Corporal Missile

Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

This is the Corporal, America's first operational guided missile. The liquid-propellant Corporal was equipped with a conventional or atomic warhead and ranged 75 miles. It was guided by a beam-riding guidance system and gyro-controlled graphite jet exhaust vanes. Development of the Corporal was begun in 1944 by the California Institute of Technology's GALCIT (Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory, California Institute of Technology).

It was first succesfully Corporal fired in 1947. However, its development was slow and did not became operational until 1954. The Corporal was furnished to the U.S. and British Armies and was also stationed in Italy. The Corporal went out of service in 1966. This missile was donated to the Smithsonian in 1968 by the U.S. Navy.