Broad Valley Orchard

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Time to Pause


Well, I have again been contacted by another reader (I think that makes the sixth time) who has stumbled upon my scribblings while Googling up the name of a family member, or a historical event.  I welcome such contacts, esp. now, when I am so bogged down in the farming season, that I am seldom able to devote time to new research.

This latest contact came from a fellow researcher working on the nearly forgotten 21st Mobile Weather Squadron of the 9th US Army Air Force, who is quite interested in the K-53 Mobile Weather Stations, built into a cargo truck.  I wish I knew more about them; I did read about them in the micro-filmed Unit History, which also had some photos.  My respondent asked if I had any pictures of my father with the K-53 attached to his Weather Detachment “YI” in England, France, and then Germany.

The only photo I have of my father, taking weather observations, was of him in a smaller truck, at some base in Northern Europe.  But I also have a photo of him, and his weather crew, posed in front of the C-42 cargo plane that might have deployed them to Europe.  On the back are the names of the men, and the plane has some identifying numbers.

I did search files for the crew, and found records for about half of them, but am fairly sure that none are still alive ( my father, Cpt. Art Dunn would now be 93), if he had not been taken out of my life by his pre-mature death in 1954.  I have been kicking around the idea of trying to find descendants of his crew.  I also have been gleaning some ideas and facts from the Air Weather Assn., basically an Air Force veteran meteorologist’s organization.

So I got in touch with them, and learned that they are mostly an organization for Air Force (and its parent organizations) meteorology veterans.  I explained to them that I was a Coast Guard weather observer, as well as a sometimes Ships Weather Petty Officer, and that my father had been a WW2 Air Weather Officer.  They gladly welcomed me aboard.

So, perhaps I can find other descendants of the old Mobile W/X Squadrons, who are also trying to preserve the memory of what our fathers did in WW2 (which in my book includes helping bringing the war to an earlier end, and saving the live of many thousands of GIs.

In my own research, I have communicated with three former combat meteorologists, and obtained wonderful stores of information from them.  Unfortunately time is slowly but surely taking them all away.

Well, I am slowly retiring from farming, and will soon have more time to research and write.  Maybe we sons and daughters of these weather vets can help recover their mostly forgotten stories.  On my travels through cyber-space, I have seen that many of the “Next Generations” (are we all Trekkies?) of the Combat Air Corps are quite active in preserving the history of those units.  So if anyone, who is the scion of WW2’s “weather guessers” reads these words, feel free to get in touch.

Thom Dunn Marti – Son of a hero

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