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Mr. John J. McLean, a clerk in the Central Office, died suddenly on the evening of February 25, 1916. Mr. McLean entered the old Signal Service December 15, 1877, and served on various stations as assistant and official in charge, as well as at the Central Office as a clerk, until June, 1913, when he was again assigned to the Central Office. Before entering the meteorological service he was in the United States Marine Corps for about eight years, November, 1865, to January, 1874. -- February 1916

Mr. Herbert W. McManus, printer at the Portland, Oreg., station, died December 26, 1932. He was born at Fort Pierre, S. Dak., October 15, 1881. Mr. McManus entered the Weather Bureau service on April 23, 1914, and served continuously at the Portland station.
[Weather Bureau Topics and Personnel, December 1932]

Mr. Guy V. McMullan, observer at the Butler, Ga., station, died on November 23, 1944. He was born in Hart County, Ga., on September 23, 1895 and entered the Weather Bureau at Butler on January 13, 1943.
[Weather Bureau Topics and Personnel, January 1945]

Mr. Lawrence L. McWhorter, printer, at Indianapolis, Ind., was retired at the termination of January 31, 1933. Mr. McWhorter was born January 8, 1868. He was employed as clerk in the Census Bureau, and as compositor at the Government Printing Office before entering the Weather Bureau. He entered the Weather Bureau as printer January 23, 1905, and spent his entire period of service at the Indianapolis station.
[Weather Bureau Topics and Personnel, January 1933]

Mr. Kenneth Meaker, observer, died at Phoenix, Ariz., November 16, 1918, of pneumonia after an illness of a few days. Mr. Meaker was born in Hawleyton, N.Y., on July 28, 1888, and was appointed messenger boy in the Weather Bureau on November 1, 1905. He quickly qualified for the duties of an assistant observer and was appointed to that position on September 1, 1907, by certification from the Civil Service Commission. With the exception of a brief assignment at Little Rock, he had been on duty at Phoenix for over six years and at the time of his death was first assistant at that station. -- November 1918

Clarence L. Meisinger - A project for the investigation of the atmosphere by means of manned free-balloons, unique in the annals of meteorology, has been undertaken by the United States Weather Bureau in cooperation with the United States Army Air Service. A series of about fifteen flights, each one starting from the Army's station at Scott Field, Ill., near St. Louis, will be made beginning in early April.

The Weather Bureau's representative on these flights is Dr. Clarence L. Meisinger of the Central Office. During his service in the World War, Dr. Meisinger received free-balloon training, and is a licensed pilot of this type of craft. Since the war he has been working specially on aeronautical meteorology, a phase of the Weather Bureau's work that is becoming increasingly important as aviation advances.

While several kinds of observations will be made from the balloon, such as the collection of dust samples at various elevations and the measurement of sky brightness and visibility, the principal object of the flights is to obtain information relative to the path of air at high levels in the atmosphere with respect to the ground. The balloon moving subject to the wind becomes an index of the movement of the air at the same level, hence an accurate chart of the balloon's path is at one the path of the air in which the balloon is riding. -- March 1924

Through the death of Dr. Clarence Leroy Meisinger, which occurred in a balloon accident on June 2, the Weather Bureau has lost a brilliant and promising member of its scientific staff and one whose charming personal qualities had endeared him to the hearts of his fellow-workers. Doctor Meisinger was born at Plattsmouth, Nebr., April 30, 1895. He was graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1917 with the degree of B.Sc., and subsequently took degrees of M.S. and Ph.D. at George Washington University. He served in the Army during the World war, at the close of which he was a second lieutenant in the Meteorological Section of the Signal Corps and had already won a reputation as a balloonist and a student of aeronautical meteorology.

Entering the Weather Bureau as an observer in September, 1919, he was assigned to duty at the Central Office, and was detailed to the office of the Editor. He retained this detail throughout the period of his service in the bureau, and at the same time carried on a number of important investigations in the field of aerology and aeronautical meteorology. His principal work was the development of a method for computing pressures and winds at certain heights above the ground. The results of his latest work on this problem were set forth in a paper entitled "Free Air Pressure Reductions in the Plateau Regions of the Western United States", which was presented at the meeting of the American Meteorological Society at Cincinnati in December, 1923. His work on barometric hypsometry has been pronounced to the outstanding scientific contribution presented at this or any other meeting of the society.

In connection with these studies he felt the need of data obtainable from manned balloon flights, and on his urgent recommendation plans for making a series of such flights were arranged with the Army Air Service. The flights were to be made from Scott Field, Belleville, Ill., at as nearly a constant altitude as possible. In addition to the main purpose of the investigation, that of tracing the path of the air currents, observations were to be made of the amount of dust in the air, sky brightness, size of cloud droplets, etc.

The first flight was made on April 2, and was most successful, ending in South Carolina, about 700 miles from the starting point. Eight others had been completed before the fatal one of June 2. These had covered various distances, one ending in Ontario and another in Wisconsin.

In the last flight it was planned to make as great a distance as possible, and for this reason a much larger balloon was used than in the previous flights. Preparations had been completed for some three or four days, during which the start was delayed because of unfavorable weather and, later, the necessity of freshening the supply of hydrogen, owing to high diffusion through the balloon fabric. Doubtless impatient at further delay, Doctor Meisinger and the pilot, Lieutenant Neely, courageously incurred some risk of thunderstorms indicated in the weather forecast for the night of June 2 and left Scott Field about 4 p.m. that day. It is impossible as yet to say just what happened, but it is supposed that the balloon was set on fire or wrecked in a thunderstorm. -- May 1924.

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.
Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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