this month we will post a series of articles covering the units of
weather reconnaissance. These will not be all encompassing
stories, but rather
the standard history data, including lineage, approved emblems,
commanders. Most of the information comes from the Air Force
History Office at Offutt AFB, NE, and from the 1987 publication: Air Weather Service: Our
Heritage 1937 - 1987 by Markus, Halbeisen, and Fuller.
USAF Photo/Illustration, Courtesy of National Museum of the USAF
16 August 1942: Constituted as the Army Air Forces Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Test) Number One.
21 August 1942: Activated at Patterson Field, Ohio, and assigned to Headquarters Army Air Forces Directorate of Weather, which further assigned it to the 2nd Weather Squadron (Regional Control).
13 April 1943: Moved to Truax AAF, in Madison Wisconsin. Assigned to Flight Control Command.
23 June 1943: Moved to Presque Isle, Maine
6 July 1943: Assigned to Army Air Forces Weather Wing
21 Dec 1943: Redesignated as the 30th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Air Route, Medium and assigned to Air Transport Command (ATC)
5 August 1944: Redesignated as the 1st Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Air Route, Medium
5 September 1944: Moved to Grenier Field, New Hampshire
9 February 1945: Reassigned to the 311th Photographic Wing, Mapping and Charting
21 Dec 1945: Inactivated
USAF Photo, Courtesy of Air Force Weather History Office
|The 1st Weather Reconnaissance Squadron,
Air Route, Medium (and its
predecessor units) operated from numerous locations during 1943
-1945. The separate flights (detachments) were given bird names,
Duck, Robin, and Eagle Flight. They even started the weather
reconnaissance tradition of naming tracks after birds. The
Redbird, Bluebird, Blackird, and Raven tracks (a modification to the
standard Blackbird track) provided broad area synoptic data to help
improve forecasts for the thousands of planes moving across the
The squadron was originally programmed to receive B-24 type aircraft; however, demands by the combatant commanders for more heavy bombers and crews caused a change. The first aircraft to arrive was a single Lockheed Hudson, which was delivered to Patterson Field for testing. By April 1943 it was decided to equip the unit with nine modified B-25 light bombers. They operated from the US East Coast, to Goose Bay, Greenland, Iceland, and Scotland. Several B-17s were also made available to extend the range of the North Atlantic missions.
In addition, Robin, Eagle and Duck Flights staged from the Azores, Bermuda, British Guiana, and Panama. In May of 1945, Duck Flight moved to Morrison Field in West Palm Beach, Florida. From here they assumed the hurricane reconnaissance mission that had been performed in 1944 by the Army Hurricane Reconnaissance Unit, a hand-picked group of B-25 crews.
Commanders and Date of Assignment
21 Aug 1942 1Lt Horace J. Wheeler, Jr.
23 Sep 1942 Capt Arthur A. McCartan
23 Jun 1943 Lt Col Clark L. Hosmer
14 Aug 1944 Maj Karl T. Rauk
14 Feb 1945 Capt Sidney C. Bruce
|Official USAF Photos, Courtesy of Air Force Weather History Office|