I have found an old school evolution strategy article, from 1980: Optimization of missile trajectories by means of evolution strategy. You can read the first page here.
From the abstract:
Evolution Strategy is an optimum seeking method which attempts to apply the rules of biological evolution - mutation and selection - as closely as possible to technical optimization problems.
In the paper results are presented showing the successful application of evolution strategy to missile trajectory optimization problems like
- Range optimization of a ballistic rocket and e boost-glide missile
- Optimization of miss distance due to lateral wind of a Short range antitank missile
- Optimal trajectory shaping A comparison with other optimization methods is given to show the efficiency of evolution strategy.
From the introduction we can understand a little of the academic Zeitgeist along that period, see below:
"The paper deals with solutions of optimization problems which we have gained by the application of evolution strategy to missile engineering and development. Evolution strategy is an imitation of nature's way of optimization, a game of mutation and selection. Since nature has been man's teacher in many ways it might appear quite obvious to apply the laws of biological evolution to problems of engineering and technology.
On the Other hand there are also objections to that method, the most important ones being that "cut and try" is a sign of poor engineer and craftsmanship and that we cannot afford nature's lavishness in means and in time to wait for the result. Based on a number of number of encouraging results ,  we have tried to gather our own experience with the matter and will present the results we have achieved.
It seems that the author worked to the famous German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt, which gave birth to the world's first operational turbojet fighter aircraft, the so-called Messerschmitt Me 262.
Below the old Messerschmitt logo.