Skip to main content

Bruno Heusinger Collection

Identifier: MC-172

Scope and Contents

Pamphlets, correspondence, and photographs relating to the life and career of Bruno Heusinger.


  • Creation: 1945-07-13 - 1968-02


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.

Biographical / Historical

Bruno K. Heusinger was born in Essen, Germany on August 27, 1912, to Maria and Hermann Heusinger.1 He attended high school at Gothe High School in Essen, where he would graduate in 1926 at the age of 14. Bruno continued his studies at the Technical State School of Machinery in Essen between 1934 and 1936, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He would then be employed as a Turbopump System Design engineer in Peenemunde, Germany between 1942 and 1945.1 During this time, Heusinger would meet his wife, Brigitte G. Berndt, and eventually have three children with her: Berthold, Victoria, and Ralph.1 After World War II ended, Heusinger would be one of many German scientists employed by the United States government for their space and rocketry program under the name “Project Paperclip.”2 He was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, working as a Turbopump System Design engineer before transferring to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where he worked as the Propulsion Feed System Unit Chief, Propulsion Evaluation Section Chief, and finally Propulsion Evaluation Branch Chief.1 Throughout his career, Heusinger was recognized and decorated for his work with the United States’ rocketry program, specifically the Juno II program. The Juno II program was a project intended to create a multi-stage space-flight vehicle based on the Jupiter missile. Werner von Braun sent a letter of personal thanks to Heusinger, stating “Your personal contribution to the development and performance of the Juno II played an important part in the ultimate successes of Pioneer IV, and Explorers VII, VIII, and XI.”3 Additionally, Heusinger had been noted by his fellow coworkers as a man who not only worked well with others, but was recognized for “his willingness to modify individual opinions in the interest of a mutually acceptable report.”4 Heusinger had such a positive relationship with his coworkers that they wished him well on his birthday and sent notes of appreciation for his contribution to the United States’ rocketry projects.5 Heusinger had been similarly recognized at the end of his contract with the United States when he received certificates of achievement and participation from the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, Department of the Army, and Marshall Space Flight Center, each commending him, thanking him, and acknowledging his service. Heusinger would then file for retirement, though he would only be able to enjoy it for 12 years. Bruno K. Heusinger died on March 30, 1968, at the age of 55. He would be buried at Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama, Block 105, Lot 250, Space 6.6 His wife, Brigitte, would outlive Bruno by nearly 48 years, dying in 2016 and being buried beside her husband.7

Works Cited 1. George C. Marshall Space Flight Center Public Information Questionnaire: Bruno K. Heusinger 2. Letter from Department of Directives, Washington D.C.: Project Paperclip 3. George C. Marshall Space Flight Center: Letter to Bruno K. Heusinger from Wernher Von Braun 4. Letter to Bruno K. Heusinger from Fridtjof Speer 5. Birthday letter from Major General J.B. Medaris to Bruno K. Heusinger 6. “Bruno K Heusinger (1912-1968) - Find a Grave...” Find a Grave, 2023, 7. “Brigitte Gisela Berndt Heusinger (1926-2016) -...” Find a Grave, Accessed 7 Oct. 2023.


0.75 Linear foot (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ralph Heusinger, 2020.

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.

Andrew Tucker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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