Apollo 4 was the first test flight of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the workhorse of the Apollo program. This launch was a complete, "All Up" test of all of the major components of the Saturn V rather than a staggered iteration of various components separately. This was the first time the S-IC first stage and S-II second stage flew as well. The launch occured on November 9, 1967 and lasted 9 hours, culminating in a splash down in the Pacific Ocean near Midway Island.
The mission tested nearly all aspects of a Lunar mission including achieving parking orbit of the S-IVB and CSM, reignition of the S-IVB, simulation of a lunar return by the CSM and a CM splashdown.
This patch is a commemorative patch and was limited to 50 patches. The patch displays the identifications of the service, command and lunar modules as used on the mission. The separated S-IC second stage is visible and shows the S-IVB jetissoning the S-II stage. Three large stars are in memorial of astronauts Virgil Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, the three smaller stars symbolize the 3 orbits of the Apollo 4 mission. Artlist: Liem Bahneman