DescriptionGemini 12 Flown Embroidered Mission Insignia Patch Originally from the Jim Rathmann Collection. Originally obtained from Mission Commander James Lovell by Pete Conrad and presented to the Rathmanns. This 3" fully-embroidered patch flew on the last Gemini flight with James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin, November 11-15, 1966. The insignia features a Gemini capsule pointing toward the Roman numerals "XII" at top as if on the face of a clock. At left is a crescent symbolizing the moon- the ultimate goal of the Apollo program to follow this last Gemini mission. Beneath are the crew's surnames. Pristine condition.
Jim Rathmann was an auto racing champion and Indianapolis 500 winner who, after his driving career, opened a Chevrolet & Cadillac car dealership in Florida where he negotiated a deal with GM that would supply Corvettes, or a car of their choice, to the astronauts at a very advantageous price. His and the astronauts' "need for speed" and excitement led to some very close friendships being formed, which also led to Rathmann assembling an important collection of space memorabilia.
A copy of a two-page letter from Pete Conrad to Kay Rathmann discussing how he had gathered as many flown Gemini patches and medallions as he could for the Rathmanns' collection is included with this lot. It mentions that James Lovell had contributed this Gemini 12 patch.
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