This four-inch wide matte sticker is a reproduction of the shoulder patch produced for sailors and civilians assigned to the Glomar Explorer ship of the famed Project Azorian.
The Hughes Glomar Explorer represented the most audacious, expensive intelligence operation in CIA History. Initiated in 1971, with cooperation from eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, the project built a specialty ship designed to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from it’s final resting place, 11,500 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean. The ship got underway in 1974 with a cover story of mining manganese nodules from the ocean floor as a commercial venture. The crew, who wore this uniform patch, were successful in raising a portion of the submarine’s bow, which contained a ballistic nuclear missile, classified code logs, and the bodies of several Soviet crewmembers. The crewmembers were given a respectful burial at sea, and the intelligence collected proved a gold mine for the United States.