Major General Holger N. Toftoy Historic Marker
Major General Holger N. Toftoy was an instructor at West Point who became Chief of the Army's Ordnance Technical Intelligence team in Europe where he led efforts to discover and capture useful technologies developed by the Germans. His work allowed the United States to acquire a full report on Germany's V-2 rocket technology and employ several of the top German scientists working on the project by allowing them to defect to the United States. In 1952, Toftoy supervised America's top rocket scientists at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. Toftoy later became the commander of the arsenal, leading the team that developed the Jupiter-C rocket that launched America`s first satellite into space. Toftoy's work helped make the small cotton town of Huntsville the "rocket capital of the world." In honor of these achievements, this memorial stone was placed in Big Spring Park.
Backstory and Context
After five years, Toftoy accepted a teaching position at West Point. In the mid-thirties, Toftoy attended battery school at Fort Monroe. Now a captain, Toftoy was assigned to the Pacific Division's mine battery. It was during his time with the mine battery that Toftoy had his first research and development project designing mines that could recognize friendly vessels.
During World War II, Colonel Toftoy was assigned to Army Intelligence in Europe where he worked to acquire German technology. When American troops discovered a V-2 factory, Toftoy was able to secure plans for the rocket and was also instrumental in acquiring the teams of the German scientist who had helped developed the V-2.