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When they stepped out of the recovery helicopter onto the deck of the U.S.S. Iwo Jima the crew were wearing blue jumpsuits with an embroidered mission patch attached.

The patches can be seen quite distinctly in these photos.

The images on the right (detail from color photos of the crew on board the Iwo Jima from the LIFE magazine archives) clearly show the embroidered patch.

The same design is visible on the jump suits of the crew in all photos taken on the Iwo Jima and again in photos of the crew receiving medals from President Nixon on their arrival in Hawaii.

This patch is the one recognized today as the Apollo 13 Crew Patch.

It seems that this patch was manufactured by AB Emblem, since examples have been seen in original KSC packaging and also seen in some sets of vintage AB patches. Since the more common AB design exists in bare back form this implies that AB changed their design sometime before the switch to coated backs in the late 70s. In fact, given the relative scarcity of this design I would assume that the change was made not long after the flight itself. Why AB Emblem should have changed the design of their Apollo 13 patch and no other is a mystery.

In any case, despite the fact that the patch as apprently available commercially to at least some extent it is still scarce enough to qualify as a Crew Patch.

The Crew Patch

Patch id:

The Crew Patch

Worn by crew? Yes. This was the design worn by the crew on their post-flight jump suits.
Flown? Yes. Examples of this patch were carried on the flight as souvenirs[1].
Manufacturer: AB Emblem
Distribution: Supplied to NASA but apparently also available commerically for a limited time.
Dimensions: 4" / 101mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed border with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Scarce. Perhaps 9 examples sold in 2010.
Value: Examples have sold in recent years for anywhere from $58 to $300[2].
Notes: This patch looks rather similar to the Lion Brothers version but has a distinct curving fill pattern on the sun, and craters on the lunar surface that are horseshoe shaped rather than round.

Note that a high quality modern replica of this patch was produced in 2013 by Skyforce Space Patches and is detailed below.

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? No.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs.
Dimensions: 4" / 101mm
Type: Partially embroidered on black velvet or twill. Merrowed edge with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Uncommon in bare back form.
Value: Bare cloth back examples sell for maybe $5-15.
Notes: The standard AB Emblem patch is very different to the design worn by the crew, with multi-colored horses and no craters on the lunar surface. It exists in two variants, one embroidered on a black velvety background and the other on black twill.
Patch id:

Lion Brothers patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? Yes. Examples were apparently carried on the flight as mementos [3].
Manufacturer: Lion Brothers
Distribution: Was available commercially.
Dimensions: 4" / 101mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge without 'tail' (selvedged).
Scarcity: Scarce.
Value: Examples sell for around $15-30.
Notes: The Lion Brothers Apollo 13 patch is similar to the crew version but the colors are subtly different. The sun's rays are also longer to the upper right. It also has the number "13" embroidered in palee thread in the mane of the horse on the left as a hallmark. Note that a rare plastic backed prototype version of this patch exists.
Patch id:

[AS13UNK1]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: 4" / 101mm
Type: Partially embroidered on black twill. Merrowed edge without 'tail' (selvedged).
Scarcity: Rare.
Value: Examples sold recently for $79 to $305[4]
Notes: This vintage Apollo 13 patch from an unknown manufacturer is similar to the crew version but lacks the black craters. The sun's rays are very similar to those of the Lion Brothers version.
Patch id:

[AS13UNK2]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: 3¾" / 95mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Stitched border with trimmed edge.
Scarcity: Rare.
Value: An example sold for $46.99[5]
Notes: A rather crude vintage patch of unknown origin. The only example seen to-date had been sewn to clothing and distorted by washing.
Note that a variant of this patch has now been identified - see AS13UNK4 below.
Patch id:

[AS13UNK3]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: 3 7/8" / 98mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Very rare.
Value: Examples have sold for between $76 and $230[6]
Notes: This vintage Apollo 13 patch from an unknown manufacturer has a striking blue background. A 3" version of the patch also exists.
Patch id:

[AS13UNK4]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: 3⅞" / 99mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Stitched border with cut edge.
Scarcity: Rare.
Value: The only example seen to-date sold for $143.75[7]
Notes: At first glance this looks to be the same as [AS13UNK2] above but in fact there are distinct differences in the details of the design, most obviously in the pattern of craters.
Patch id:

[AS13UNK5]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown.
Distribution: Unknown.
Dimensions: 4" / 100mm
Type: Partially embroidered on black twill. Merrowed edge with trimmed 'tail'?
Scarcity: Rare
Value: An example sold for $200[8]
Notes: This patch from an unknown manufacturer is apparently vintage. It features a distinctive 'joined-up' pattern of craters on the lunar surface.
Patch id:

[AS13UNK6]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown.
Distribution: Unknown.
Dimensions: Approx 3⅞" / 99mm
Type: Fully embroidered.
Scarcity: Rare
Value: Unknown.
Notes: This appears to be yet another variant on the AS13UNK2 and AS13UNK4 designs. This one is closer to the UNK4 version but the pattern of craters is different, as is some of the detail of the Earth and the horses' necks. The suns' rays have also been executed diffently in this version.
It is difficult to explain why the three examples of this kind of patch seen to-date are all distinctly different variants.
Patch id:

Space Spin-Off Ltd. patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Space Spin-Off Ltd.
Distribution: UK mail-in offer
Dimensions: 3¾" / 95mm
Type: Partially embroidered on black cloth. Stitched border, cut edge.
Scarcity: Rare
Value: Unknown.
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 appears to be based on the AB Emblem patch, but executed on thin black cloth (not twill) with a cut edge.
Patch id:

[AS13UNK7]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown.
Distribution: Unknown.
Dimensions: Approx 3⅞" / 99mm
Type: Fully embroidered.
Scarcity: Rare
Value: Unknown.[9]
Notes: This appears to be yet another variant on the AS13UNK2/4/6 designs. This one is closer to the UNK2 version (notably in the detail on the mane of the foreground horse) but again the pattern of craters is different.
Each patch of this kind seems to be a one-off, perhaps indicating they were hand made.
Patch id:

Crew Patch Replica by Skyforce Space Patches

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem
Distribution: Available from Skyforce Space Patches
Dimensions: 4" / 101mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with tail. Plastic backed.
Scarcity: n/a
Value: Available at $15.
Notes: This faithful replica of the Crew Patch was produced in late 2013 by Skyforce Space Patches, and is available to purchase here.

3" Embroidered Mission Patches

Footnotes

[1] e.g. Swann Spring 2006 Space Auction lot 138 and Heritage Auctions September 21, 2007 lot 25123.

[2] Prices fetched by Apollo 13 crew patches at auction:
     eBay item no. 360011897647 Jan 14, 2008, sold at $255.51.
     eBay item no. 220230959428 May 9, 2008, sold at $105.05.
     eBay item no. 190222867365 May 23, 2008, sold at $177.50.
     eBay item no. 360055426777 May 31, 2008, sold at $134.01.
     eBay item no. 320282494023> Aug 10, 2008, sold at $280.
     Astro-Auction item no. 1220817472 Sep 7, 2008, sold at $203.
     eBay item no. 400003234733 Oct 26, 2008, sold at $203.01 (with two other patches)
     eBay item no. 320336184354 Feb 2, 2009, sold at $158.06
     eBay item no. 220357989010 Feb 12, 2009, sold at $158.05
     Lunar Legacies Space Auction lot no. 304 sold Mar 14, 2009 at $167.25 (inc buyer's fees).
     eBay item no. 180341097831 May 9, 2009, sold at $46
     Lunar Legacies Space Auction lot no. 251 sold Jul 11, 2009 at $57.50 (inc buyer's fees).
     Lunar Legacies listing October 2009 offered at $75
     Lunar Legacies Space Auction lot 315 sold Nov 14 2009 at $66
     Lunar Legacies Spring 2010 auction lot no. 283 Sold Mar 6, 2010 at $115
     eBay item no. 170455582557 March 11, 2010, sold at $56.55
     Heritage Apr 21, 2010 auction lot 41126 sold at $1792.50 FLOWN example from James Lovell
     eBay item no. 140402341957 May 2, 2010, sold at $157.50
     eBay item no. 360280277247 Jul 19, 2010, sold at $56.55
     eBay item no. 120611780582 Aug 30, 2010, sold at $4
     eBay item no. 130433280255 Sep 26, 2010, sold at $105.49
     eBay item no. 360324238571 Dec 1, 2010, sold at $149
     eBay item no. 300505296039 Dec 15, 2010, sold at $10 (Buy-it-now
     eBay item no. 140489746929 Dec 19, 2010, sold at $57.75
     eBay item no. 350430299571 Jan 17, 2011, sold at $55.56
     eBay item no. 140507138839 Feb 6, 2011, sold at $149.21
     eBay item no. 160543685191 Feb 15, 2011, sold at $96.55
     Goldberg Space Auction lot no. 1245 Jul 10, 2011 sold at $236
     eBay item no. 250861025559 Jul 31, 2011, sold at $20.50 in batch of AB patches
     Lunar Legacies Auction lot 360 Aug 20, 2011 sold at $293.25
     eBay item no. 280770982001 Nov 14, 2011 sold at $49.99 [mounted with set of AB patches]
     Lunar Legacies Space Auction lot 271 Nov 20, 2011 sold at $115 (inc. fees)
     Heritage Fall 2011 Space sale lot 41029 Nov 30 2011 sold at $2,151 [FLOWN]
     eBay item no. 120827349401 Dec 16, 2011 sold at $76
     eBay item no. 110802827395 Jan 9, 2012 sold at $82.22 [with 2 other patches]
     eBay item no. 220925128679 Jan 9, 2012 sold at $78.51
     eBay item no. 320827213768 Jan 17, 2012 sold at $73 [with other patches]
     eBay item no. 290661542793 Jan 28, 2012 sold at $27.97
     eBay item no. 220948950442 Feb 13, 2012 sold at $46
     eBay item no. 280836501769 Mar 8, 2012 sold at $17.50 ['hidden' in set of patches]
     eBay item no. 220970826044 Mar 12, 2012 sold at $24.08 ['hidden' in set of patches]
     eBay item no. 110894418676 sold Jun 14, 2012 [with many other patches]
     eBay item no. 140777213848 sold Jun 24, 2012 at $63.01
     eBay item no. 130725163556 sold Jul 15, 2012 at $52.79
     eBay item no. 130764109221 sold Sep 16, 2012 at $77
     eBay item no. 261105835028 Oct 9, 2012 sold at $80
     eBay item no. 230869351822 Oct 28, 2012 sold at $57.50
     eBay item no. 181035559975 Nov 29, 2012 sold at $79.95
     eBay item no. 170960777213 Dec 27, 2012 sold at $85
     Bonhams Space Auction Lot 208 Mar 25, 2013 at $6,875 [FLOWN by Lovell]
     eBay item no. 130874686732 Mar 31, 2013 sold at $300
     eBay item no. 261287443961 Oct 6, 2013 sold at $144.60
     eBay item no. 400585217762 Oct 10, 2013 sold at $144.60
     eBay item no. 390686241543 Oct 25, 2013 sold at $149.99
     eBay item no. 181266590201 Nov 28, 2013 sold at $140.45 [with many other patches]
     eBay item no. 111256697940 Jan 20, 2014 sold at $72.80

[3] Flown Lion Brothers patches sold at auction:
     Bonhams Space Auction Jul 16, 2009, sold at $4270 (FLOWN by FH).
     Bonhams Space Auction lot 199 May 5, 2011, sold at TBD (FLOWN by FH).
     Heritage Space Auction lot no. 40439 Apr 18, 2013 sold at $2151 [FLOWN by Lovell]
     Heritage auction lot 40242 Nov 3 2013 sold at $3000 [FLOWN by Lovell]

[4] Prices fetched by Apollo 13 unknown manufacturer [AS13UNK1] patches at auction:
     eBay item no. 320360726229 Apr 20, 2009, sold at $305
     eBay item no. 140484009555 Dec 5, 2010, sold at $134.49
     eBay item no. 140536593497 Apr 24, 2011 sold at $153.49
     Lunar Legacies Space Auction Lot 305 May 21, 2011 sold at $165
     eBay item no. 261282581976 Sep 15, 2013 sold at $78.99
     eBay item no. 261439582175 Apr 6, 2014, sold at $189

[5] Prices fetched by Apollo 13 unknown manufacturer [AS13UNK2] patches at auction:
     eBay item no. 140496645063 Jan 10, 2011, sold at $46.99
     eBay item no. 251491801429 Apr 6, 2014, sold at $152.51

[6] Prices fetched by Apollo 13 unknown manufacturer blue background [AS13UNK3] patches at auction:
     eBay item no. 360227359743 Jan 24, 2010, sold at $143
     eBay item no. 320495048383 Mar 3, 2010, sold at $29.99 (poor condition)
     eBay item no. 320506825138 Mar 26, 2010, sold at $150
     eBay item no. 360287761555 Aug 8, 2010, sold at $228.05
     eBay item no. 220681874051 Oct 21, 2010, sold at $76.55
     eBay item no. 350503312571 Nov 5, 2011, sold at $230

[7] Prices fetched by Apollo 13 unknown manufacturer [AS13UNK4] patches at auction:
     Lunar Legacies Space Auction Lot 304 May 21, 2011 sold at $143.75

[8] Prices fetched by Apollo 13 unknown manufacturer [AS13UNK5] patches at auction:
     eBay item no. 180787261574 Jan 4, 2012 sold at $199.99

[9] Prices fetched by Apollo 13 unknown manufacturer [AS13UNK7] patches at auction:
     eBay item no. 301094356279 Feb 10, 2014 sold at $15 [buy-it-now with other patches]

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