Skip to main content

William C. Pittman Collection

Identifier: MC-34
The William C. Pittman collection is primarily focused on his accomplishments while working for the Army Ordinance Missile Laboratories, Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Army Missile Laboratory (AMA), and Army Aviation and Missile Research and Development Center (AMRDEC).


  • 1940 - 2008


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.


2.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes.)

Biographical / Historical

A graduate of Mississippi State, William C. Pittman was recruited by the Army to work on rocket development at the Ordnance Missile Laboratories. He began his civilian career with the Army’s rocket development team at Redstone Arsenal where he supported the 1953 history-making launch of the first Redstone rocket.

Pittman was among several American scientists and engineers who joined with the German rocket team to form the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in 1955. Pittman worked in the agency’s Development Operations Division under the direction of Dr. Wernher von Braun. In 1960, the German rocket team along with Pittman became part of NASA’s new Marshall Space Flight Center. After a year, Pittman left MSFC to rejoin the civilian Engineers at the Army’s Missile Laboratories.

Pittman has been involved in the scientific research of many of the missiles developed and designed at Redstone Arsenal including Hercules, Pershing, and Hellfire. His name can be found on hundreds of research papers on missile technologies, and Pittman is connected to many patents taking those technologies into the commercial realm.

Pittman has received many accolades during this career. In 1994, he received the Meritorious Civilian Service Award (1986-1993), the highest award giving to a Department of the Army civilian. In 1999, Pittman retired from his work at the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William C. Pittman, 2007.

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.



Anne Coleman, David Hanning, Laura Adams
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