My dad's WW2 Army discharge record shows that he sailed on Feb 21 1945 to destination ETO and arrived Feb 26 1945. His return began on Oct 20 1945, arriving on Oct 26 1945. I can;'t find an easy way to trace the names of the boats and the precis

My dad's WW2 Army discharge record shows that he sailed on Feb 21 1945 to destination ETO and arrived Feb 26 1945. His return began on Oct 20 1945, arriving on Oct 26 1945. I can;'t find an easy way to trace the names of the boats and the precise destination. I know he was a weatherman (confirmed by discharge record) and he told us that he was stationed in Greenland. I'm looking to find where and when he was Greenland. Unfortunately. his service records were burned in the '73 National Archives Fire. Any help would be much appfreciated.

  • What organization is listed in box 6 of his discharge papers and what Military Occupation Specialty and Number is listed in box 30?

  • Box 6: 8 WEA SQD;

    Box 30: WEATHER FORECASTER 787

  • Below is a list of the October 26, 1945, Troop Ship Arrivals for various east coast ports.  Unfortunately, the 8th Weather Squadron is not listed.  I doubt that your father would have been on any of the ships departing from the Mediterranean (Livorno, Marseilles).  For security reasons, troop departures prior to the end of the war were not published.  

    Below is some general information about Greenland and the 8th Weather Squadron.

    The 8th Weather Squadron had 46 weather stations scattered throughout the US, Canada, the Azores, the Bahamas and Greenland.  Some stations were associated with airfields that served as way stations for the Ferrying Command which flew planes from North American manufacturing sites to the European Theatre. Other stations helped develop weather forecasts for the ETO as much of the weather, including the critical D Day forecast, developed over the North Atlantic before moving east to the ETO.  The code name for Greenland was "Bluie" which is used in much of the documentation.

    From: Chapter 9: The Early Development of Air Transport and Ferrying, Army Air Forces in World War II Vol. I: Plans & Early Operations, January 1939 to August 1942
    Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate 

    "The principal need was to complete facilities along a more northern route than that originally put into service by the Canadians and the British in 1940--one that would take full advantage of the steppingstones provided by Newfoundland, Labrador, Greenland, and Iceland for the purpose of ferrying shorter-range planes to Europe. The British and Canadian governments had been the first to develop plans for such a far northern route.....

    Between March and December 1941, the Army Air Forces had established the framework of a weather service from Maine to Iceland, into which organization were drawn a number of Canadian and Danish stations. ...Thereafter, as new bases were established along the far northern ferrying route, weather and communications men moved in and set up their observation and radio facilities. Ten enlisted weather specialists accompanied the American advance task force into southern Greenland in July 1941. Six of them proceeded at once to set up weather and radio facilities in a tent at BW-1. The other four and one communications specialist were transferred to the Coast Guard cutter Northland and voyaged up the east coast of Greenland to install new radio and meteorological equipment at a number of Danish stations scattered along the coast as far north as Eskimonaes.127 The Danish stations became an integral and important link in the AAF weather network. Two other American weather stations in Greenland were opened, at BW-8 on the west coast and at BLUIE EAST 2 (BE-2) near Angmagssalik on the east coast during 1941."

    and from CHAPTER 11
    THE AAF WEATHER SERVICE:

    "The many Atlantic storms originating in the Far North underscored the need for timely and reliable weather data from northern Canada and Greenland. To help fill this gap, six enlisted men accompanied the United States Marine Corps task force that landed at Narsarssuak (BLUIE WEST 1) on 6 July 1941 to assume protective custody of Greenland. Their mission was to establish a weather station and support flight operations at the air base to be built there. Three months later a weather detachment arrived at BLUIE WEST 8, on Greenland's west coast just above the Arctic Circle. This station provided a strategically located post for the observation of air masses moving out of the polar region. Before the end of the year, the third Greenland weather installation was established at BLUIE EAST 2, near Angmagssalik, on the east side of the big island. Danish stations in Greenland, with new American radio and meteorological equipment, became integral parts of the AAF weather net."

    The following is a list of weather stations in Greenland.  

    From:  https://www.warcovers.dk/greenland/units.htm and various brief descriptions of the stations from multiple sources.  The web site also has photos of several of the weather stations.

    CAPE ADELAER

    CAPE DAN

    CRUNCHER ISLAND

    DANEBORG

    EGEDESMINDE

    FORT JABIP

    GRONDAL moved to GREEN VALLEY

    IVIGTUT

    IKATEQ

     IKATEK

    KANGERDLUGSSUAK

    MARRAK POINT

    NARSAK POINT

    NARSARSSUAK 4-man weather station.  

    July 10th [1945] (A.P.)
    Colonel Eugene Rice, Commander of the Greenland Base Command, said today a Coast Guard cutter would attempt this month to relieve and evacuate 11 American soldiers trapped in a bleak weather-radio outpost.

    The men have been supplied by air since Jan 8, when a huge snow slide buried their stores, equipment and all but one of their buildings in Skjoldungen, tiny outpost on the east coast of Greenland.

    A statement from the command said, "It is believed that the treacherous pack ice will have broken up sufficiently to permit the sturdy C.G. vessel to crash through about the middle or end of July".

    PRINCE CHRISTIAN SOUND Nick-name: "Hells Corner" the men at this station are isolated, except for radio contact, depressions occur during the periods when ice blocks ship arrivals. They live in sturdy buildings, cabled to the rocks, to withstand high winds that have been recorded at times from 90 to 175 miles per hour. During the 1942-43 season three anemometers and two (weather) instrument shelters were blown away. When a slide damaged the buildings, new materials were flown in by a B-25 medium bomber. The plane made a hazardous 'bombing run' up the ravine, dropped a tightly wired bundle of lumber to the men, and climbed steeply up the face of a mountain to get out of the trap.

    SIMIUTAK had perhaps 25 or 30 men, including one officer

    SKJOLDUNGENCOMANCHE BAY 

    WALRUS BAY

    KANGERDLUGSSUAK

    SONDRESTROM

    Other reports of conditions in Greenland:

    ...EFFECTS OF THE WINDS OF WINTER AND THE MOSQUITOES OF THE SUMMER AT THE SITES.

    PROBLEMS BECAUSE WEATHER MEN WERE REQUIRED TO PERFORM EXTRA DUTIES SUCH AS GUARD OR KITCHEN POLICE DUTIES ARE REPORTED.  

    MORALE REPORTED SUFFERING BECAUSE OF ISOLATION OF ASSIGNMENTS AND POOR SUPPLY OPERATIONS. SUPPLY SITUATION BAD ENOUGH THAT ONE DETATCHMENT REDUCED TO EATING BEAR MEAT.

    SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING EQUIPMENT FOR COLD WEATHER OPERATION OFFERED.

    From: THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT: MEDICAL SERVICE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AND MINOR THEATERS by Charles M. Wiltse (Washington D.C. 1965):

    In addition to the four bases themselves, there were a dozen or more weather observation and radio posts operating out of one or another of the BLUIES.

    Although the climate was much more severe and the setting far more bleak than anything the men had before experienced, there were no adverse effects on health. There were no indigenous diseases. The native Eskimos suffered heavily from tuberculosis, but contacts between the natives and the U.S. troops were so infrequent as to remove the hazard. The only venereal cases were among those who had been infected outside of Greenland. Respiratory diseases made up the largest item in the disease category, with newly arrived troops the most frequent victims. On the whole, however, the incidence of disease in Greenland was very low. Injuries, directly related to the treacherous and rugged terrain, ship loading and unloading, and construction work accounted for the largest number of patients admitted to hospitals, as well as about a quarter of all those evacuated to the zone of interior. The second largest group returned to the zone of interior, accounting for about 18 percent of the total, were the neuropsychiatric cases, stemming from the prolonged service in an isolated, unpleasant environment, combined with constant monotony and a complete lack of normal social contacts. A general apathy, called by the men stationed in Greenland, "The Arctic Stare," developed in a majority of troops after a years stay on the island. It was notable, however, that even in the most difficult year, 1944, neuropsychiatric cases constituted only about 4 percent of hospital admissions. The suicide rate was also relatively low. Admissions for all causes to the main hospital of the command, the 188th Station Hospital, numbered 1,821 in 1943 and 2,137 during 1944.
    Greenland Base Command had become primarily an Air Transport Command stopover and a weather forecasting center a year before the ATC assumed full responsibility for all U.S. activities on the island in January 1946.

    8th Weather Squadron 

  • Thanks so much, Jo.  This is really helpful.  I was especially excited to learn about the AAF Weather Service and the Warcover sources.  If there other sources you think might be useful, I'd be delighted to learn about them.  Some time ago I had requested from the National Archives microfilmed reels from the Air Force History Index.  All of the reels, each about 2000 mpages, touch on the * *8th Weather Squadron."  I'm now finally making my way through them (losing my eyesight in the process) and, stunningly, have found two references to my father in the monthly diaries/histories prepared by every  squadron unit.  The first one I found said he was shipping out from Narsarssuak in October of 1945.  The second mention, im May 1945, reads only, " "New arrivals at the station included T/Sgt Goldman from BE-2" in May of 1945.  He had arrived in Greenland in late Feb or early March.  That's all we read.  So I have a simple question I'm hoping you could answer.  What inparticular does BE-2 mean here.  Can we know? Any way to narrow it down to Ikatek or Cape Dan or. Skjoidungen?  Seems they all had weather stations, right?

    We actually found his 8th Weather Squadron patch.  That was  the first confirmation we got that he probably did, in fact, serve in Greenalnd, since when we asked as kids bout his war service, he always simply answered "I was a weather forecaster in Greenlander."  Unfortunately, as children, we didn't know enough to push him for more. 

    Thank you again for all your interest and help, Dan

  • BE-2 is Bluie East -2 at Ikateq

    From Wikipedia: Bluie East-Two never attained the prominence in trans-Atlantic air traffic originally intended, but it served very well in the alternate airfield, meteorology and navigation, and search-and-rescue support capacities. ...The weather and the airways radio detachments regularly exchanged personnel with the station at Cape Dan, Kuluauk, 30 miles away. BE-2 also supported outlying stations at Walrus Bay (Scoresbysund - Bluie East-3) and Comanche Bay. Transportation was affected by aircraft from Bluie West One, a local Norseman ski aircraft, by a station vessel named the Judy How, and occasionally by dog sled and by ski patrols. 

    You may want to look at Cape Dan, Walrus Bay, and Comanche Bay as personnel was regularly exchanged between these and BE-2.

    You can plug in the latitudes and longitudes listed below into Google Earth and see the locations of the bases/stations.  I looked at Bluie 2, very desolate.

    Bluie East One: Torgilsbu radio and weather station at 60°9′N 43°53′W near Aqissiat on Prince Christian Sound
    Bluie East Two: Ikateq airfield with radio and weather station at 65°56′43″N 36°39′45″W
    Bluie East Three: Gurreholm radio and weather station at 71°14′43″N 24°35′01″W on Scoresby Sund
    Bluie East Four: Ella Island[1] radio, weather, and sledge patrol station at 72°51′N 25°00′W
    Bluie East Five: Eskimonæs radio and weather station captured by German troops in 1943 and later reestablished at Myggbukta 73°29′28″N 21°32′26″W
    Bluie West One: Narsarsuaq Air Base at 61°10′N 45°26′W
    Bluie West Two: Kipisako[1] unused alternative airfield location on Coppermine Bay
    Bluie West Three: Simiutak HF/DF station at 60°41′N 46°34′W
    Bluie West Four: Marrak Point airfield,radio and weather station at 63°27′N 51°11′W
    Bluie West Five: Aasiaat radio and weather station at 68°42′35″N 52°52′10″W on Disko Island
    Bluie West Six: Thule radio and weather station at 76°31′52″N 068°42′11″W
    Bluie West Seven: Kangilinnguit base at 61°14′00″N 48°05′55″W to defend the Ivittuut cryolite mine
    Bluie West Eight: Sondrestrom Air Base at 67°00′38″N 50°42′33″W
    Bluie West Nine: Cruncher Island light and radio beacon at 66°03′N 53°36′W

    Fold3 has several photos, meteorology/rescue/airbases, of Greenland during WWII.  Sometimes the description is on the front of the photo.  For other photos the description is on the back of the photo.  These photos were done in partnership with the National Archives.  You can look at these for free with a free Fold3 membership.  I am not sure if you can zoom or download with the free membership.  If there is a photo you want, reply with the link. 

    Southwest End of Ikateq Weather Station, Greenland, Showing Radiosonde Antenna, Anemometer, Instrument Shelter.

    Your father's exact date of arrival in Greenland will be in box 36 (ETO Arrival).  Greenland would be the western most location in the ETO.  If he stopped in Canada, he would still be in the American Theater that included all of continental American territory and extending 200 miles (320 km) into the ocean.

    This US Air Force Historical Study No. 56, Weather Training in the AAF 1937-1945 from AFHRA may be of interest. 

    Did AFHRA include the start/end pages and number of pages for 8th Weather Squadron entries on the reels?  The 8th Weather Squadron Reels are 1091, 1093-1097 according to index search I ran.

  • Thanks, again.  I especially appreciated the reference to Fold3 and the reference to Weather Training in the AAF 1937-1945.  Yes, I do have a number of reels about Greenland from AFHRA.  The unit monthly histories arre pretty tedious, but then, suddenly, there'll be a nugget.  I have found seven or eight references (at the expense of my eyesight) to my father and can now reconstruct where he was when during his stint in Greenland from Feb 1945-October 1945.  Turns out he was in Ikatek for one month only, from March-April, when he was found eligible to take the Temporary Warrsant Office examination and flew to Grenier for the examination.  I have no idea whether he passed, or indeed what the Warrant Offce did, but I do know that he was sent to Narsarssuak in May.  Why he didn't have to return to Ikatek I don't know, but I suspect he was very happy to be "promoted" to Narsarssuak.  Do you happent to know what the function of the Warrantt Office was?  This is a much deeper dive rthan I had expected to make, but I'm finding it fascinating.  Thanks for your help. Dan

  •  

    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

    We invite you to continue the conversation with community members on History Hub, but should you have follow up questions for the staff at Archives II, please email us at archives2reference@nara.gov so that we can assist you further. 

    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

    Sincerely,

    Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2RR)

    [24-21459-REC]

  • He may have taken a Warrant Officer test.  Below are a couple of definitions of the Warrant Officer rank and responsibilities.  Both are from documents shortly after WWII but I don't think the role changed that much.  Rather, far fewer warrant officers were needed in the post-war Army.

    "The Warrant Officer is a highly skilled technician who is provided to fill those positions above the enlisted level which are too specialized in scope to permit effective development and continued utilization of broadly trained, branch qualified commissioned officers."

     Warrant Officers in the Post-War Military Establishment.

    (1) General. (a) In the post-war Army-, warrant officers will be used in positions requiring technical or administrative skill, and for which the use of commissioned officers is not consistent with economy and efficiency. They will constitute a corps or career specialists. The overall number of warrant officers in the post-war military establishment will be determined on the basis of need, rather than on any percentage basis.

    Technical qualifications will be determined by written examinations, (AR 610-10)

    TM (Technical Manual) 12-260 Personnel Classification Tests, 1942

    by US War Department

    49. Warrant officer examinations:

    a. Purpose. — Applicants for appointment as warrant officers in the various branches of the service are required to pass written examinations as well as service requirements and physical examinations.

    b. Content . — The written examination consists of two parts as follows:

    (1) A general educational examination tests the applicant’s judgment and reasoning, powers of comprehension, and knowledge of English, United States history, and contemporary affairs. This examination requires 3 1/2 hours and contains 278 questions.

    (2) The technical examinations test the applicant’s knowledge and technical qualifications for the particular position for which he is applying. Separate examinations are given for each of the various classifications of warrant officers. The scopes of the various warrant officer examinations are given in AR 610-10. Each of these technical examinations requires 1 hour and 45 minutes. They contain different numbers of questions ranging from 16 to 150.

    c. Scoring . — All of the examinations, except those for weather, topography, and auditing and accounting, may be scored by machine. The score is always the number right.

    MOS 787:

    WEATHER FORECASTER (787)

    Makes or supervises the making of weather observations and forecasts. Supervises the preparation of weather studies, and maps, and prepares forecasts covering particular geographic regions using the latest modern methods of analysis. Prepares climatological studies indicating the probability of occurrence of specific weather phenomena such as ceiling, precipitation, and visibility conditions.

    In Army Air Forces, instructs air crews in weather observation and interpretation and in proper use of weather service and may assist in briefing flight.

    Below is an Air Force History Index Search for AFHRA related to SQ-WEA-8-HI, i.e. the 8th Weather Squadron arranged by reel numbers and first and last pages that will hopefully make it easier to find info regarding your father's unit. 

    Greenland 8th Weather Squadron afhi-2024-02-02-02-20-12.csv