This large medal was part of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service award received by Dr. Charles Stark Draper in 1970. It is the highest Department of Defense award a non-career civilian can be given. Dr. Draper received the award for the extensive work the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Instrumentation Laboratory he headed conducted in the areas of guidance, navigation, and control systems for various weapons systems, aircraft, and naval vessels. Dr. Draper donated a collection of his awards, including this medal, to the National Collection in 1974.
Gift of Dr. Charles S. Draper