Air Force Space and Missile Museum
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Corporal

Corporal

Display location: Museum rocket garden

Type: Surface-to-surface guided missile
Designation: MGM-5
Payload: Conventional or nuclear warhead
Agency: U.S. Army
Contractor: Firestone Tire and Rubber Company

The Army had under development a ballistic missile research vehicle called the Corporal. Development began in early 1944 and was this country's first ballistic guided missile. The missile was declared operational in 1954, deployed overseas by early 1955, and withdrawn from service in 1964.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), an Army Ordnance laboratory organized by Dr. Theodore von Karman at the California Institute of Technology, was responsible for the development and testing of the Corporal. The Korean War hastened the development of a ground-to-ground system to extend the range over what conventional artillery could provide. To do so, the research vehicle Corporal was turned into a military missile system and management transferred from JPL to Redstone Arsenal.