Click on the thumbnail images in the left side bar.
Or view album in Slideshow mode.

German Rocket Pioneers From Peenemuende

Welcome to my album dedicated to the autographs of the 118 members of Dr. Wernher von Braun's Original 118 Team of Rocket Pioneers from the German Rocket Research and Test Center at Peenemuende, Germany. Mainly shown here are 60 of the 81 autographs of the "Original 118 Team" I was able to acquire. Through the years, other collectors have approached or slightly surpassed that total, but recently another collector acquired two amazing items in the 2008 Swann auction that had signatures of 99 von Braun Team members! (shown here). The signatures were on two large wedding cards from von Braun Team member Hans Hosenthein's 1949 wedding in Huntsville, AL. After careful study and analysis of these signatures from over 60 years ago, he determined that he had found signatures from over 20 pioneers that he had not previously been able to acquire. These 20+ newly discovered signatures brought his total to an amazing 104 of the 118 Original Team members! This is perhaps the highest total and most nearly complete collection of signatures of these historic rocket pioneers in existence...... Even after this fantastic discovery, surely still a few signatures of "The 118 Team" are non-existent in collector hands, as a number of the von Braun team members were reclusive and not accomodating to collectors. Also a fair number passed away in the 1950's and '60's, so about the only way to acquire their autographs later was from family members who, in a very few cases, were helpful in sending their signed checks, several of which are shown here.

I acquired these autographs mostly in the late 1970's and the 1980's, mainly via requests sent to the rocket team members at their homes. Addresses were fairly easy to acquire and numerous pioneers were quite helpful in providing addresses and information that was useful in acquiring additional autographs. The large majority worked at the NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL and also retired in Huntsville. But a number returned to their native Germany after retirement and autographs of several here came from requests sent to Germany and even one from Mexico......MISSING FROM MY COLLECTION are autographs of 37 of "The 118." Those missing follow and any assistance with the "missing 37" would be greatly appreciated: Beir, Burose, Friedrich, Henning, Lindner, Scharnowski, Schwarz, Lindenberg (these were deceased prior to 1965), Deppe, Fleischer, Jungert, Merk, Michel, Riedel, Spohn, Wagner (these returned to Germany before 1965), Minning, Neuhoefer, Patt, Heinrich Roth, Ludwig Rothe, Schlidt, Schlitt, Schwidetzky, Steurer, Boehm, DeBeek, Eisenhardt, Heller, Helm, Hirschler, Heusinger, Mandel, Palaoro, Tiller and Vandersee.