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the weather bureau record of war administration part 10

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Training Meteorologists for War Service.-The war, with its major emphasis on aviation, created overnight a demand for thousands of' professional and subprofessional meteorologists in the Armed Forces. The Weather Bureau released over 700 men to the military services.. In addition, a number of meteorologists were furnished to serve as instructors at the five universities where Army and Navy personnel were being trained 'in meteorology.

In meeting the problem of obtaining replacements, and of securing additional qualified persons for vital war projects, the Bureau was faced with the fact that trained meteorologists were not available outside of the Bureau and the commercial airlines. The problem of training personnel was partially met by the training at field stations of women and girls; on-station training of experienced subprofessional employees in map analysis and weather forecasting; and in cooperation with the Civil Aeronaut Administration, the provision for tuition and subsistencescholarships for graduate training in meteorology of persons with private pilots' licenses. In October 1942 the Bureau was authorized to grant fifty tuition-only scholarships each year for graduate training in meteorology for the duration of the war. Women students were recruited for classes beginning in January and June 1943. In addition, the Bureau provided correspondence courses in Air Navigation and in surface weather observations. These courses were taken by several thousand persons. Despite these efforts to train replacements and secure additional qualified personnel for vital war projects, the Bureau was desperately in need of qualified persons to carry on its work..

Shortly after the beginning of the war the Bureau assisted the War Department in organizing a school for instructing Arm personnel in the maintenance and repair of radiosonde ground equipment and other instruments in regular use at weather stations. Weather Bureau personnel were detailed to the Army establishment to inaugurate a course of instruction and to aid in selecting from the military students completing the first course those members who were to serve as instructors of subsequent classes. Imperfections in the program were due to the lack of sufficient time in which to adequately plan courses of study and to the lack of equipment in sufficient quantity for proper instruction. The solution of these difficulties is the maintenance of an adequately trained skeleton force to institute courses of instruction on short notice and to have available in sufficient number for demonstration purposes the latest developments in meteorological equipment.

In cooperation with the C.A.A., the Weather Bureau in 1941, began the issue of a special daily weather map to assist meteorological instructors at Civilian Pilot Training Centers. This special daily weather map contained a complete synoptic weather analyses of the United States.

In the beginning a total of 2,000 copies of the special weather map was printed daily and when the project terminated during June 1944, the edition reached 6,000 copies a day. At one time, supplies of the map were being furnished to about 850 pilot training centers. The Weather Bureau also supplied a considerable number of related meteorological publications to assist instructors at Pilot Training Centers. The Civil Aeronautics Administration transferred a total of $48,954 to the Weather Bureau from 1941 to 1944 to provide for this service.

As the Allied invasion of European areas progressed, it became apparent to military commanders overseas that much tactical value lay in the possession of advance information concerning the future condition of battle areas as they may be affected meteorological elements, particularly in regard to soil tractability, river stages, and forest fire susceptibility. As the Weather Bureau had the basic knowledge for forecasting the latter two types of conditions, the Army Air Forces, early In 1944, arranged to detail a limited number of officers to the Weather Bureau for training fire-weather and flood forecasting.

Two special training centers were established and classes in flood forecasting were conducted at the Weather Bureau Office, Sacramento, while instruction in fire-weather forecasting was given at Los Angeles. These locations were selected because of the availability of qualified field personnel who were regularly assigned to issue forecasts to fire control agencies, flood protection organizations and the general public. Courses of instruction were prepared by the Weather Bureau which consisted of three parts: (1) basic theoretical considerations necessary for a thorough understanding of the subject matter, (2) development of fundamental techniques, and (3) actual practice in forecasting and in use of data and observational equipment.

Four classes of instructions were given, two in each of the specialized phase of weather forecasting. The Army Air Forces assigned about five officers to each class and some of these personnel were used later on as instructors in training and refresher courses at the Army base at Chanute Field, I11. The urgency to train Army Air Force officers in these phases of specialized weather forecasting did not allow sufficient time to plan and prepare as complete a course of instruction as would be desired, nor the time allotted for each course of instruction, approximately 30 days, did-not permit the officers to become sufficiently familiar with all possible methods of analyzing basic data which would be especially valuable in battle areas. In the future, the detailing of officers to the Weather Bureau for several months' training in specialized phases of weather forecasting under competent instructors would provide qualified personnel needed for this work during an emergency.

In addition, as indicated under the paragraph describing the activities of the Defense Meteorological Committee, arrangements were made to increase the number of Bureau employees sent to universities for special advanced meteorological training to strengthen its expanding forecast and research programs.

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