15TH WEATHER SQUADRON, USAAF
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2
The 15th Weather Squadron was established on 10 April 1942 and activated at McClellan Air Force Base on 22 April 1942. Approximately 235 men of the 15th Weather Squadron moved to a staging area in the International Harvester building in Oakland, California on 16 June 1942 where they embarked for Melbourne, Victoria, in south east Australia.
The initial Headquarters of the 15th Weather Squadron in Melbourne started to send men to different weather station locations up the east coast of Australia as far as Cape York. The 15th Weather Station was assigned to the 5th Air Force on 2 September 1942 and about half of the men moved by train to their new Headquarters in Townsville on 8 November 1942. By the end of WWII there were more than 719 weather personnel assigned to 21 units in Australia and 23 units in New Guinea, 8 units in the Philippines and 17 units in the East Indies.
The 15th Weather Squadron was assigned to the Far East Air Forces Regional Control and Weather Group (Provisional) on 25 October 1944. It was assigned to the 1st Weather Group and attached to the 43d Weather Wing on 20 September 1945.
Wes Caspers was a member of the 15th Weather Squadron. He received his Special orders of 10 May 1943 from the Headquarters of the Fifth Air Force, APO 925 which reassigned me to the 15th Weather Squadron APO 922 (Townsville). There were eight Weather Officers on this order which was under the command of Lt. General Kenney. Wes travelled by a relatively small army motor ship which took about thirty days to travel from San Francisco to Brisbane. The 15th Weather Squadron was headquartered in Townsville where they spent a brief time.
Wes then went to a detachment in Port Moresby and later to Finchaven and Hollandia. Wes remembers leaving his dress uniform behind in Townsville when he moved to New Guinea. Most air force bases had small detachments of the 15th Weather Squadron, often attached for administrative purposes to the Signal Corps. Wes's last assignment was in Laoag as the war ended. He did not opt to go on to Japan since his wife was in San Francisco and he returned there.
15th Weather Squadron had their Weather Station attached to Base Operations at Garbutt airfield, in Townsville and Project Two Area.
A B-25 Mitchell, of the Fifth Bomber Command, USAAF, crashed into Moreton Bay off Brisbane on 30 September 1944, 100 yards seawards off the Queensland Pile Light after taking off from Eagle Farm airfield. The aircraft was piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Ross A. Sieh, 0-874047, of the 15th Weather Squadron from the Fifth Bomber Command. Three of the crew were killed in the crash. It looks like there was possibly a total of 5 killed.
The following member of the 15th Weather Squadron was buried in the US Military Cemetery in Townsville on 5 March 1943.
|Truett, Clyde||6548000 USA||5 Mar 43||Catholic|
The Quarterly Report of History of Medical Activities of the 3rd Portable Surgical Hospital, for the period October 1, 1943 to December 31, 1943 shows the 15th Weather Squadron with a compliment of 19 men in the Iron Range area.
I'd like to thank Wes Caspers for his assistance with this home page.
Can anyone help me with more information?
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© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 1 January 2005
This page last updated 24 January 2020