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Fritz Karl Pauli Collection

Identifier: MC-77


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950 - 2016


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

Fritz Karl Pauli was a Munich native born August 13, 1913, and a German engineer for NASA in Huntsville, Alabama, during the post-war movement. He was a part of the engineers and scientists from Peenemunde that were brought to the United States between 1946 and 1953 after Wernher von Braun. Before coming to the United States, Pauli developed his knowledge and skill sets in both Germany and France, where he gathered work experience in the field of engineering spanning from vessels to locomotives and rocket development (Odom 37). A couple of years preceding his death on April 26, 1969, he worked on the Saturn V launch vehicle in October 1967, which was the most powerful rocket to take flight at that time (Lea). Pauli’s experience from the French Rocket Program would prove to be valuable to his final project. Even though much of the equipment that Pauli developed never made it to the production stage, he was awarded seven patents during his time in the French program (Odom 38). Pauli’s career started with designing submarines and ship engines for a German company, MAN (Manschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg). In December 1936, Pauli worked for Fieseler – a German aircraft manufacturer – where he helped with the development of the Fieseler Fi 103 (A.K.A – V1 “Buzz Bomb”), a small, pilotless, medium-range cruise missile (The Museum of Flight) and the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, “one of the most unique aircraft ever produced,” with the ability to take off and land within fifty feet of touchdown (American Heritage Museum)(Odom 38). Pauli worked for Henschel Company, the largest locomotive manufacturer in Germany, from October 1937 until June 1942, assisting with development of the Tiger and Panther tanks. By July 1942, he was drafted into the German Army, where he was eventually transferred into a unit of rocket development experts followed by a transfer to the V-2 development center at Peenemunde (Odom 38-39). The V-2 rocket, “…regarded as a revolutionary breakthrough in rocket technology,” was the world’s first large-scale liquid-propellant rocket between 1936 and 1942 (Harvey). In July 1946, Pauli was back to theoretical work in Baienfurt, doing the same kind of work he did while in Peenemunde. The following year, Pauli was in Villejuif, France, where he became technical advisor at the research institute at the French Air Ministry. His work included consulting for the planning of rocket engine test stands as well as examination of the V-2, Walter T500, and Walter T509. He was also part of the development of the take-off booster for the SEPR-1, which was later upgraded to the SEPR-2, a pressure-fed engine used as the sustainer for the SE-4100 anti-aircraft missile (Odom 40-41). Pauli was a part of several other projects until his arrival in Huntsville, AL, on February 9, 1953. His first position was for the U.S. Army at the Redstone Arsenal in the Aerodynamics Power Plant. From 1956 to 1958, he was part of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), which was later transferred to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). During this time, Pauli devoted his efforts to developing small-scale engines for the Saturn program, where he was described as a “‘one-man rocket company who designed built and tested” these first rocket models at the Marshall Center (Odom 44).” In 1969, Pauli passed away following a “brief illness.” He was buried at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, AL (Odom 43-44).

Odom, Brian. “Alternate Paths of Paperclip: Fritz Pauli and Transnational Knowledge Transfer. QUEST 23:3 2016. Harvey, Ailsa. V2 rocket: Origin, history and spaceflight legacy. March 29, 2022. The Museum of Flight. The Fieseler fi 103 (V1) German “Buzz Bomb.” American Heritage Museum. Fieseler FI-156 Storch. Lea, Robert. April 29,2022. Saturn V: The mighty U.S. moon rocket.


0.25 Linear foot (1 box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Charles Lundquist, 2013.

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.

Matthew Johnson
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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