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When they stepped out of the recovery helicopter onto the deck of the U.S.S. New Orleans the Apollo 14 crew were wearing dark blue jumpsuits with an embroidered mission patch attached.

The black and white photo KSC-71P-168 shows the patches fairly well (see detail above).

The photographic evidence shows that the patch worn by the crew on their post-flight jump suits is almost certainly the regular AB Emblem mission patch, as shown on the right here.

Since the regular AB Emblem patch worn by the crew is not rare it is not considered by collectors to be a 'Crew Patch'. Instead collectors tend to focus on the patch that was produced specially for the backup crew which showed the Roadrunner representing the backup crew already standing on the moon as the gray-bearded Coyote representing Alan Shepard and his crew arrives. Examples of this patch were hidden all over the spacecraft by the backup crew before the mission.

Later replica versions with the Road Runner outlined in red thread are not valuable. A modern replica of the original backup patch, complete with gold border, has recently appeared so collectors need to be wary of this.

The Crew Souvenir Patch & Backup Crew Patch

Patch id:

Crew Souvenir Patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? Yes. Examples of this patch were apprently carried on the flight as souvenirs.
Manufacturer: Unknown.
Distribution: Unknown.
Dimensions: 3¾ x 3½" / 99 x 90mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed border with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Rare. Perhaps 3 to 6 examples sold per year.
Value: Examples have sold in recent years for $30 to $202[2].
Notes: This patch looks rather similar to the Lion Brothers version, with a radially-patterned border and solid black shading on the moon, but the detail is more crude. The fact that is quite rare and that examples were carried on the flight as souvenirs makes it a valid Crew Souvenir Patch.
Patch id:

The Backup Crew Patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? Yes. Examples of this patch were planted on the flight as a prank by the backup crew.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem.
Distribution: Manufactured for the crew.
Dimensions: 4¼ x 4" / 108 x 98mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed border without 'tail'?
Scarcity: Very rare. Perhaps 4 examples sold per year.
Value: Examples have sold in recent years for $99 to $649[3].
Notes: The rare patch used by the backup crew has a gold border. A silver border souvenir version was also produced by AB Emblem in limited numbers, and various replicas of the backup crew patch have been produced over the years (some of which are identified below).
Note that the blue text below the Roadrunner is supposed to read "© 1971" "AB Emblem Corp".

Other Embroidered Mission Patches

Patch id:

AB Emblem patch

Worn by crew? Yes. These patches were worn by the crew on their post-flight jumpsuits.
Flown? Yes. Examples were apparently carried on the flight as mementos
Manufacturer: AB Emblem
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs.
Dimensions: 4½" / 112mm
Type: Fully embroidered . Merrowed edge with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Uncommon in bare back form.
Value: Bare cloth back examples sell for maybe $5-15.
Notes: The AB Emblem patch has a light gold colored border area with horizontal stitching.
Patch id:

Lion Brothers patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? Yes. Examples were apparently carried on the flight as mementos [1].
Manufacturer: Lion Brothers
Distribution: Was available commercially.
Dimensions: 4.7" / 119mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge without 'tail' (selvedged).
Scarcity: Scarce.
Value: Examples sell for around $15-30.
Notes: The Lion Brothers patch is slightly larger than the AB Emblem version and has much larger text. The outer gold area has distinctive radial threading and the astronaut pin symbol has white highlighting. It also has the number "14" embroidered in white thread upside down on the moon to the left of the star as a hallmark. Note that a rare plastic backed prototype version of this patch exists.
Patch id:

[AS14UNK1]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: 4¼" / 108mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge without 'tail' (selvedged).
Scarcity: Uncommon.
Value: Examples have sold for $18 to $35[5]
Notes: At first glance this looks like an AB Emblem patch but in fact it is quite distinct. The border is selvedged (tail-less). The outer area is dark gold with vertical threading. The inner white border is thicker than the AB version. The inner area is richer blue and vertically-threaded and the 'rocket' trail is quite different on this version.
The detail of the border stitching implies this is very likely from the same manufacturer as AS15UNK1.
Patch id:

[AS14UNK2]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: Unknown
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge without 'tail' (selvedged).
Scarcity: Uncommon.
Value: An example sold recently for $61[6]
Notes: An odd looking vintage patch of unknown origin. Recently an example was seen in packaging marked "SWISS EMBROIDERED EMBLEM".
Patch id:

[AS14UNK3]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: 4 x 3½" / 101 x89mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge without 'tail' (selvedged).
Scarcity: Uncommon.
Value: Examples sold recently for between $14 and $93[7]
Notes: This recently identified patch has a distinctive orange coloration. It looks somewhat similar to AS14UNK1 but has thicker trails behind the Astronaut symbol and lacks the round black craters on the moon.
Patch id:

Space Spin-Off Ltd. patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Space Spin-Off Ltd.
Distribution: UK mail-in offer
Dimensions: 4 x 3 5/8" / 102 x 92mm
Type: Partially embroidered on beige cloth. Stitched border, cut edge.
Scarcity: Rare
Value: An example sold recently for $118[14]
Notes: This patch was offered to readers of Look-in magazine and Countdown magazine in the UK in 1972, and was part of a set manufactured by Space Spin-Off Ltd. The design is executed on thin beige cloth (not twill) with a cut edge.
Patch id:

GEMSCO oversize patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: GEMSCO
Distribution: Uknown.
Dimensions: 5 x 4 3/8" / 128 x 111mm
Type: Fully embroidered? Stitched border, cut edge.
Scarcity: Very rare.
Value: An example sold recently for $105.09[15]
Notes: This unusual 5" patch was recently discovered on a GEMSCO display card. Apart from the size it is distinctive due to the lack of crew names. The size and lack of crew names is common to an Apollo 15 [AS15UNK4] and Apollo 16 [AS16UNK2] patch indicating that these too may well have been produced by GEMSCO.

Other Embroidered Backup Crew Patches

Patch id:

Backup Crew AB Emblem souvenir

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem
Distribution: Was available commercially
Dimensions: 4" / 101mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Fairly rare. Perhaps 6 examples sold in the last year.
Value: Examples have sold for anything from $20 to $105[4]
Notes: Almost identical to the Backup Crew Patch but with a silver border. This was apparently produced as a limited edition of 1000 examples in 1971, most likely using the same pattern as the Crew version with just a change of border thread color.
Patch id:

Backup Crew Patch replica

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Available commercially
Dimensions: 4" / 101mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge.
Scarcity: Common.
Value: Unknown.
Notes: This is a convincing modern replica version of the gold bordered patch. One easy way to identify the replica is that the "1ST TEAM" lettering in the flag in this version has the "ST" as large as the other letters. In the original version these letters are smaller, elevated and pretty unclear.
Patch id:

Backup Crew Patch modern AB Emblem version

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Available commercially
Dimensions: 4" / 101mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Common.
Value: Unknown.
Notes: This is the modern AB Emblem silver border souvenir version of the patch. Easily recognisable by the red outline on the Road Runner and the red shadow on the Earth. It has a plastic coated back.

"Beep Beep Your Ass" Patches

The "Beep Beep Your Ass" patches detailed below have often been cited as a reaction by Alan Shepard to the joke "Beep Beep" patch produced by the Apollo 14 backup crew, in which he was depicted as the aging (grey bearded) Coyote arriving at the moon after the speedy backup crew represented by the Roadrunner.

In fact the prominent checkerboard motifs are a pretty big clue as the real origins of this patch, which has nothing to do with the joke patch of the Apollo 14 backup crew. In reality the design is related to the Plymouth Roadrunner muscle car of the late 1960s through 1970s, which adopted the Roadrunner cartoon image for use in promotional material. This particular design was likely produced by fans of the rival Dodge muscle cars.

That said, there is circumstantial evidence that some NASA workers bought these patches and kept them as parts of their own private space patch collections. Most likely this was just because they seemed to make good companion pieces to the Apollo 14 backup crew patches, rather than because of any real link to Shepard or NASA.

The result of all this is that these patches have been actively hunted by space patch collectors over the last few years and due to the relative scarcity of these vintage patches the prices have often reached remarkably high levels.

3" Embroidered Mission Patches

Footnotes

[1] Examples of flown patches:
    Heritage Spring 2009 Space sale lot 41014 FLOWN Lion Brothers patch.

    Nate D Sanders April 12 2011 auction lot 123 FLOWN Lion Brothers patch [Ed Mitchell]
    Heritage Fall 2011 Space sale lot 41052 FLOWN Lion Brothers patch [Ed Mitchell]
    Heritage May 12, 2012 Space auction lot 41054 includes FLOWN Lion Brothers patch [Al Shepard]
    Heritage May 12, 2012 Space auction lot 41058 FLOWN Lion Brothers patch [Ed Mitchell]
    RRAuction Lot 558 May 23, 2013 at $2,404.80 FLOWN Lion Brothers patch [Shepard]
    RRAuction Lot 241 Apr 28, 2015 at $1303.4 FLOWN AB Emblem patch [Mitchell]
     Lunar Legacies Auction lot no. 308 Nov 14, 2015 unsold FLOWN AB Emblem patch [Mitchell]
    Lunar Legacies auction lot no. 360 sold Mar 11, 2017 at $1190 FLOWN AB Emblem patch [Mitchell]
    RRAuction Lot 8321 Apr 20, 2017 at $1,549.63 FLOWN AB Emblem patch [Mitchell]
    RRAuction lot 9172 Nov 16, 2017 sold at $2,230.73 FLOWN AB Emblem patch [Mitchell]

[2] Examples of crew souvenir patch sales:
   FLOWN examples:
    Swann April 2008 sale lot 147 [FLOWN Example].
    Regency/Superior April 2009 sale lot 284 [FLOWN Example].
    Bonhams Space Auction Jul 16, 2009 lot 277 unsold [FLOWN Example from Gordon Cooper].
   UN-FLOWN examples:
    2010: 2 examples sold at $46.67 & $30
    2011: 4 examples sold at $58.67, $70.78, $72 (with another patch) & $80 (with other patches)
    2012: 12 examples sold at $32.33, ? [with many other patches], $39.99, $34.33, $34, $34.77, $45, $26, $27.76, $16.76, $49.95 & $29.02
    2013: 11 examples sold at $29.26, $9.99, $8, $202.50, $152.50, $152.50, $50.99, $9.99 [Buy-it-now], $45.50, $26 [with other patches] & $32
    2014: 8 examples sold at $31.40, $129.99, $47.50 [buy-it-now], $72.22, $28.00, $69.95 [buy-it-now], $22.11 & $24.99
    2015: 5 examples sold at $29, $56.00, $27.52, $15 & $18.60
    eBay item no. 381516224221 Jan 17, 2016 sold at $12.49
    eBay item no. 401053842404 Jan 18, 2016 sold at $32.00
    eBay item no. 112179760215 Oct 31, 2016 sold at $14.90
    eBay item no. 281549471288 Jul 26, 2017 sold at $59.95
    eBay item no. 253099175308 Aug 16, 2017 sold at $15.99

[3] Examples of vintage backup crew patch sales:
    Astro-Auction item no. 1222042485 sold Sep 21 2008 at $350.01.
    Astro-Auction item no. 1222647806 sold Sep 28 2008 at $395.
    Astro-Auction item no. 1223267482 sold Oct 5 2008 at $580.
    Regency/Superior December 2008 space auction lot no. 197, December 19, 2008 sold at $305 (inc. fees).
    eBay item no. 400016690265 Dec 21, 2008 sold at $420.55
    eBay item no. 120409843354 Apr 28, 2009 sold at $310
    eBay item no. 170464593105 Mar 30, 2010 sold at $628.98 (with Evans COA)
    eBay item no. 140394985792 Apr 4, 2010 sold at $287.82
    eBay item no. 230459617520 Apr 9, 2010 sold at $350 (with other patches)
    eBay item no. 370417869006 Aug 13, 2010 sold at $58.99
    Lunar Legacies Space Auction lot 351 Feb 19, 2011 sold at $431.25 (inc. fees) [MIP with AB sticker]
    eBay item no. 190512306722 Mar 22, 2011 sold at $305
    Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 1254 Jul 10, 2011 sold at $649
    Lunar Legacies auction lot 344 Jun 2, 2012 sold at $271.40 (inc fees)
    eBay item no. 130710814243 Jun 17, 2012 sold at $151.51
    Direct private sales via AstroGallery web site Aug-Nov 2012 at $249 [several MIP examples from Al Bishop collection]
    eBay item no. 130775745594 Oct 7, 2012 sold at $208.50
    eBay item no. 321022534342 Nov 17, 2012 sold at $255 [MIP]
    eBay item no. 330835012185 Dec 2, 2012 sold at $199.99 [Buy-it-now]
    Regency/Superior Space Auction lot no. 131 Jan 11, 2013 sold at $154.70 (inc fees)
    eBay item no. 181075293160 Feb 8, 2013 sold at $345
    eBay item no. 251238378618 Mar 10, 2013 sold at $160.29
    eBay item no. 121086359433 Mar 31, 2013 sold at $153.25
    eBay item no. 111048256688 Apr 12, 2013 sold at $62.76
    eBay item no. 261211632751 May 12, 2013 sold at $255
    Regency/Superior Space Auction lot no. 239 May 24, 2013 sold at $505.75
    eBay item no. 190932442541 Oct 15, 2013 sold at $99.99 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 190932968929 Oct 18, 2013 sold at $93 [some condition issues]
    eBay item no. 251379949439 Nov 19, 2013 sold at $115 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 111292912184 Mar 10, 2014 sold at $139.50
    eBay item no. 221401231404 Aug 2, 2014 sold at $210.95
    eBay item no. 361101539599 Nov 9, 2014 sold at $149
    Astro-Auction item no. 1422733621 Jan 31, 2015 sold at $99
    eBay item no. 151550465612 Feb 1, 2015 sold with multiple crew patches
    eBay item no. 361350250315 Aug 20, 2015 sold at $185 [best offer accepted]
    RRAuction Lot 9398 Oct 23, 2015 UNSOLD
    eBay item no. 121858458791 Feb 1, 2016 sold at $179 [best offer accepted]
    eBay item no. 262972027889 Jun 2, 2017 sold at $195 [buy-it-now]
    Space Walk Hall of Fame Charity Auction lot no. 190 Jun 17, 2017 sold at $270 (with other patches)
    eBay item no. 252986257093 Jun 24, 2017 sold at $149 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 122683039087 Sep 4, 2017 sold at $175 [best offer accepted]

[4] Examples of vintage silver border backup crew patch sales:
    2010: 6 examples sold at $66, $46.67 (with other vintage patches), $11.05, $10.55, $96, & $104.97
    2011: 6 examples sold at $19.95, $34, ? in batch of patches, ? in batch of AB patches, $37.01 & $96.52
    2012: 12 examples sold at $52.98, $64, $41.99 [with other patches], $50, ? [with many other patches], $72, $34, $43.99, $33.99, $51, $47.99 & $59.95
    2013: 17 examples sold at $59.95, $48.75, $35.07, $30.98, $8, $63, $22.38, $102.50, $33.50, $94.95, $34, $10 [buy-it-now], $32 [buy-it-now], $19.99 (with other patches), $30.38, $140.45 [with many other patches] & $27.76
    2014: 7 examples sold at $45 [buy-it-now], $14.25, $45, $28.58, $58.07 [buy-it-now], $31.01, & $20.50
    2015: 8 examples sold at $29, $24.40, ? sold with another patch, $28, $26.01 with another patch, $21.47, $20.00 & $26.70
    eBay item no. 262224846037 Jan 8, 2016 sold at $21.00
    eBay item no. 121863136338 Jan 11, 2016 sold at $12.99 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 252228431003 Jan 15, 2016 sold at $39.95 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 111891776121 Jan 31, 2016 sold at $9.99
    eBay item no. 121881388662 Feb 7, 2016 sold at $18.57
    eBay item no. 111899180133 Feb 14, 2016 sold at $31.00
    eBay item no. 121895054587 Feb 21, 2016 sold at $17.80
    eBay item no. 121902925809 Feb 29, 2016 sold at $21.45
    eBay item no. 111922663572 Mar 8, 2016 sold at $31.75
    eBay item no. 121918350135 Mar 15, 2016 sold at $24.90
    eBay item no. 121926931594 Mar 23, 2016 sold at $25.25
    eBay item no. 121935121501 Mar 31, 2016 sold at $24.70
    eBay item no. 111969808822 Apr 21, 2016 sold at $25.99
    eBay item no. 111978548810 Apr 29, 2016 sold at $29.99
    eBay item no. 221650928924 Sep 14, 2016 sold at $19.95
    eBay item no. 162114594509 Sep 20, 2016 sold at $18.00
    eBay item no. 222197460995 Sep 22, 2016 sold at $19.95
    eBay item no. 112179776327 Oct 31, 2016 sold at $14.80
    eBay item no. 222197460995 Nov 7, 2016 sold at $17.95 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 201720164864 Nov 16, 2016 sold at $17.49
    eBay item no. 222197460995 Nov 24, 2016 sold at $17.95
    eBay item no. 221650928924 Feb 27, 2017 sold at $19.95 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 221650928924 Mar 8, 2017 sold at $19.95
    eBay item no. 221650928924 Mar 17, 2017 sold at $19.95 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 311842065750 Apr 12, 2017 sold at $13.17
    eBay item no. 221650928924 May 1, 2017 sold at $19.95 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 401340255376 Jun 8, 2017 sold at $18.00
    eBay item no. 221650928924 Jul 8, 2017 sold at $22.45
    Lunar Legacies Space Auction lot 238 Jul 15, 2017 sold at $71.40 (two patches)
    eBay item no. 263231656117 Oct 14, 2017 sold at $24.99

[5] Examples of AS14UNK1 sales:
    eBay item no. 170838849499 May 13, 2012 sold at $18.49
    eBay item no. 261387222180 Feb 22, 2014 sold at $35

[6] Examples of AS14UNK2 sales:
    eBay item no. 130647337428 Feb 19, 2012 sold at $46.59
    eBay item no. 130952262362 Jul 28, 2013 sold at $60.66
    eBay item no. 261439573780 Apr 6, 2014 sold at $69.00
    eBay item no. 371278554419 Mar 16, 2015 sold at $23.02
    eBay item no. 281740119871 Jul 6, 2015 sold at $26.01 with another patch

[7] Examples of AS14UNK3 sales:
    eBay item no. 140494432862 Jan 2, 2011 sold at $92.99
    eBay item no. 360339268088 Jan 30, 2011 sold at $33
    eBay item no. 360340199614 Feb 3, 2011 sold at $5.99
    eBay item no. 180789411631 Jan 7, 2012 sold at $49.99
    eBay item no. 170829455276 Apr 29, 2012 sold at $21.05
    eBay item no. 251061516319 May 14, 2012 sold at $10.00
    eBay item no. 251070071894 May 31, 2012 sold at $4.99
    eBay item no. 251070071889 May 31, 2012 sold at $7.38
    eBay item no. 251070071890 May 31, 2012 sold at $4.99
    eBay item no. 251076199349 Jun 8, 2012 sold at $7.66
    eBay item no. 310415277909 Jul 24, 2012 sold at $15.49
    eBay item no. 280956514628 Sep 9, 2012 sold at $14.08
    eBay item no. 140929245693 Mar 17, 2013 sold at $9.95
    eBay item no. 261313864051< Oct 27, 2013 sold at $36.00
    eBay item no. 360980233910 Jul 9, 2014 sold at $15
    eBay item no. 131367564212 Dec 14, 2014 sold at $5.20
    eBay item no. 201263764498 Jan 18, 2015 sold at $22.50
    eBay item no. 291376218633 Feb 15, 2015 sold at $34.50

[8] Examples of "Beep Beep Your Ass" [BBYAUNK1] patch sales:
    eBay item no. ? May 2010 sold at $179.04
    eBay item no. 270924409524 Mar 3, 2012 sold at $49.67
    eBay item no. 110894418676 Jun 14, 2012 sold at $203.65 with many other patches
    eBay item no. 140857303842 Oct 3, 2012 sold at $190.46
    eBay item no. 121009005514 Nov 6, 2012 sold at $179.02
    eBay item no. 140884093374 Nov 18, 2012 sold at $315
    eBay item no. 140894575301 Dec 12, 2012 sold at $143.02

[9] Examples of "Beep Beep Your Ass" [BBYAUNK2] patch sales:
    eBay item no. 230840936581 Aug 27, 2012 sold at $9.99

[10] Examples of "Beep Beep Your Ass" blue border [BBYAUNK3] patch sales:
    eBay item no. 181023111626 Nov 18, 2012 sold at $26.55

[11] Examples of "Beep Beep Your Ass" 3" red border [BBYAUNK4] patch sales:
    eBay item no. 400341454910 Nov 20, 2012 sold at $3.99

[12] Examples of "Beep Beep Your Ass" 3" blue border [BBYAUNK5] patch sales:
    eBay item no. 281018976438 Nov 11, 2012 sold at $76 [possibly mistaken for 4" version]

[13] Examples of "Beep Beep Your Ass" 3" blue border [BBYAUNK6] patch sales:
    eBay item no. 300806422937 Nov 6, 2012 sold at $11.11

[14] Examples of Space Spinoff patch sales:
    eBay item no. 121425148787 Sep 7, 2014 sold at $61.00
    eBay item no. 131417354330 Feb 6, 2015 sold at $117.91

[15] Examples of oversize GEMSCO patch sales:
    eBay item no. 111600026716 Feb 22, 2015 sold at $105.09

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