This medal was part of the United States Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service award given to Dr. Charles Stark Draper in 1951. The award recognizes exceptionally distinguished service and accomplishments with significant Air Force-wide scope and impact, and is the highest award granted to a civilian. Dr. Draper received it for the extensive work that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Instrumentation Laboratory, which he headed, performed from November 1947 to September 1950 in the area of navigation, guidance and control for Air Force guns, bombs, rockets, and airplanes. He also received this award in 1960, 1967, and 1969. Dr. Draper gave the button to the National Collection in 1974 as a part of a donation of his numerous awards.
Gift of Dr. Charles S. Draper