HVAR Missile, Cutaway


Display Status:

This object is on display in the World War II exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a cutway of the 5-inch caliber HVAR (High Velocity Aircraft Rocket), also called the Holy Moses. It was an effective U.S. Navy air-to-surface missile against land and sea targets that began service in World War II and continued to be operational until 1955. The missile was primarily carried by Navy airplanes like the F4U Corsair, but was first used by the Army Air Forces against German targets near Lo, France, in 1944.

About a million HVARs were manufactured. The launch weight was 134 pounds, including 7.8 pounds of high explosive. Its speed was 950 miles per hour, and it had a maximum range of about three miles. This object was found in the collections of the Smithsonian.

Collection Item Long Description:


ca. 1944-1955

Inventory Number


Country of Origin

United States of America


Steel overall, with simulated propellant of wood; three felt rings, two outer and one inner, to cushion the fuze/igniter.


Overall: 5 ft. 7 1/2 in. long x 5 in. diameter x 1 ft. 3 5/8 in. wing span (171.45 x 12.7 x 39.62cm)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

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