Crew & Mission

These two photo's of the Apollo-1 crew were taken on April 1, 1966 during the official crew photo sitting. (The official Apollo-1 crew photo S66-30236 was taken on April 1, 1966, so I presume that these two funny photo's were also taken on that date). The "praying hands photo" was given to Joe Shea by Gus Grissom and signed by all three crewmembers with the phrase: "It isn't that we don't trust you, Joe, but this time we've decided to go over your head".

The First manned Apollo mission was scheduled for launch in late February 1967. During the "plugs out" test on January 27, 1966 a fire broke out that killed the crew.

A Personal Story
..."The Apollo-1 patch was designed by the crew as all others were and had been approved. Since this was destined to be the first Apollo orbital flight, this was the prime theme. Names were not used after Mercury and the First Gemini flight, except radio call signs, which were required to differentiate between lunar modules and command modules. Therefore, Apollo-1 would never have been anything other than Apollo-1"...

Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, in; "All we did was fly to the Moon"


CA/D. K. Slayton January 20, 1967 AB/Deputy Director Apollo 204 patch I understand that Dr. Mueller approved the patch for Apollo 204, last June. Since then, it has been decided that the mission will most likely not be called Apollo 1. The approval of the patch is therefore temporarily withdrawn, and it may have to be changed after a firm designation for the mission is obtained. This is expected to occur next week at the earliest. No further releases showing this patch should be made. /signed/ George M. Low cc: CB/A. B. Shepard AP/P. P. Haney

Memo from George Low to Deke Slayton.

The Artwork

(June 1966, S66-36742) Emblem of NASA's first manned Apollo space flight, Apollo/Saturn Mission 204. Picture denotes Apollo spacecraft in earth orbit.

The patch for Apollo-1 was designed by Virgil Grissom and Roger Chaffee.

The Real Thing

The crew of Apollo-1 shown here in December 1966 at Launch Complex 34 at KSC.

Left: Ed White's mission patch before the fire. Center, right: Ed White's suit and mission patch following the fire.

Related and Souvenir

This design was made by the Roger B. Chaffee memorial fund.

Most commonly seen are these two versions of the Apollo-1 patch. Shown at left is the Lion Brothers version, which closely follows the artwork but has a yellow border. The AB Emblem version resembles the official patch (produced by Stylized Emblem Co. of Hollywood, Calfornia) shown at the top of this page. The AB-emblem version can be recognized, however, by the silver mylar used in the moon. Some people say the yellow border patch is the official patch and the black border was added after the fire. This is not true: on all phothographs taken with the crew on it, the crew wears the black border patch.

Shown below is a 3 inch souvenir version.

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