The V-1 (Vergeltungswaffe Eins, or Vengeance Weapon One), was the world's first operational cruise missile. This name was given to it by Josef Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry, but the original Air Ministry designation was Fi 103, after its airframe designer, the Fieseler company, and the missile also had the cover names of Kirschkern (Cherry Stone) and Flakzielgerät (Flak Target Device) 76 (FZG 76). Powered by a simple but noisy pulsejet and carrying a one metric-ton, high explosive warhead, the V-1 was launched in large numbers at British and continental European targets from June 1944 to March 1945.
This artifact consists of V-1 center section, which was originally catalogued together with other missile sections. The donor is unknown, but it was likely part of the U.S. Air Force's large gift of mostly World War II artifacts to the Smithsonian in 1949.