Virtual Museum
Click photos to enlarge image of a bat [The Bat Missile]
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[Follow this link to room 1, War Through the Eyes of NIST.]

Introduction

To say the National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now called NIST) was just "a part of" the U.S. military technology development program during World War II is an understatement. The story of the Bat Missile, the first fully automated guided missile employed in combat, demonstrates NBS's leading role as a scientific and developmental leader during this crucial period of American history.

[Follow this link to room 2, The Missile]

This exhibit seeks to paint the picture of wartime NBS and commemorate the Bureau's efforts during that time period.

While the NBS was only one of a host of parties involved in the development of the Bat, it played an integral part in shaping and leading the project. This role not only makes for an interesting story but also demonstrates the Bureau's effectiveness in aiding the U.S. military in its war effort.

Revisiting the missile's development, however, is only one part of the exhibit. Thanks to Frederick Community College (FCC), the NIST Museum is now showcasing a renovated model of an actual Bat Missile.


[Follow this link to room 3, The Bat Missile Renovation Project]
Found in a storage warehouse over the summer of 2000, the Bat test model was initially tattered and timeworn. However, with the help of NIST's Information Services Division, a project team from Frederick Community College Aviation Maintenance Program renovated the model to resemble the real missile. (But don't worry. The missile no longer holds 1,000 pounds of explosives!)

This exhibit was made possible thanks to the help of many individuals and organizations including the U.S. Naval Historical Center, the China Lake Weapons Exhibit Center, and Frederick County Community College. NIST's Information Services Division would also like to thank China Lake's Leroy Doig, Mike Coraggio, FCC's John Herrera and Ian McCloskey, and Reeves Tilley, a member of NIST's Standards Alumni Association.

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date created: May 21, 2001
date revised: October 18, 2004
National Institute of Standards and Technology