This lapel button was part of the U.S. Navy's Distinguished Public Service award given to Dr. Charles S. Draper in December 1960. The award recognizes civilians who have made significant contributions to the U.S. Navy in a wide range of fields. Dr. Draper received the award for his work as Director of the Instrumentation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which developed the inertial guidance system for the POLARIS missile, America's first submarine-launched ballistic missile. The inertial guidance system contained a number of innovations that gave the missile far more accuracy, lower weight, and greater reliability than originally anticipated. Dr. Draper also won this award in 1956. Dr. Draper donated a collection of his awards, including this lapel button, to the National Collection in 1974.
Gift of Dr. Charles Draper