Navy
Headquarters of the Commander
Manned Spacecraft Recovery Force, Atlantic
Task Force One Four Zero
Naval Air Station
Norfolk. Virginaia 23811
The letter dated March 21, 1969 was addressed to Mrs. Carole McCoy who was the Space Unit Astrophile Editor at the time who had inquired about the covers cancelled on the USS Myles C. Fox for this test. The letter reads in part...
Dear Mrs. McCoy,

Your letter of March 15 to rear Admiral P.S. McManus was forwarded to my office for reply.

The USS MYLES C. FOX, DD 829, has not directly participated in any of this country's space missions. However the FOX, along with USS GUADALCANAL (LPH 7) assisted NASA in conducting a ten-day operational test of a Mobile Quarantine Facility in January of this year...

Has not directly participated in any of this country's space missions... really? You would think of all organizations that the Manned Space Recovery Force Task Force 140 office in Norfolk would be able to know that the USS Myles C. Fox participated in not one but two earlier missions in the prior 6 years - Mercury-Atlas 9 and Gemini 8 in of all places the Atlantic Ocean as part of Task Force 140! This just goes to show that just because there is a document from an "official" source it can be wrong. As always Knowledge is Power!

Thanks to Florian for the image from his lot sold on eBay and the images below of USS Myles C. Fox recovery ship covers from Ross Smith's recovery ship web site.


Posts: 373
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 06-08-2011 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tom, things are not as simple as they seem. Firstly, it seems that the Fox was not officially involved in Gemini 8. As the very extensive USS Myles C. Fox website notes 'This was the mission that Fox aborted to attend to the fire aboard the Merchant ship MV Palma.'. A POD letter from the Fox written on her return to port states that three ships were diverted to aid the MV Palma, the USS Myles C Fox, the USS Caloosahatchee and the USS Charles P. Cecil. However, the Fox was diverted the day before liftoff while the other two were diverted during the mission. Hence the Fox did not actually participate in the Gemini 8 mission.

That leaves Mercury 9. On the previously mentioned website a cover from Mercury 9 with a Fox postmark is shown and this is followed by the request 'Anyone have info on its participation in Freedom 7 recovery'. Despite an extensive website there is no mention of Mercury 9. Given this and the above letter, one must ask whether the Fox actually participated in MA-9 or was it scratched at the last moment?

Then again, this would not be the first time the Navy was wrong with which ships participated in which mission! Another Navy letter even places a mythical Recovery Force in the wrong Ocean!

Any information on the USS Myles C. Fox and Mercury 9 would be appreciated.

All times are CT (US)

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