HALL OF FAME
E-Mail: Museum Director
Mr. Herbert L. Karsch
and Technical Director
Herbert L. Karsch graduated from the University of
Texas in 1937 with a BS in Engineering. He entered the US Army in 1942 as
second lieutenant and served in the areas of explosive ordnance disposal and
foreign weapons systems intelligence. He was decorated for action in the
European and Pacific Theaters. By war’s end Karsch had attained the rank of
Karsch came to White Sands Proving Ground (WSPG) in
June 1945 as an Ordnance Technical Intelligence Officer. He participated in
Operation Paperclip, the movement of German rocket scientists and V-2 parts to
WSPG, and served as Deputy Commander of the Proving Ground from January to
September 1946. From October 1946 to January 1954, Karsch was the civilian
WSPG Technical Director. From January 1954 until he left the federal service
in September 1956, he was Assistant to the Commander for Engineering.
In addition to his involvement in the world-famous
Operation Paperclip, Karsch also served on the WSPG Upper Atmosphere Research
Panel. This was a multi-service group involved in the implementation and study
of near-space sounding rocket missions. The best known of the sounding rockets
was the Navy Aerobee that was in service for several decades after its WSPG
debut. He was also involved in the initial ground-testing and eventual aerial
test firings of the V-2, Corporal, Nike, and Talos missiles.
Karsch was also responsible for providing support for
technical facilities operated by the Army, Navy, and Air Force at WSPG. Among
Karsch’s more prominent activities in this regard included establishing flight
safety procedures for Army and Navy missile firings and serving as a liaison
to the Army Corps of Engineers units and civilian contractors who built a
great part of the Installation’s infrastructure in the 1950s. Karsch was
WSPG’s liaison with the many government laboratories that provided technical
services to the Proving Ground from 1945 until WSPG began its own Flight
Determination Laboratory in 1952.
After leaving WSPG in 1956 Karsch participated in
military research, development, and engineering with the Ford Motor Company,
General Motors, and other US corporations. In 1967 he began to focus his
attention increasingly on the development of gas and diesel turbine products
and their military and industrial applications.
Mr. Karsch died on 17 Dec 1993.