NAVAL WEATHER SERVICE ASSOCIATION

An association of Aerographers & Mates,
Meteorologists & Oceanographers

NWSA NEWSLETTER



 

Email:  aerograph@navalweather.org

Editor: AG1 Steven "Smitty" Smith, USN RET

Email: aerograph@navalweather.org

Aerograph Content Submission Guidelines

(Feel free to submit anything appropriate, in any manner; if there is a problem, I'll let you know.) 

As always, Ihopethis finds youand yourloved onessafe anddoing well, especially duringthesedifficultand challenging
times.Undoubtedly, the speed at which events havechanged life as we know it,not only here in America,butall around the world,has beenliterallybreathtakingandwill no doubt lead to much discussion atreunion #46.
Source: Aerograph May 2022

My, my, how time flies! With summer rapidly approaching, I hope this finds everyone in good health and doing well! Many of you may have heard the old song “It Never Rains in Southern California” by Albert Hammond when it played over the airwaves back in 1972. Well, the verse that ends “it pours, man it pours” is absolutely correct, at least on those occasions when a moisture laden cold front moves onshore. We experienced such an event in late March that produced over an inch of liquid gold overnight. For many of you in other parts of the country that may make you laugh at us weather wimps here in Southern California, but for a semi-arid region that more often than not receives less than ten inches of rain a year, that was a big deal! Speaking of weather wimps, I had to laugh when I saw a young man dressed more for Siberia than San Diego when the mercury dropped to the low 50s a few weeks back. Yeah I know, only in SOCAL, ha!

 

 

Like many significant historical events that fade with the passage of time, so to the memories of D-Day, June 6, 1944. I daresay that many of you had family members who served and fought in WWII, some perhaps, paying the ultimate sacrifice. My uncle, Leo Frederick Parsell, was a PFC in the Marines. He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in the brutal jungle island fighting of the Pacific. For reasons known only to God, he survived and lived to the grand old age of 90. And like so many who have experienced firsthand the brutality of war, he rarely, if ever, spoke of it. Beginning on page 20, you will find the story of the Bedford Boys, a moving tribute to one small town in America who remembers all too well that freedom is never free.

 

In closing, thanks again to all who contributed to this edition of the Aerograph. Have a fantastic summer everybody!


Smitty

 

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 is the cut-off date for the August issue of The Aerograph


E-Mail Steve at aerograph@navalweather.org

USPS Address: AG1 Steven Smith, USN (Ret)

750 Avenida De La Barca

Chula Vista, CA 91910

(571) 278-5259 (If I don’t answer, please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.)





Click Image to Enlarge
© Bacon 2022,Broadside.net
Source: Aerograph February 2022

As I sit here writing this, the calendar tells me it’s late January with two months give or take of winter remaining. However, here in SOCAL under sunny skies with temps near 70 belies that fact, leading me to admit that for the most part, Harumi’s yearning to return to San Diego has turned out quite well. Yes, there is the daily rush hour traffic and constant hustle and bustle almost everywhere in now what is America’s eighth largest city. Yet there is no denying the geographical beauty, variety of attractions, plethora of restaurants and outdoor activities, all combined with near ideal weather year round, still make San Diego one of the most beautiful places in the world. And on rare occasion when I hear a ship’s whistle informing crew they will be separated from families or loved ones for weeks or months at a time, I can’t help but reminisce a little about days long gone, but never to be forgotten.

 

A hearty thanks to all who contributed to this edition of the Aerograph. As you may recall, last August’s publication included two wonderful letters from our 2021 scholarship awardees, Alvin (Alex) Cheung and Preston Grooms. On page 4 you will find excerpts of correspondence and photos sent from AMS Executive Director Keith L. Seitter to NWSA Scholarship Chair, LCDR Mike Gilroy, USN (Ret). Enjoy!

 

Smitty


Wednesday, 27 April 2022 is the cut-off date for the May issue of The Aerograph

 

E-Mail Steve at aerograph@navalweather.org

USPS Address: AG1 Steven Smith, USN (Ret)

750 Avenida De La Barca

Chula Vista, CA 91910

(571) 278-5259 (If I don’t answer, please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.)





Source: Aerograph November 2021

All good things must come to an end. After thoroughly enjoying two years of Texas hospitality here in Abilene, Harumi and I are making the move to back to our home in San Diego, California. I cannot say there is no angst on my part, but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do to keep his little lady happy. I truly regret I could not attend Reunion #46, which by all accounts, was a smashing success! Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll see many of you at #47.

So as 2021 draws to a close, I wish you all a blessed holiday season surrounded by those you love, and God’s abundant blessings throughout the coming year.

Smitty

 

  

Wednesday, 26 January 2022 is the cut-off date for the February issue of The Aerograph

 

E-Mail Steve at aerograph@navalweather.org

USPS Address: AG1 Steven Smith, USN (Ret)

750 Avenida De La Barca

Chula Vista, CA 91910

(571) 278-5259 (If I don’t answer, please leave a message and I’ll get back to you ASAP.)





Source: Aerograph August 2021

Happy mid-summer everybody! Or not, depending upon one’s seasonal preference. For me, there’s beauty to be had in every season. However, my fondness of cooler weather makes the glorious days of autumn among my favorite. Softer lighting, longer shadows, comfortable warm days and cool evenings truly make for enjoyable travel and outdoor activities.

Some of you may recall the “Wallet Found in Antarctica Returned to Owner Decades Later” piece from the February Aerograph earlier this year regarding NWSA member LT Paul Grisham. While reading my latest edition of “Midway Currents” I came across a wonderfully written article in which LT Grisham was interviewed. You’ll find it beginning on page 19.

To date, Hampton Roads, Lone Star and Pensacola Chapters have submitted advertisements and contributions to be used in publishing a Reunion #46 booklet keepsake for all attendees. In addition, all members will be able to view the booklet on the NWSA website. Any other chapters who would like to contribute please contact me or Reunion Chair, Jim Romano, for further information.


Tuesday, 26 October 2021 is the cut-off date for the November issue of The Aerograph

 

E-Mail Steve at aerograph@navalweather.org

USPS Address: AG1 Steven Smith, USN (Ret)

3542 Firedog Rd.

Abilene, TX 79606-1752

325 232-6403 (If I don’t answer, please leave a message and I’ll get back to you ASAP.)


Closing Thoughts


Being one to enjoy a good book, especially one based on military history, I took former NWSA President Romano’s advice and purchased “Masters of the Air.” It is an exceptional read and I highly recommend it to anyone with similar interest, especially those planning to attend Reunion 46. Just too wet your appetite for Savannah and planned tour of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth, a brief article featuring USAF Captain Raymond Check (mentioned in book) follows:

 

More than seventy-five years ago newspapers in Captain Check's home state ran headlines like  Reds Advance in Savage Fighting on Karelian Front and Flying Fortresses Raid Eastern End of Sicily.  At home the favorite song was You’ll Never Know by Dick Haymes. Folks were going to the movies to watch Leslie Howard in  Spitfire or Robert Taylor and George Murphy in  Bataan. That Saturday night, families could tune into their radios and listen to Your Hit Parade with Frank Sinatra on CBanEllery Queen on NBC.

 

June 26, 1943 was also a day that would see the demise of scores of Americans who died serving their country. One of them was Captain Raymond Check.

 

He was born on September 27, 1917 in North Dakota. His mother was born in Russia and his father was born in Poland. A later census shows they were German speakers both born in Germany. It was probably a case of shifting borders. His father worked as a railroad road master. Raymond had two older sisters and two older brothers.

 

He enlisted in the Army Air Forces on June 11, 1941. He became a captain and pilot in the 423rd Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force which was equipped with B-17 Flying Fortresses.

 

In the summer of 1943 airmen were given the opportunity to go home after twenty-five missions.

 

Captain Check took off on his twenty-fifth mission on June 26, 1943, flying Chennault's Pappy III. It was a milk-run bombing mission of a German airfield in France. A big party was planned for the evening of their During the bomb run, Check's temporary co-pilot, Lt. Col. James W. Wilson (an old squadron leader who wanted to go on Check's final mission), removed his gloves to make some adjustments to the engine. During the final moments of the bomb run, a German fighter swooped down unnoticed out of the sun’s glare. One 20mm cannon shell hit Cap. Check in the neck, exploded and killed him. A fire started in the cockpit, badly burning Wilson's hands. A crewmate put out the fire with an extinguisher. Col. Wilson continued flying with a melted oxygen mask, steering with his arms above the elbows, since his hands were too badly burned.

 

Still under attack, a machine gun bullet hit the box of flares behind the pilot's seat. The flares exploded, created another fire and blowing open the bomb bay doors. Fortunately, there was a third pilot on board -- Lt. William Cassedy, Check's normal co-pilot, was acting as a waist gunner. 

 

Cassedy replaced Wilson in the co-pilot seat. With only one other uninjured man on board, Cassedy brought Chennault's Pappy III  back to base. The radio was out and there were no remaining flares to announce an emergency landing. Instead of landing the plane into the wind as normal, Cassedy purposefully landed the plane downwind against incoming traffic. He wanted to avoid the reception group waiting to celebrate Check's 25th mission. It included an American army nurse who was going to marry Captain Check the next day.

 

His grave is at Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial in Coton, England.


Captain Raymond Check flew B-17s in Europe. His brother Leonard flew carrier based F6F Hellcats in the Pacific and was a fighter ace. Both were KIA.

 

 

The above article was obtained on the web and can be found by searching “WW2 Fallen 100”, a site honoring WW2 fallen on what would have been their 100th birthday.  A great site with remarkable stories of America’s Greatest Generation.

 

 

The Editor