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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 $140 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? No.
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: 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 is executed on thin beige cloth (not twill) with a cut edge.
Patch id:

GEMSCO 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: Unknown.
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. This implies that an oversize Apollo 16 crew patch which also lacked crew names [AS16UNK2] 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]

[2] Examples of crew souvenir patch sales:
      Swann April 2008 sale lot 147 [FLOWN Example].
      eBay item no. 120389214036 sold Mar 15, 2009 at $56.55.
      eBay item no. 120397488016< sold Mar 27, 2009 at $75.
      Astro-Auction item no. 61238869299 sold Mar 28, 2009 at $75.
      Regency/Superior April 2009 sale lot 284 [FLOWN Example].
      eBay item no. 120410366107 sold Apr 27, 2009 at $89
      Bonhams Space Auction Jul 16, 2009 lot 277 unsold [FLOWN Example from Gordon Cooper].
      eBay item no. 150360136114 sold Jul 26, 2009 at $28.75
      eBay item no. 140402343000 sold May 2, 2010 at $46.67
      eBay item no. 140449596020 sold Sep 12, 2010 at $30
      eBay item no. 110672162793 sold Apr 14, 2011 at $58.57
      eBay item no. 220800958544 sold Jun 24, 2011 at $70.78
      eBay item no. 250853890846 sold Jul 19, 2011 at $72 [with LB AS16]
      eBay item no. 280743218451 Sep 21, 2011 sold at $80 [lot including AS12 crew var 3, AS10 crew post-flight & AS14 crew souvenir patch]
      eBay item no. 140766981696 sold Jun 9, 2012 at $32.33
      eBay item no. 110894418676 sold Jun 14, 2012 [with many other patches]
      eBay item no. 180918781554 Jul 4, 2012 sold at $39.99
      eBay item no. 350585000730 Aug 8, 2012 sold at $34.33
      eBay item no. 150875174652 Aug 16, 2012 sold at $34
      eBay item no. 350588524774 Aug 25, 2012 sold at $34.77
      eBay item no. 180991597233 Oct 14, 2012 sold at $45
      eBay item no. 170928849958 Oct 25, 2012 sold at $26
      eBay item no. 230869358601 Oct 28, 2012 sold at $27.76
      eBay item no. 140876155596 Nov 4, 2012 sold at $16.76
      eBay item no. 181021194020 Nov 9, 2012 sold at $49.95
      eBay item no. 181037537921 Dec 12, 2012 sold at $29.02
      eBay item no. 390532421457 Feb 2, 2013 sold at $29.26
      eBay item no. 271144612450 Feb 9, 2013 sold at $9.99
      eBay item no. 111051964502 Apr 20, 2013 sold at $8
      eBay item no. 140973976931 May 19, 2013 sold at $202.50
      eBay item no. 380641457458 May 20, 2013 sold at $152.50
      eBay item no. 390607466754 Jun 9, 2013 sold at $152.50
      eBay item no. 370842246392 Jun 30, 2013 sold at $50.99
      eBay item no. 271277321435 Sep 14, 2013 sold at $9.99 [Buy-it-now]
      eBay item no. 130992990822 Sep 22, 2013 sold at $45.50
      eBay item no. 261299082903 Oct 8, 2013 sold at $26 [with other patches]
      eBay item no. 141106166685 Nov 9, 2013 sold at $32
      eBay item no. 251403951602 Jan 2, 2014 sold at $31.40
      eBay item no. 221362896342 Feb 24, 2014 sold at $129.99
      eBay item no. 261494275592 Jun 1, 2014 sold at $47.50 [buy-it-now]
      eBay item no. 131253929240 Aug 3, 2014 sold at $72.22

[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

[4] Examples of vintage silver border backup crew patch sales:
      eBay item no. 360260893448 sold May 9, 2009 at $39
      eBay item no. 120492508356 sold Nov 22, 2009 at $26.55
      eBay item no. 110535118933 sold Mar 19, 2010 at $66
      eBay item no. 300428731779 sold May 24, 2010 at $46.67 (with other vintage patches)
      eBay item no. 230496686568 sold Jul 15, 2010 at $11.05
      eBay item no. 230499272067 sold Jul 15, 2010 at $10.55
      eBay item no. 140475646981 sold Nov 14, 2010 at $96
      eBay item no. 130462542678 sold Dec 12, 2010 at $104.97
      eBay item no. 300508466709 sold Jan 2, 2011 at $19.95
      eBay item no. 300520191081 sold Feb 4, 2011 at $34
      eBay item no. 130499558104 sold Mar 26, 2011 in batch of patches
      eBay item no. 110721961500 sold Aug 4, 2011 in batch of AB patches
      eBay item no. 220867063339 sold Oct 8, 2011 at $37.01
      eBay item no. 140640909658 sold Nov 20, 2011 at $96.52
      eBay item no. 180796432228 sold Jan 23, 2012 at $52.98
      eBay item no. 200730142360 sold Mar 25, 2012 at $64
      eBay item no. 300695919078 sold Apr 21, 2012 at $41.99 [with other patches]
      eBay item no. 130707516459 sold Jun 9, 2012 at $50
      eBay item no. 110894418676 sold Jun 14, 2012 [with many other patches]
      eBay item no. 261069416443 Jul 24, 2012 sold at $72
      eBay item no. 130741374693 Aug 8, 2012 sold at $34
      eBay item no. 150872389304 Aug 11, 2012 sold at $43.99
      eBay item no. 170895182652 Aug 19, 2012 sold at $33.99
      eBay item no. 150881014172 Aug 24, 2012 sold at $51
      eBay item no. 140835619237 Sep 1, 2012 sold at $47.99
      eBay item no. 170928847687 Oct 28, 2012 sold at $59.95
      eBay item no. 181067130976 Jan 28, 2013 sold at $48.75
      eBay item no. 150985579202 Jan 29, 2013 sold at $35.07
      eBay item no. 251238379443 Feb 11, 2013 sold at $30.98
      eBay item no. 111051967597 Apr 20, 2013 sold at $8
      eBay item no. 261211632956 May 12, 2013 sold at $63
      eBay item no. 281123966157 Jun 23, 2013 sold at $22.38
      eBay item no. 151098066918 Aug 15, 2013 sold at $102.50
      eBay item no. 151109581567 Sep 2, 2013 sold at $33.50
      eBay item no. 251324826255 Sep 8, 2013 sold at $94.95
      eBay item no. 200960658905 Sep 15, 2013 sold at $34
      eBay item no. 281184026450 Oct 8, 2013 sold at $10 [buy-it-now]
      eBay item no. 370916614995 Oct 13, 2013 sold at $32 [buy-it-now]
      eBay item no. 171159032609 Nov 2, 2013 sold at $19.99 (with other patches)
      eBay item no. 161138231775 Nov 4, 2013 sold at $30.38
      eBay item no. 181266590201 Nov 28, 2013 sold at $140.45 [with many other patches]
      eBay item no. 131075627491 Dec 28, 2013 sold at $27.76
      eBay item no. 400636103572 Feb 5, 2014 sold at $45 [buy-it-now]
      eBay item no. 111274271586 Feb 13, 2014 sold at $14.25
      eBay item no. 360867034543 Feb 23, 2014 sold at $45
      eBay item no. 281286033485 Mar 19, 2014 sold at $28.58
      eBay item no. 221401222660 May 22, 2014 sold at $58.07 [buy-it-now]
      eBay item no. 390878949287 Jul 11, 2014 sold at $31.01

[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

[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

[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

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