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women in the weather bureau during world war 2


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Personal View of Hope N. Anderson

In the fall of 1944 I was in need of employment and the Weather Bureau needed weather observers. So when my husband's former MIC at Lander, Wyoming, contacted me and offered me the job, I began working at Lander as a wartime emergency observer.

I was a high school graduate. My background experience included being a sales clerk for Montgomery Ward, and being the wife of a weather observer. The Weather Bureau provided on-the job training which consisted of personal instruction by the MIC. After six months I started RAOBs. I was the first trainee to work up a RAOB. The morale on station was very high. I received a very friendly welcome from my coworkers. My first impressions were that the Weather Bureau provided important services to the public and was a good place to work. There were two other women at the station at first, then four other women and three men. At first my duties included taking 3-hourly observations, and I worked mostly nights - 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. (I worked for one hour every three hours taking the 3-hourly observations.) After six months I started Radiosonde observations (RAOBs) and worked rotating shifts. When RAOBs started I worked eight hours each day, five days a week.Transmitting weather information over teletype circuits

Transmitting weather
information over teletype circuits

I left the Weather Bureau in February 1944, when my husband returned from military service and took over my job. Working there had been pleasant work. Would I do it again? Yes, I liked the MIC, he was a good "boss." I liked the friendly, small town atmosphere and its recreation, especially the ice-skating in the winter. I feel that my major contributions were accurate and dependable weather observations, at all hours, day or night. One of the high points of my career had been taking my first RAOB.

In April of 1945 Lander had a record-breaking snow storm and I had to walk to work four blocks in snow up to my waist ... walked in the middle of the street where a horse had walked ...no one else had been down the street that morning.


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