Skip to main content

John B. Medaris Collection

Identifier: MC-151


  • 1950-1960


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research in the Archives & Special Collections reading room. Handling guidelines and use restrictions will be communicated and enforced by archives staff members.

Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized material for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives and Special Collections has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.


1 Linear Feet (1 box.)

Biographical / Historical

John Bruce Medaris was born on May 12, 1902 and died on July 11, 1990. Medaris was a decorated officer, having served in both World Wars. He served as the first Commanding General of the United States Army Ballistic Missile Agency until 1955, when he became the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Ordnance Missile Command at the Redstone Federal Arsenal.

Under his leadership, Explorer satellites made it into orbit, the Pioneer space probes were successfully launched, and the Saturn 1 program began. Medaris also supervised Wernher von Braun’s rocket team, which developed the Jupiter missile in 1958.

Medaris retired from the Army in 1960, and in his later years, he became an Episcopal priest.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of David Christensen, 2010.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
Mark Potter
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives & Special Collections Repository

M. Louis Salmon Library
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899 Alabama 35899 United States of America