Friday, November 20, 2015

Civilian meteorologists receive purple heart 73 years later

I am taking a time out from writing about the Burned Area Emergency Response for the 2015 Soda Fire to honor four civilian meteorologists who gave their lives in service to their country during World War II. Four meteorologists were serving as volunteers on the Muskeget, a U.S. Coast Guard ship that was patrolling the Atlantic during the Battle of the Atlantic in September 1942. The meteorologists were collecting and transmitting weather observations to aid American ships in the North Atlantic. The Muskeget was on its way to southern Greenland when a German U-Boat struck and sank the Muskeget. There were 121 men on board the Muskeget including the four meteorologists. While those in the military who were on board the Muskeget received Purple Heart, the civilian meteorologists did not. There were provisions to award Purple Hearts to civilians but this slipped through the cracks. It was through the efforts of a Purple Heart historian, Robert Pendleton to bring the oversight to light making the award of these four Purple Hearts possible.

Lester S. Fodor (27), weather observer from Cleveland, Ohio
Luthor H. Brady (27), assistant weather observer from Atlanta, Georgia
George F. Kubach (24), assistant weather observer from Sandusky, Ohio
Edward Weber (24), junior weather observer from Brooklyn, New York

May you rest in peace.

Here is a direct link transcript of the report (with audio version) from NPR

I first read about the four meteorologists in a November 18th Washington Post article.

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