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The “father of American rocketry”, Robert Goddard, died in 1945, just as the American rocket program was to receive its biggest boost. In “Operation Paperclip”, U.S. military forces induced German rocket pioneer Werhner von Braun and over a hundred other German scientists to come the U.S. in exchange for immunity from war-crimes prosecution. (In some cases, records were falsified to make the Nazi scientists look eligible for immigration, so important was it to the U.S. Army that these scientists end up in the U.S. and not the Soviet Union.) Along with the scientists, the U.S. Army also brought back a number of A-4 rockets, better known as V-2 missiles. This is an example of an A-4 engine, mounted upside-down for stability. A number of early U.S. missiles were directly derived from the German design, most importantly the Redstone, about which more later. The white rocket on the left is a scale model of a V-2.
Copyright 2011, Garrett Wollman. All rights reserved. Photograph taken 2011-02-26.