Home What is a
Crew Patch?
Embroidered
Patches
Beta Cloth
Patches
Store Lion Brothers
Space Patches
< Gemini 12

Apollo 1

Apollo 7 >

Unlike all the subsequent Apollo missions, for Apollo 1 an embroidered patch was actually used on the space suits of the crew. It was only after the fatal fire that beta cloth patches were introduced in the place of embroidered designs for the space suits and in-flight garments.

Details on the right from various photos show the Crew Patch sewn in place on the crew's Apollo spacesuits.

The Crew Patch

Patch id:

Apollo 1 Crew Patch

Worn by crew? This patch design was worn by the crew on their white space suits.
Flown? Examples were intended to be carried on the flight as souvenirs.
Manufacturer: Stylized Emblem Co. of Hollywood, CA.
Distribution: Apparently distributed to the crew and a few NASA workers only.
Dimensions: 3½" / 89mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Very rare. Maybe 3 sold per year.
Value: Examples have sold for $132 to $1912 in recent years[1].
Notes: Although it closely resembles the AB Emblem version, the grey moon, fuller stars, and distinctive angle and style of the fill thread in the seas on the Crew Patch helps differentiate it.

Nearly all the examples coming to market in the last few years have originated from astronaut estates, with most from Deke Slayton's estate, a couple from Gordon Cooper's estate, and one recent example from Ed White's estate.

Other Embroidered Mission Patches

Patch id:

AB Emblem patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs.
Dimensions: 3½" / 88mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Scarce in bare cloth back form.
Value: Bare cloth back examples sell for maybe $5-22.
Notes: The vintage AB Emblem Apollo 1 patch is very close in design to the Crew Patch (see notes on the Crew Patch above for differences).

A sales pamphlet dating to around 1974 from Conrad Industries (the parent company of AB Emblem) says this in reference to their Apollo 1 patch:

"In deference to the tragic deaths of Grissom, White, and Chaffee in the space capsule fiew, we were reluctant to offer their Apollo 1 emblem for sale. But, because of so many requests for this Apollo emblem, we now feel making these historic emblems available in limited quantity would honor these men."

Although this section of text can't be explicitly dated the implication is that they only began producing this patch in around 1973 or 1974 which would explain why their bare cloth back Apollo 1 patches are so scarce.

Patch id:

Lion Brothers patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Lion Brothers
Distribution: Was available commercially.
Dimensions: 3½" / 89mm
Type: Partially embroidered on yellow twill. Merrowed edge without 'tail' (selvedged).
Scarcity: Scarce.
Value: Examples sell for around $15-30.
Notes: The Lion Brothers Apollo 1 patch is easily recognized by the yellow outer border. Note that a rare plastic backed prototype version of this patch exists.
Patch id:

[AS1UNK1]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Likely Universal Commmemorative
Distribution: Unknown.
Dimensions: 3½" / 90mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Very scarce.
Value: Examples have sold for $33 to $130[2]
Notes: This patch from an unknown manufacturer looks similar in some ways to the crew patch (e.g. a grey moon) but the stitching is more crude overall. In particular the detail on the 'snub-nose' CSM is lacking.

I believe this patch was likely produced by Universal Commemorative of Los Angeles, CA, since I've seen it sold with their Apollo 11 and 12 patches several times. In addition the detail of the stitching on the reverse of the border matches their other patches perfectly.

3" Embroidered Mission Patches

Footnotes

[1] Prices fetched by Apollo 1 crew patches at auction:
    Regency/Superior Spring 2006 Space Auction lot 737 sold at $805
    Regency/Superior Spring 2007 Space Auction lot 317 sold at $780
    Regency/Superior Spring 2007 Space Auction lot 321 sold at $1035
    Regency/Superior Fall 2007 Space Auction lot 318 sold at $1150
    Regency/Superior Fall 2007 Space Auction lot 319 sold at $1200
    eBay item no. 150162616063 Oct 11, 2007 sold at $1000
    eBay item no. 150183106593 Nov 21, 2007 sold at $895.95
    Swann Spring 2008 Space Auction lot 96 sold at $1470
    Heritage Fall 2008 Space Auction lot 41162 sold at $1792.50
    eBay item no. 260294789083 Oct 7, 2008 sold at $1500 (GC COA)
    Lunar Legacies Space Auction lot no. 163 sold Jul 11, 2009 at $4485 15 patches sealed in packet.(inc buyer's fees).
    Bonhams Space Auction Jul 16, 2009 lot 126 sold at $1037 (GC collection).
    eBay item no. 170387303861 Oct 2, 2009 sold at $1247.22
    eBay item no. 170415009804 Dec 14, 2009 sold at $1100
    Lunar Legacies Spring 2010 auction lot no. 199 Sold Mar 6, 2010 at $862.50
    Bonhams Space Auction Apr 13, 2010 lot 1143 sold at $1464 (GC collection).
    Heritage Auction Nov 17, 2010 lot 41038 sold at $1912 (Ed White collection).
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 1124 Jul 10, 2011 sold at $619.50 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 1125 Jul 10, 2011 sold at $590 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 1126 Jul 10, 2011 sold at $590 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 1127 Jul 10, 2011 sold at $678.50 [ex Al Rochford, suit tech]
    RRAuction Lot 304 Sep 22, 2011 sold at $720 (ex-Slayton).
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 435 Dec 3, 2011 sold at $708 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 436 Dec 3, 2011 sold at $708 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 437 Dec 3, 2011 sold at $690 [Slayton collection]
    Bonhams Space Auction Apr 26, 2012 lot 1143 sold at $1,500 (GC collection) CORRECTION: This patch was actually regular AB Emblem version.
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 406 Jun 30, 2012 sold at $552 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 407 Jun 30, 2012 sold at $576 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 408 Jun 30, 2012 sold at $576 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 712 Dec 1, 2012 sold at $336 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 713 Dec 1, 2012 sold at $216 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 714 Dec 1, 2012 sold at $132 [Slayton collection]
    eBay item no. 261161621757 Feb 3, 2013 sold at $361.59
    eBay item no. 251222412910 Feb 10, 2013 sold at $494.01
    Heritage Space Auction lot no. 40373 Apr 18, 2013 sold at $717 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 881 Nov 9, 2013 sold at $456 [Slayton collection]
    RRAuction Lot 371 Nov 21, 2013 sold at $572.40
    Bonhams Space Auction lot 191 Apr 8, 2014 sold at $1,875 (GC collection) CORRECTION: This patch is actually a regular AB Emblem version.]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 874 Apr 19, 2014 sold at $360 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 875 Apr 19, 2014 sold at $456 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 876 Apr 19, 2014 sold at $312 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 995 Jun 27, 2015 sold at $384 [Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 996 Jun 27, 2015 sold at $384 [Slayton collection]
    eBay item no. 262000913585 Aug 18, 2015 sold at $51 [with areas of missing thread]
    Lunar Legacies Auction lot no. 164 Nov 14, 2015 sold at $2261 [Ex-Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 1038 Dec 7, 2015 sold at $450 [from Slayton collection]
    Lunar Legacies auction lot no. 192 Jul 16, 2016 sold at $1547 [Ex-Slayton collection]
    Bonhams Space Auction lot 143 Jul 20 2016 sold at $1,625 (GC collection) CORRECTION: This patch is actually a regular AB Emblem version.
    Space Walk of Fame auction lot no. 39 Oct 29, 2016 sold at $900 [Ex-Slayton collection]
    Lunar Legacies auction lot no. 237 Nov 19, 2016 sold at $505.75 [Ex-Slayton collection]
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 1049 Dec 3, 2016 sold at $432 [from Slayton collection]
    Lunar Legacies Space Auction lot 137 Jul 15, 2017 sold at $505.75 [from Slayton collection]
    eBay item no. 162614569934 Aug 9, 2017 sold at $833.10 [3 patches with 1966 parts tag]

[2] Prices fetched by [AS1UNK1] patches at auction:
    eBay item no. 160207486128 Feb 17, 2008 sold at $42
    eBay item no. 180672567338 May 29, 2011 sold at $130 (with a US Sealab patch)
    eBay item no. 330586657342 Jul 17, 2011 sold at $129
    eBay item no. 320757689930 Oct 10, 2011 sold at $32.95
    eBay item no. 350497470255 Oct 15, 2011 sold at $33.79 [rough border]
    eBay item no. 141569067784 Feb 15, 2015 sold at $52
    eBay item no. 291509274381 Jul 6, 2015 sold at $17.50

< Gemini 12 [ Back to Top ] Apollo 7 >