HALL OF FAME
E-Mail: Museum Director
Dr. Ernst Steinhoff
U. S. Air Force Missile Development Center
Holloman Air Force Base
Dr. Ernst Steinhoff was born Feb. 11, 1908, in Treysa,
West Germany. He completed high school in Kassel, West Germany in 1920.
Steinhoff attended Darmstadt Institute of Technology in
Darmstadt, West Germany for his higher education. He earned his bachelor's
degree in aeronautics in 1931, his master's degree in meteorology in 1933 and
his doctorate in applied physics in 1940.
Steinhoff came to the United States with Dr. Werner von
Braun and the Operation Paperclip team in 1945. The team provided the
technical expertise for the V-2 missile program at White Sands Proving Ground
Prior to coming to America, Steinhoff was a key
scientist with the German Research Rocket Center at Peenemunde, where the V-1
and V-2 were developed. He was in charge of planning, development and the
testing of missile guidance systems and automatic controls.
When he came to WSPG, he continued to work on guidance
control systems. He also was in charge of the operation of V-2 missile, flight
termination systems for firings in 1946 and early 1947.
In 1949, Steinhoff transferred to Holloman Air Force
Base, but continued to work closely with White Sands. He played a prominent
role in the early planning for range instrumentation to support missile
firings from Holloman.
Steinhoff is widely recognized for his work in real
time computing for missile flight guidance and control. His work led to real
time processing of data from White Sands instrumentation.
Steinhoff retired from federal service in 1972. At that
time, he was serving as chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force Missile
Development Center at Holloman.
Steinhoff made his home in Alamogordo.
He died on 2 Dec 1987.