Apollo 5 (AS-204) - 22 January 1968 - Unmanned

Recovery Force Ships
Ship Type Designation Covers
USS Paiute SRS - Fleet Ocean Tug AFT-159 N
Not Involved
USS Escapei Salvage Ship ARS-6 Y
USS Hoist1 SRS - Salvage Ship ARS-40 Y
Tracking & Communication Ships
USNS Coastal Sentry TS - Atlantic T-AGM 15 N
USNS Rose Knot TS - Pacific T-AGM 14 Y
USNS Redstone TS - Atlantic T-AGM 20 Y
USNS Watertown1 TS - Pacific T-AGM 6 Y
Recovery Control Center
Norfolkii,1 Atlantic Recovery Control Center N/A Y (only 1 known)

Postmark Variations
Ship Description of Postmark Scarcity

USNS Rose Knot

Postmarked 26 January 1968 - Marked 22 January Scarce

USNS Rose Knot1

Postmarked 20 February 1968 - Marked 22 January Scarce

Interesting Cachets & Covers
Cachet Description of Cachet Colours Type

USNS Rose Knot1

Apollo Three Man Spacecraft Cachet Red Rubber Stamp


Notes General:
i) Steve Durst in his unpublished book comments that 'The role of USS Escape is not clearly defined for the Apollo 5 mission in reference works. It appears that the ship was capable of acting, and may have done so, as an “Abort Ship” for the mission of Apollo 5 and its operational LM in the event of an early termination of the mission or in the event of an emergency if USS Escape’s assistance and capability were needed. It is thought by the author that the ship participated in the Apollo 5 mission in this capacity'. However, the ship is not mentioned in the NASA Mission Report.
ii) Note that this appears to be an Apollo 4 (AS 501) Navy RSC with the 501 removed and a 204 added

Notes Other:
1) From the collection of Tom Steiner

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Last modified on 2 April 2011