Roamy here. Near the end of WW2, Wernher von Braun and many of the engineers and scientists working for him at Peenemünde wanted to surrender to the Americans, not the Soviets. The American commanders were quite happy to take the creators of the V-2 rocket into custody – the Pacific war had not ended yet, and they wanted every possible advantage. Operation Paperclip moved these men and some of their families first to Fort Bliss, Texas, then to Huntsville, Alabama, where they continued to work on their rockets. The Army Ballistic Missile Agency later became the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center.
Last month, Neil Armstrong (if you don’t know who HE is, shame on you) honored one of the last of the German scientists brought here by Operation Paperclip, Dr. Georg von Tiesenhausen, presenting him with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Education. Dr. Tiesenhausen is now 96 years old. He led the design of the Lunar Roving Vehicle. After retirement, he was a guest lecturer for Space Camp.
Armstrong’s no spring chicken, either. It was nice of him to travel here and honor one of the men who helped put man on the moon.