German rocketry site circa 1943. A first-generation V-2 launches in the background. The rocket bodies were camouflaged to avoid Allied reconnaissance.
Dr. Wernher von Braun holds a model of his V-2 rocket.
As director of the Development Operations Division of the ABMA, German space architect and Paperclip Op new hire Dr. Wernher von Braun headed up the design of the multi-stage rocket technology that would ultimately become the Saturn V. von Braun recognized multi-stage rockets were key to transporting any payload—be it civilian or military—reliably into the upper atmosphere and beyond. He was the father of the German V-2 rocket, the blueprint for all modern rocketry, and relied heavily on his experience with German rocket development once he arrived at Redstone. Of von Braun’s contributions to the space program and the extraordinary importance of the V-2 to U.S. Army space flight, ABMA Commander and Major General John B. Medaris remarked, “If rockets had biblical names, the V-2 would be Adam.”