US Navy Covers and First Day Covers by Morris W. Beck

FREE Online Reference Catalog, FREE Checklists and BLOG for US Navy Cover and Space Cover Collectors
Compiled and Managed by Owen R. Murray, A "LIFE" member of the USCS L-5676 joined in 1966, and ATA Space Unit #4500
This Web site has over 3,500 scans of Beck Navy and Event Covers with Reference Text. 

Our 23rd year volunteering on this Morris W BECK site

 US Navy USS Jefferson SSBN 618
#1 First cover in the 1000 Navy Series. 1962
US Navy USS Enterprise CVAN-65 Aircraft Carrier
Special "S" cover USS Enterprise Est $85

Mercury Flight of Cooper
US Navy USS Hornet Apollo 11 Man on the Moon Moonlanding
USS Hornet-Neil Armstrong


Home     Morris W. Beck Cover Basics      About this Web Site    Beck Space Cachet Designs     Beck's Personal Covers   Autographs

 #6 USS Dace Overprint   Checklists     Cover Varieties Oddities     Beck's Messages    Postcard Messages to Customers

1943-1970's Events
     Nuclear Ships     Foreign    President Series     States Series    First Day Covers   

The Numbered Series    About the Series 
1-50    51-99 MA-8   S,100-150   151-200   201-250   251-299   300-350 MA-9   351-402   403-455    456-514 GT-2    515-569 GT-3, GT-4, GT-5   

GTA-6 GT-7   622-687 AS-201, GTA-8, GTA-9, GTA-10, AP-3, GTA-11        688-769 AS-202, GTA-12, AS-204, AS-501, AS-502, AP-7    

AP-8, AP-9, AP-10, AP-11, AP-12, AP-13, AP-14     842-899 AP-14, AP-15, AP-16, AP-17, SL-II, SL-III, SL-IV     900-951   952-1000 ASTP

 Small Rubber Stamps on Space Covers   Apollo PRS Postmarked in Hawaii    WHAT IS A CREW COVER?    Quantities

ASTP USS New Orleans July 25, 1975 onboard Cover   How postage rates affected collecting   Beck Printing Log

W R Skelley info and covers   Morris Beck Commercial Postcards

Copyright ©1999-2023 Owen R Murray, Retired USAF.  All Rights Reserved.      Revised: Thursday June 01, 2023.

A Resource and Blog for Collectors of Morris W. Beck Philatelic Covers. 
Owen R. Murray, Retired MSGT 20 yr USAF/ANG    About this site  

In memory of Morris W. Beck, 1926-2011, US Navy WWII Vet

Beck's 1000 set of covers is acknowledged as the most desirable US Navy Space Recovery covers


June 1, 2023

Cover addressed to Harry Gordon sold for $27.35

B574 CREW Correct Commission date is December 18

Sold for $30

If you can translate the note on the back of this cover
please send the English translation to us
 Owen R. Murray,

UPDATED Checklist for Beck's numbered series now available FREE for download

Updated Checklist shows 1555 Beck covers from the numbered series.

Now over 40 Pages in PDF format, FREE

Free Download CLICK HERE

There are 725 Space covers and 106 CREW Covers on the updated checklist

Sold for $77.77 on eBay  Reverse of cover is below with RS Skelley

Addressed to same K Becker as above.  Sold for $57.00  Probably handled by Skelley also.

This cover sold for $114.06

Another Wasp GT7 B603 addressed to Skelley  Sold on eBay for $19

Sold on eBay for $56


Previously unlisted.  Scan courtesy of Larry Johnson


The only one we have seen with a hand cancel

Scans courtesy of Larry Johnson  added 4/2023  This is a CREW cover (No Beck Number)

Scans courtesy of Larry Johnson


Scan courtesy of Ron Finger  See the different B494 HERE


Updated Beck Numbered Series 1962-1975 Checklist now available FREE download  39 pages  PDF


This CREW cover sold on ebay for $68.00  Listed as B823 CREW


Skelley Really Hit the Jackpot with all his Access to Recovery covers

Here is another B640 addressed to Skelley.  Note the cancellation on the stamp.  It is NOT the same cover as above.


Adding A Few Interesting Beck covers Sold on eBay One for Over $300

A GT-5 Crew cover.  Sold on eBay for $52

A bidder paid over $300 for this Beck cover addressed to Skelley, the Navy cover coordinator.
We are speechless!



Another example of Skelley's address label placed over an address on the envelope.
Remember that Skelley was the US Navy coordinator for covers.  Sold for $21.25

Do you know the origin of the two rubber stamp lines on a few of these covers. 
We know that Mr. Beck did not put these rubber stamps on covers.


An Early Beck 1943

Scan courtesy of Jeff Mills
A good example of Beck's very early Naval Covers.  Probably Beck's first printed cover. 
We asked him which was his first cover and he replied that he couldn't remember. 
This one was printed while he was in high school. 
He graduated from high school and joined the US Navy in 1944.



How Mr. Beck's cover service worked

Updated June 4, 2022
We've had some inquires from newer collectors trying to understand how Mr. Beck's cover service worked
and how there can be several covers from a recovery ship with different "B" cachet numbers.

Morris W. Beck of Wisconsin was a collector starting while in high school in the early 1940's and later was a
cover dealer after he returned from service in WWII. He stopped producing covers in the mid 1970ís.  

His most popular series of Naval covers was the set from 1962-1975 and consisted of 1000 cachets (covers).

He advertised his cover service in the philatelic newspapers offering to print a cachet on collectorís envelopes for a few cents each.

 He printed cachets for Navy ship commissioning, launchings, anniversaries, first day covers, etc.  
The most popular cachets (covers) were the space recovery covers.

Mr. Beck tried very hard to get the recovery force information from the US Navy as early as he could before a flight, but as
time went on, timely information became hard to get in time for printing and shipping deadlines.

Early in his efforts, he tried to print the name of the recovery ship on the envelope but that didnít work very well, so most of
his space covers DO NOT have the ships name on the printed cachet. (although the ships name does appear in the postmark

The US Navy had a coordinator  to receive space cover postmarking requests from collectors and dealers.  
Generally, the Navy had a 2 cover limit per collector, per event.  
Collectors sent their requests for rubber stamp cachets directly to the Navy.  
Mr. Beck was one of a number of dealers that provided the service of a printed color cachet.  

As a "side note" please note that Beck's printed color cachets and the rubber stamp cachets used by the US Navy were very
similar.  This is because Mr. Beck produced the rubber stamp cachets used by the US Navy. 
He sent them to the US Navy for each space flight at no charge.

Above Left: Envelope sent to US Navy by collector.  Navy applied cachet and postmark.

Above Right: Envelope with Mr. Beck's printed color cachet and "B Cachet Number".  Navy applied postmark only.

Both the example ASTP covers probably had address removable labels and both were sent to the collector as usual
mail after postmarking.

On the later Apollo flights you will notice that the image of the rubber stamp cachet that the US Navy used was smaller than the cachet Mr. Beck printed.  Large rubber stamps were hard for the US Navy to apply so they requested smaller images.  Remember that Mr. Beck provided the rubber stamp cachets to the US Navy free.

Mr. Beck's Naval Cover Service

Mr. Beck provided the service of printing a multicolor cachet on collectorís SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) envelopes sent to him.

Collectors could also send a SASE directly to the Navy for the single colornrubber stamp cachet and postmarking.   

For Mr. Beck's cover service, Collectors would send a supply (25-50) of SASE to Mr. Beck with a small service fee for cachet printing.

Using the information provided by the Navy regarding the total number of ships in the recovery force,
Mr. Beck would assign a cachet number accordingly, such as B 708, B 709, etc.

Look at some of the print log sheets Mr. Beck filled out that are shown on our site.

So if the Navy told Mr. Beck there would be 12 ships in the recovery force, then
Mr. Beck would print 12 different cachet designs and assign/print accordingly.  B708, B709, Cachet ID, etc.

Mr. Beck would print the multicolor color cachet on the envelopes sent to him by collectors.  
The printed multi color cacheted envelopes were sent by Mr. Beck in bulk to the Navy for postmarking.  
He prepared 400-1000 envelopes per ship according to his customers orders.  Most customers requested one or two covers of each event.
He packed all the envelopes for one ship into a bulk container marked accordingly.

When the Navy received the shipments of printed color cacheted envelops from Mr. Beck, they distributed the envelopes to the ships of the recovery force.

This is where it got ďmessyĒ because someone at the Navy opened boxes and redistributed envelopes without
regard to the various cachet ID numbers.
 So, ships received envelopes all mixed up.

We have an article about Beck's multicolor envelopes without the B number.  These are called CREW covers.  See article HERE


Beck Space Covers

This Duncan scan was sent to us by Charlie Hamilton

This Duncan scan was sent to us by Charlie Hamilton

We normally don't show newspaper clippings but this one is very interesting.

The Article About CREW Covers Is Totally Revised



CLICK HERE to see past articles...

CLICK HERE to see older articles...

More older articles HERE

Even more older articles HERE


Morris W. Beck Naval Covers for Collectors

Naval covers have been popular since about the time of Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet.  A naval cover is an envelope or postcard postmarked on board a naval ship.  The cover might commemorate a naval event such as a keel laying, launching or commissioning of a navy ship.  Other covers are simply sailorís mail that now has historical value for the postmark on the US Navy cover.

Collecting memorabilia from US Navy ships is a very interesting hobby and shares a piece of US Navy history.  Some people collect pictures, ash trays, lighters, photos, launching or commissioning programs, US Navy patches, and envelopes or postcards postmarked aboard US Navy ships.  Similar in appearance to a first day cover, a naval cover commemorates a US Navy event or simply be sailorís mail sent home with a letter enclosed.  In any case, these covers are very collectable.

Today, the Universal Ship Cancellation Society, USCS, in an international society where collectors of US Navy ship covers and postcards exchange information about their favorite collecting interests. 

Many collectors specialize in a special type of naval covers or envelopes.  Some US Navy veterans have a special interest in the ships they served on.  Ships like destroyers, aircraft carriers, submarines, battleship, etc.  Some collectors of first day covers or FDCs also collect navy covers as a specialty.

The US NASA manned space program and the US Navy recovery ships are also very popular subjects for naval covers.  The US Navy postmarks from the US Navy ships in the Atlantic or Pacific fleet that picked up the US space astronauts like John Glenn, Neil Armstrong or others are very popular.  One of the most desirable modern naval covers is from the USS Hornet that picked up the astronauts, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins after the Moon landing Apollo 11 NASA mission.  Dozens of US Navy ships participated in the US Space recovery program including, USS Hornet, USS Wasp, USS Intrepid, USS Lake Champlain, USS Guam, USS Mason, USS Randolph, USS Ticonderoga, USS Iwo Jima, USS Kearsarge, USS Okinawa, USS Essex, USS New Orleans, USS Guadalcanal, USS Bennington, and many others.  All astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab programs were recovered by US Navy ships.  There are covers for most of these events.  The covers for the earliest manned space flights are among the hardest to find.  Some of the most popular covers are for aircraft carriers, submarines, destroyers, battleships, and other types of US Navy ships.

Over the years there have been many individuals and groups produce some very attractive naval covers for US Navy events and space events including Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab manned space flights.  Morris W. Beck was a collector of US Navy covers and started a service to provide other collectors with quality printed US Navy, space covers, and first day covers. 

Beck served in the US Navy during World War II aboard a US Navy Destroyer.  Morris W. Beck covers are well known among collectors.  Beck produced a very popular series of 1000 US Navy event covers 1962-1975.  Beckís effort was a labor of love and his charge to service covers for collectors was only pennies per cover.   This web site is dedicated to the US Navy event covers, president series, state series, nuclear ships and first day covers (FDC) produced by Morris W. Beck. 





Home     Morris W. Beck Cover Basics      About this Web Site    
Beck Space Cachet Designs     #6 USS Dace Overprint  #220 USS Lowry
   Cover Varieties Oddities  Beck's Messages  Beck's Personal Covers  Astronaut Autographs
1943-1970's Events
     Nuclear Ships     Foreign    President Series     States Series    First Day Covers   

The Numbered Series    About the Series  1-50    51-99 MA-8   S,100-150   151-200   201-250   251-299   300-350 MA-9 
351-402   403-455    456-514 GT-2    515-569 GT-3, GT-4, GT-5    570-621 GTA-6 GT-7    622-687 AS-201, GTA-8, GTA-9, GTA-10, AP-3, GTA-11  
688-769 AS-202, GTA-12, AS-204, AS-501, AS-502, AP-7     770-841 AP-8, AP-9, AP-10, AP-11, AP-12, AP-13, AP-14  
AP-14, AP-15, AP-16, AP-17, SL-II, SL-III, SL-IV     900-951   952-1000 ASTP

Articles and Resources: NEW Small Rubber Stamps on Space Covers
Apollo PRS Postmarked in Hawaii    
Beck 929 Hawkins

ASTP USS New Orleans July 25, 1975 onboard Cover

How postage rates affected collecting       Beck Printing Log for Numbered Series

        Download Beck Cover Checklists   

This is an Online Reference Catalog.  Please note that the naval covers illustrated on this Web site
 are for reference only and not for sale.  This is a private Web site for the enjoyment of collectors of navy covers. 

Please send comments or questions to Owen R. Murray   

Copyright ©1999-2023 Owen R Murray.  All Rights Reserved.    Revised: Thursday June 01, 2023.

Hit Counter