Lot #2
Otto Berg's German V-2 Rocket Nose Cone Tip

Captured V-2 rocket nose cone fired from White Sands after Operation Paperclip

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Estimate: $2000+
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Captured V-2 rocket nose cone fired from White Sands after Operation Paperclip

Otto Berg's nose cone tip recovered from a captured German Nazi V-2 rocket fired as part of the Naval Research Laboratory's tests in New Mexico, measuring 3.5″ long with a diameter of 2.75″, with a hollow tip equipped with a pitot tube to measure the rocket's angle-of-attack. The piece is identified on affixed masking tape: "V-2 Nose Cone Tip, Nazi." In very good to fine condition, with expected damage from impact. Berg discusses the nose cone in his notes: "This is the tip from a German Nazi V-2 rocket nose cone. At N.R.L. we were given about 100 German V-2 rockets and we used them to explore space 10 years before NASA was even begun. After each firing each of us would go out in our private jeeps over the desert in Las Cruces, New Mexico, to find the rocket and the prize was to get the nose tip, because that was the highest point of the rocket in each record breaking firing."

In the aftermath of World War II, the United States launched the secret Operation Paperclip, a program that successfully recruited German scientists and engineers—most prominently Wernher von Braun—to work for the American military, and transported 100 captured V-2 rockets to the recently established White Sands Missile Range. Between 1946 and 1951, a total of 67 V-2 sounding rockets were launched from the site. These launches led directly to the further development of new rocket programs, ultimately leading to manned spaceflight.

From the collection of Dr. Otto Berg.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Science and Technology
  • Dates: #650 - Ended December 15, 2022