Lot #3267
Apollo 13

Exceedingly rare flown Apollo 13 mission patch, sent by Lovell to his high school best friend six weeks after splashdown
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Estimate: $4000+

Description

Exceedingly rare flown Apollo 13 mission patch, sent by Lovell to his high school best friend six weeks after splashdown

Scarce embroidered Apollo 13 insignia patch carried into lunar orbit during man’s third mission to the moon, 4″ in diameter, affixed to the lower portion of a TLS from James Lovell, signed “Jim,” one page, 8 x 10, NASA letterhead, May 26, 1970, addressed to his old friend Lawrence A. Pavlinski of the National Highway Safety Bureau at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The letter, in full: “One of these days I am going to be long enough in Washington to come over and see you. That will be the day when I can see over the top of my desk and I finally hear no more about the problems of Apollo 13. Enclosed please find a patch of Apollo 13. This patch was flown onboard the spacecraft. Hope to see you soon.” In very good to fine condition, with creasing, toning, and staining to the letter; the patch itself is fine. Accompanied by an official 4.5 x 6 NASA invitation to the launch of Apollo 13, with the front bearing an affixed credential card issued as No. 4815 and signed by Pavlinski, with launch date of April 11, 1970. Pavlinski and Lovell were best friends while attending Juneau High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

While this flown patch is not the original 'crew version,' the style precisely matches with that of the flown variants produced by Lion Brothers, which are likewise quite rare and highly sought after. Only a handful of these flown Lion Brothers patches have appeared at auction in the past decade, with this example representing the first that we have ever offered. An impressive flown keepsake backed by a rock solid provenance letter from the mission commander, written only six weeks after his harrowing near-fatal flight.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space
  • Dates: #607 - Ended April 22, 2021