"Today's forecast: Cloudy!" If only it were that simple. In the days before satellite technology, before anyone new what a "Jet stream" was, forecasting the weather over Europe tended to be more art than science. The forecasters had to predict wind direction over target, the altitudes that contrails would be likely to form and how much cloud cover to expect. This information was critical to setting up the parameters for the bombing mission.

Weather data were collected by front line units, recon flights and by bombers outfitted to collect high altitude weather information. These data were quickly compiled and a weather report was issued. The wind direction over target determined where the IP would be, and the course to target. Contrails told enemy spotters volumes about bomber stream altitude and course. This could limit the altitude of the bomber stream. It was up to the 18th Weather Squadron to provide up to-date weather intelligence to the planners of every mission.

 

Last Name

First Name

Position

Rank

Crew

Unit

Kenzleiter William       18
Lewis Ralph E.       18
Mleczko Stanley S.       18

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