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the weather bureau record of war administration part 10

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Liaison With Military Agencies and Other Meteorological Services.-Constant liaison was maintained with the Army Air Forces Weather Service and with the Aerological Section of the U.S. Navy. Most of this work was carried on through individual contact and correspondence under the general coordinating guidance of the Joint Meteorological Committee.

There were also frequent and important contacts with the Quartermaster Corps on climatological problems and special projects for testing military meteorological equipment; collaboration with the Offices of the U.S. Engineers; with Army Signal Corps on design and supply of meteorological instruments for military purposes; with the Army Map Service in the production of charts and maps for meteorological purposes; with the Marine Corps in various domestic weather-service problems and with the U.S. Coast Guard in the maintenance of coastal patrol and storm-warning stations. The Weather Bureau participated fully in the very extensive vessel weather-patrol program in the North Atlantic maintained on Coast Guard vessels with Weather Bureau personnel carrying on the observational work of these ships at sea. The Weather Bureau, in cooperation with the Civil Air Patrol, instituted a special program for weather information and forecast service to all OAP units in the United States.

There was continuous and the most cordial liaison and cooperation between the U. S. Weather Bureau and the Canadian Meteorological Service prior to and continuously throughout the war. The United States and Canada cooperated fully on many of the most important weather projects of the whole war involving the transfer of equipment, personnel, procedures, instructions, and the exchange of data.

The Weather Bureau also worked very closely with the Air Ministry Meteorological Service of Great Britain. The British Air Ministry maintained a civil meteorological representative continuously in Washington during the latter part of the war to assist in this coordination.

Close cooperation was established early in the war with the Mexican Meteorological Service to develop and increase the network of surface reporting stations, especially along the United States border. Of particular importance was the establishment of several radiosonde stations and the training of Mexican personnel for their operation. There was a marked extension of the hourly-reporting stations alone the airways, required for the greatly expanded air transport. The exchange of weather reports was much increased, especially after Mexico joined the United Nations at war.

Liaison with the republics of Latin America as a whole was mainly featured by the establishment of a wartime temporary school at Medellin, in Colombia, South America, for training students in the rudiments of meteorology. This program of education resulted from the collaboration of the U. S. Department of State and Weather Bureau. Nearly 200 students were enrolled in one year, a selected number of whom later received graduate training at United States universities in the more technical aspects of the subject. This project is covered in more detail later under the caption, "Latin American Training Program."

Brazil, in particular as an active participant in the war, cooperated freely with the Weather Bureau, especially in connection with air transport to provide safely for overseas flights. Exchanges of weather observations was noteworthy, and even more so with the countries in the Caribbean area where the inception and development of hurricanes is an important factor.

There was frequent liaison and cooperation between the Weather Bureau and the Netherlands, principally in connection with ferry operations from the United States. The same was true with Russia. Special meteorological forms in the Russian Language were prepared by the Weather Bureau for this purpose. Intermittent liaison with all the European Meteorological Services was carried on by the Weather Bureau through its special agents.

Expansion of Observational Program.-After December 7, 1941, it was necessary to reorganize the entire field service to safeguard information, provide service to the general public and war industries, and to meet the rapidly increasing needs of the military authorities. This required a large amount of expansion of the synoptic and airway observational network over ocean areas.

The most important expansion of the observational program was the organization of the so-called "Atlantic Weather Patrol," which provided specifically for the taking of upper-air soundings by means of radiosondes from ships stationed in mid-ocean. This project was begun at the direction of the President in February 1940, with Coast Guard cutters being stationed at two strategic points in the North Atlantic. The number of ocean weather stations was steadily increased during the war to a total of 22 maintained jointly by Great Britain, Brazil and the United States, the latter operating 11 stations. The Weather Bureau provided equipment and supplies, including personnel, for 18 vessels for making regularly radiosonde, pilot balloon and surface observations.

The American vessels were based at Norfolk, New York and Boston. Later, they operated out of boston and Argentia, Newfoundland where the U. S. Navy maintained a base. The vessels also stopped at the Azores, Bermuda and Iceland. They remained at their ocean stations for periods of two to three weeks. The meteorological staff aborad each ship consisted of four men. Weather Bureau personnel assigned to weather ships were selected from volunteers from land stations. The work was recognized as both hazardous and essential, and the men were granted draft deferment in most cases. Fortunately only one Atlantic weather vessel was lost during the war. Four Weather Bureau men lost their lives on that occasion. Early in 1944 the Weather Bureau men were given Coast Guard Temporary Reserve ratings, which was continued until October 1945 when they returned to civilian status.

The ship reports were used by the Weather Bureau and the military services and provided invaluable information for the ferrying of airplanes for use in military combat and for other transatlantic flying activities. With the termination of the war steps were taken to continue weather patrol ships at strategic points to provide necessary meteorological protection of transocean air traffic. In addition to their meteorological functions, the ocean weather patrol vessels served as air navigational aids and for air-sea rescue operations.

One phase of this project which should receive careful consideration during wartime conditions is the need for providing the same benefits to Weather Bureau observers assigned to ship duty as those received by regular military personnel. It is also important that the closest possible cooperation be maintained between the Weather Bureau and the Navy or Coast Guard regarding the structural requirements for weather ships in connection with the meteorological program.

In addition to many extensions of observational facilities within the continental United States it was necessary to establish a considerable number of observation stations in the territorial possessions and in foreign countries. In nearly all of these cases stress was laid on the necessity to provide upper-air information for military flying operations by means of radiosondes and pilot balloons.

Four radiosonde stations were established in Mexico at Mazatlan, Tacubaya, Merida, and Ciudad Victoria in cooperation with the Mexican Meteorological Service, the Bureau furnishing the radiosonde equipment and supplies. The Weather Bureau supplied the Canadian Meteorological Service with radiosonde equipment and supplies for making scheduled observations at Arctic bay, Baffin Island. Twice-daily radiosonde observations were begun on April 11, 1943. A technician was assigned to Arctic Bay to make the observations. During the following year the Weather Bureau detailed two men to there for this purpose. Thereafter, the Canadian Meteorological Service provided the personnel for operating the station.

At the beginning of hostilities in Europe, wether reports from the French possessions in the Caribbean area ceased. Observations and reports were urgently needed from this area for ferrying operations to Africa and operations of the Air Transport Command on the South Atlantic route. Repeated attempts to secure weather reports from the French colonies in this area failed because of the Vichy Government. In July 1943, the Wether Bureau, with State Department sanction, sent a representative to Fort de France, martinique, to arrange for exchange of weather reports with the French Antilles Government. Fortunately, the Vichy regime under Admiral Robert was tottering and Henr Oppenot, head of the French Mission in the United States, was replacing Robert as governor of the colonies. Working in collaboration with American diplomatic officials, arrangements were completed and an agreement was signed whereby 3- and 6-hourly reports and upper-air observations, when available, would be transmitted to the San Juan office of the Weather Bureau for retransmission to the United States. This agreement is still in effect and reports and observations from the French Antilles are being used by the United States wether services in the operation of civil and military aircraft in the Caribbean area.

Similarly, with the stepped-up African theater operations and to provide adequate service for the "green" and "White" projects, arrangements were made with the Dutch West Indies Governments for the exchange of weather reports in late 1943. Under State Department sanction and in collaboration with Admiral Chandler, Commandant of U. S. Naval Forces in the Dutch West Indies, an agreement was considered whereby weather reports and observations from the Dutch West Indies were transmitted to Puerto Rico.



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