On the Cover:
Weather Reconnaissance Illustrated is pleased this month to introduce to our readers to Mrs. Estella Hode, Miss Hurricane Hunter - 1956. Estella was selected for this honor by the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Kindley AFB, Bermuda.
Estella is standing in front of one of the squadron's "new" WB-50D aircraft. These aircraft were reconfigured for weather reconnaissance and atmospheric sampling after their retirement from duty with the Strategic Air Command. The 59th accepted the first WB-50 delivered to Air Weather Service in 1955. Mrs. Hode is also highlighting the new 59th WRS emblem that was approved on 7 March 1956. The emblem displays the words "Hurricane Hunters" in recognition of their most public mission, and their Motto: PRO BONO PUBLICO which translates to FOR THE GOOD OF THE PUBLIC.
The 59th WRS has a lineage¹ that goes back to 1945. The 59th Reconnaissance Squadron, Very Long Range, Weather was originally activated at Will Rogers Field, OK on 10 Aug 45. It quickly moved to Ardmore AAF, OK and then on to Drew Field, FL, followed by MacDill Field, FL -- all still in 1945. On 26 Jan 46, the squadron moved to Castle Field, CA; then again moved to Fairfield-Suisun AAF, CA on 22 Oct 46. On 1 Jun 47, the 59th moved to Ladd Field, AK where it was inactivated on 15 Oct 47.
The squadron designation was reactivated at Kindley AFB, Bermuda, on 3 March 1955 as the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Flight under the 9th Weather Reconnaissance Group. On 1 April 1956, it was redesignated the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. The squadron remained at Kindley AFB until its deactivation on 18 March 1960.
In 1963, the 59th was reactivated for a short time at Goodfellow AFB, TX and was discontinued and inactivated on 8 May 1964.
Note 1 - Information about the 59th WRS, its lineage and emblem come from AIR WEATHER SERVICE: 0UR HERITAGE 1937-1987, a Military Airlift Command Historical Office Special Study by Rita M. Markus, MSgt Nicholas F. Halbeisen, and John F. Fuller -- published in 1987.
Note 2 - The photos used on this and following pages come from the archives of the Air Force Weather History Office at Offutt AFB, NE (except as noted). These photos are all official U.S. Government property and can not be sold, copyrighted, or used for commercial purpose. Any display of these pictures should credit them as "Official Air Force photograph, courtesy of Air Force Weather History Office".