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.

Corporal Missile

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.

Collection Item Long Description:


ca. 1950-1958

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from U.S. Navy

Country of Origin

United States of America


Overall, non-ferrous metal, possibly aluminum; steel screws around body; white plastic inserts in at least two holes around base of missile.


Overall: 36 ft. 4 1/2 in. tall x 2 ft. 6 in. diameter, 2960 lb. (1108.71 x 76.2cm, 1342.6kg)

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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