Mr. William F. Graves

During the period of January 1963 to February 1972, Mr. William F. Graves served as Chief of the Missiles and Warhead Branch, Development Engineering Division, Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Directorate. In this capacity, he was responsible for organizing an industry survey team, evaluating team findings, and selecting the most capable contractors to submit proposals, organizing a team for proposal evaluation and recommending the most qualified contractor for development of the SPRINT Missile. A team of authorities in various fields was selected to evaluate initial technical decisions, to periodically review progress and the latest technical decisions. Relations were so effective and agreeable that all of these consultants continued to support the program for 9 years until development firings were completed with an outstanding record of successes.

Once the SPRINT development effort was underway, Mr. Graves applied his formidable combination of education and missile development experience to the detailed technical management of the program. Through daily contact and formal periodic reviews, effective technical management was exercised which made the SPRINT development program one of the most successful Army development programs. An example of the program’s success pertains to the planning and achievement of the first flight. The SPRINT is a very advanced design missile, and the first flight was planned to take place much earlier in the program than is usual for a missile development. As a result of Mr. Graves’ effort, this flight took place exactly on schedule and was successful. The SPARTAN Missile development program was initiated and managed in a similar manner with the same outstanding results.