Home What is a
Crew Patch?
Embroidered
Patches
Beta Cloth
Patches
Store Lion Brothers
Space Patches
< Apollo 7

Apollo 8

Apollo 9 >
Apollo 8 images

Identifying a crew patch for Apollo 1 and Apollo 7 is pretty straightforward, but Apollo 8 is a different story.

Apollo 8 crew post-flight

When they arrived on the U.S.S. Yorktown following recovery the crew were wearing betacloth flightsuits with betacloth patches.

They later changed into blue jumpsuits but, as can been seen in the photo on the right, these did not have an embroidered mission patch attached.

Since the crew did not wear an embroidered patch before, during or immediately after the flight there is effectively no embroidered patch that qualifies as a Crew Patch for Apollo 8. The closest we can get is a rare style of embroidered patch which was used in most official NASA presentations created at the time and examples of which were also flown on the mission. I refer to this patch as the Apollo 8 Crew Souvenir Patch.

Apollo 8 patch worn by technicians pre-flight

This particular version of the Apollo 8 patch was worn by some of the technicians on their coveralls during the pre- flight suit-up operations, as can be seen in the photo on the right.

Apollo 8 patch worn By Jim Lovell in 1970

It's also worth noting that James Lovell wore this particular version of the Apollo 8 patch in 1970 on his flight suit whilst in training for the Apollo 13 mission.

The distinctive segmented thread pattern on the seas is clearly visible in the photo (70-H-472) shown here.

Crew Souvenir Patch

Patch id:

Apollo 8 Crew Souvenir Patch

Worn by crew? Not at recovery time, but worn by Lovell on his flight suit in 1970 during training for Apollo 14. Apollo 8 crew souvenir patch
Flown? Yes. Examples were carried on the flight as souvenirs[1].
Manufacturer: Texas Art Embroidery.
Distribution: Very limited. Used by NASA on official presentations.
Dimensions: Unknown.
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge without 'tail' (selvedged).
Scarcity: Extremely rare. Only 3 examples seen sold in last few years.
Value: An unflown example sold recently for $793[2].
Notes: Difficult to distinguish from the AB Emblem Apollo 8 patch but recognisable by the distinctive segmented apperance of the light blue thread on the Earth. Also there is no 'tail' on the reverse of the Crew Souvenir patch.

This patch was recently confirmed as having been produced by Texas Art Embroidery for NASA.

Patch id:

Apollo 8 3" Crew Souvenir Patch [AS8UNK3i3]

Worn by crew? No. Apollo 8 3 inch crew souvenir patch
Flown? Yes. Examples were carried on the flight as souvenirs[3].
Manufacturer: Unknown.
Distribution: Unknown.
Dimensions: 3⅜ x 3" / 86 x 78mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with tail.
Scarcity: Unknown.
Value: Unflown examples have sold recently for $30 upwards[3].
Notes: Small souvenir patches were rarely used by Apollo crews or carried as souvenirs on missions but this 3" patch is apparently an exception as James Lovell has auctioned at least two examples which he apparently carried on the Apollo 8 mission as souvenirs.
Apart from Lovell, Anders also apparently gifted at least one example of this patch to a NASA worker shortly after the mission.

For this reason this 3" patch can be classified as a crew souvenir patch for the Apollo 8 mission.

Other Embroidered Mission Patches

Patch id:

AB Emblem patch

Worn by crew? No. AB Emblem Apollo 8 patch
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs.
Dimensions: 4½x4" / 115x100mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Uncommon in bare cloth back form.
Value: Bare cloth back examples sell for maybe $5-15.
Notes: The AB Emblem patch has black outlines around the Moon, Earth, and figure 8.
Patch id:

Lion Brothers patch

Worn by crew? No. Lion Brothers Apollo 8 patch
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Lion Brothers
Distribution: Was available commercially.
Dimensions: 4½x4" / 117x105mm
Type: Partially embroidered on blue twill. Merrowed edge without 'tail' (selvedged).
Scarcity: Scarce.
Value: Examples sell for around $15-30.
Notes: The Lion Brothers Apollo 8 patch has no black outlines in its design and the shadow on the Earth is two-tone. Note that a rare plastic backed prototype version of this patch exists.
Patch id:

Space Spin-Off Ltd. patch

Worn by crew? No. Space Spin-Off Ltd Apollo 8 patch
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Space Spin-Off Ltd.
Distribution: UK mail-in offer
Dimensions: 4" x 3 7/8" / 102 x 98mm
Type: Partially embroidered on blue cloth. Stitched border, cut edge.
Scarcity: Rare
Value: An example sold recently for $55[4]
Notes: This patch was offered to readers of Look-in magazine and Countdown magazine in the UK in February 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 blue cloth (not twill) with a cut edge.
Patch id:

Unknown manufacturer patch [AS8UNK1]

Worn by crew? No. Unknown manufacturer Apollo 8 patch
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: Unknown
Type: Fully-embroidered. Merrowed edge without 'tail' (selvedged).
Scarcity: Rare
Value: Examples sold recently for $62 to $72[5]
Notes: This patch from an unknown manufacturer looks similar to both the AB Emblem and the Texas Art Embroidery crew souvenir patch but there are distinct differences.

The shading on the moon and left side of the earth is grey like the TAE patch rather than the tan of the AB patch, and the crew name lettering is tall and narrow, similar to that of the TAE patch, however it doesn't have the segmented fill pattern in the ocean that is one of the key characteristics of the TAE patch.

The patterning on the moon is also different from both the TAE and AB patches, and there are distinct differences in the designs of the landmasses.

Only two examples of this patch have been seen to-date, both appearing at around the same time in close proximity to each other so it may have been a small-scale local production run.

3" Embroidered Mission Patches

Patch id:

AB Emblem 3" souvenir patch

Worn by crew? No. AB Emblem 3 inch Apollo 8 patch
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs
Dimensions: 3½ x 3" / 88 x 77mm
Type: Partially embroidered on blue twill. Merrowed edge with tail.
Scarcity: Common
Value: Minimal value
Notes: This is the AB Emblem small souvenir (3") version of the mission patch.
Patch id:

Dallas Cap & Emblem 3" souvenir patch

Worn by crew? No. Dallas Cap & Emblem 3 inch Apollo 8 patch
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Dallas Cap & Emblem
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs
Dimensions: 3⅜ x 3" / 86 x 78mm
Type: Partially embroidered on blue twill. Merrowed edge with tail.
Scarcity: Uncommon
Value: Unknown
Notes: This is the Dallas Cap & Emblem 3" souvenir version of the mission patch.
Patch id:

Cape Kennedy Medals 3" patch

Worn by crew? No. Cape Kennedy Medals 3 inch Apollo 8 patch
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Cape Kennedy Medals.
Distribution: Unknown.
Dimensions: Approx 3"
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with 'tail'.
Scarcity: Scarce.
Value: Unknown.
Notes: Previously noted as [AS8UNK3i1] this is the Cape Kennedy Medals 3" patch.
Patch id:

3" souvenir patch [AS8UNK3i2]

Worn by crew? No. Apollo 8 3 inch souvenir patch
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: 3⅜ x 3" / 86 x 78mm
Type: Partially embroidered on blue twill. Merrowed edge without tail (selvedged).
Scarcity: Unknown
Value: Minimal
Notes: This is one of several small souvenir versions (generally referred to as 3" versions) of the mission patch. This particular version is easily identifiable by the lack of a shadow on the left side of the Earth.
Footnotes

[1] Examples of crew patches identified as flown on the mission:
    Aurora Space Memorabilia auction Fall 2004 Lot 272A was a crew patch explicitly identified by Borman as having been carried on the mission.

    Heritage Space Memorabilia auction Fall 2007 Lot 25096 was a flown patch of this kind mounted with a flown flag. The whole presented by Frank Borman.

[2] Examples of crew patches sold at auction:
    Goldberg Auction Spring 2008 lot 368, eBay item no. 320232198100 Apr 11, 2008 sold at $552, included MFA medallion and signatures of Borman and Lovell. This values the patch alone at perhaps $400.
    eBay item no. 290658567655 Jan 22 2012 sold at $361.66, lot of 15 patches including one Apollo 8 crew patch. This values the Apollo 8 patch alone at perhaps $300.
    eBay item no. 160788373183 May 3, 2012 sold at $1,113.88 (mounted on wooden shield, ex Hal Collins)
    RR Auction lot 256 Apr 22, 2014 sold at $530.43 (mounted with Anders ISP, missing a letter)
    RR Auction lot 260 Apr 22, 2014 sold at $1,141.70
    eBay item no. 151550465612 Feb 1, 2015 sold with multiple crew patches
    eBay item no. 152945223342 Mar 21, 2018 sold at $1,599
    Lunar Legacies Space Auction lot 258 Oct 13, 2018 sold at $793

[3] Examples of flown & unflown AS8UNK3i3 patches sold at auction:
    Heritage Space Auction lot 41049 Apr 1, 2009 sold at $2,390 [FLOWN by James Lovell]
    Heritage Space Auction lot 40379 Apr 18, 2013 sold at $2,868 [FLOWN by James Lovell]
    eBay item no. 391978878263 Feb 13, 2018 sold at $99.99
    eBay item no. 112916514663 Apr 6, 2018 sold at $249.99 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 263672898664 May 10, 2018 sold at $169 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 372361281598 Jul 10, 2018 sold at $99.99 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 401557068151 Jul 23, 2018 sold at $165 [buy-it-now]
    eBay item no. 401630475372 Nov 17, 2018 sold at $30 [best offer]
    eBay item no. 123880088846 Aug 19, 2019 sold at $40- [with MFA coin]
    eBay item no. 123881912877 Aug 21, 2019 sold at $30
    eBay item no. 123880881806 Aug 24, 2019 sold at $50- [with MFA coin]
    eBay item no. 123885825523 Aug 26, 2019 sold at $50- [with MFA coin]
    eBay item no. 123893465765 Sep 2, 2019 sold at $57.90 [with MFA coin]

[4] Examples of Space Spin-Off Ltd. patches sold at auction:
    eBay item no. 131025305205 Oct 27, 2013 sold at $103.50
    eBay item no. 131417350484 Feb 6, 2015 sold at $79.25
    eBay item no. 141604989003 Mar 21, 2015 sold at $15.69
    eBay item no. 273940143410 Jul 27, 2019 sold at $55

[5] Examples of unknown manufacturer [AS8UNK1] sold at auction:
    eBay item no. 264481108176 Oct 3, 2019 sold at $72
    eBay item no. 153684966263 Oct 14, 2019 sold at $62

< Apollo 7 [ Back to Top ] Apollo 9 >