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.

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

  • 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.

Reply
  • 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.

Children
  • 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

  • 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