Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Originally called Operation Overcast, Operation Paperclip was the codename for the operation by the US intelligence services and military to extract scientists specialising in rocketry (e.g. V-1, V-2), chemical weapons (e.g. Zyklon-B) and medicine from Germany after the collapse of the Nazi government during World War II. These scientists and their families were secretly brought to the United States, without State Department review and approval. None of them qualified for visas because they had all served to further the cause of Hitler's Third Reich in World War II.
Scientists were deployed at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico, Fort Bliss, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama to work on guided missile and ballistic missile technology, and led to the foundation of NASA and the US ICBM program.
Over 700 members of the Nazi scientific community were brought to the US as a direct result of Operation Paperclip, many of whom were still ardent Nazi supporters.
Although President Harry S. Truman gave explicit orders not to allow any scientists who were thought to have strong Nazi leanings to enter the US under Operation Paperclip, many dossiers were re-written to "clean-up" the histories of many of the scientists involved, to prevent them and their expertise falling into the hands of the Soviet Union.
Much of the information surrounding Operation Paperclip is still classified.
Separate from Paperclip was an even-more-secret effort to capture German nuclear secrets, equipment and personnel. See Operation Alsos. Another American project (TICOM) gathered German experts in cryptography.
- Wernher von Braun
- Bernhard Tessmann
- Arthur Rudolph
- Kurt Blome
- Major General Walter Schreiber
- Reinhard Gehlen
- Allen Dulles (Op architect)
- Alexander Lippisch
- Hans von Ohain
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