The Regency Superior auction from 4 June 2014 had the following wonderful lot (#70). It was described as
'A RARE prime recovery ship cover, letter and crewman photo from the 'USS Lake Champlain' for Alan Shepard's 15-minute, 22-second flight aboard MR-3. Photo of M.L. Lawrence, who wrote recipient a one-page letter briefly describing the recovery! A reporter aboard the ship advised that there were only 44 covers canceled, there may have been a few more from individuals aboard the ship (such as this one). This is the first we've seen with letter and photo. Cover has typical mimeographed cachet: 'USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN CVS-39 RECOVERY SHIP FROM THE FIRST U.S. MANNED SPACE FLIGHT 5 MAY 1961' and very fine strike of 'U.S.S.LAKE CHAMPLAIN' dated handstamp cancellation of May 5, 1961. Very fine.'
Opening Bid (as of 7 May) was $1050 with an estimate of $2000-$3000. Any cover from the USS Lake Champlain for MR-3 is rare but a cover from a member of the crew is even rarer. And this one not only has a photo of the crew member but also a letter from the crew member briefly describing the recovery! Possibly unique and the prize exhibit for any Recovery Ship cover collection.
The winning bid was $2737.
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Last modified on 5 June 2014