World War II
History and Biography
(Taken from a letter sent to Will Lundy)
118 Maple Ave.
Victor, NY 14564
Your letter of August 18th, in hand, I will attempt to pass along some information you requested. Bear in mind that I'm trying to recall things that happened 49 years old.
To the best of my recall, our weather officer was on the right side of the building. (See note about calling Robert Long on page 3).
I will tell you of the station people when I arrived around May 1, 1943. Sgts. Hawkes, Hart and Norquist arrived at Shipdham from a replacement depot in Western England. An arrival Capt. Numa C. Hero was officer in charge. Lt. Robert F. Long second in command. The detachment 115 was very short handed with other enlisted people being Milton R. Hartig, James R. Caffia, James A. Richardson (all sergeants, I believe). So even with our arrival, it was tough to cover shifts 24 hours per day, seven days per week, but by working a double shift one day per week we could get a day off occasionally for a trip to Norwich.
During my time at Shipdham, additional help arrived, namely Lt. Leon Lowenthal, T/Sgt Lester Bader, Keith McKay, Wayne Rector. With our 44th Bomb Group leaving for Africa and the Ploesti mission, our weather people were needed elsewhere. Some weather people from other B-24 groups may have gone to Africa, but I knew none if our EM were chosen. I went to nearby Bodney to help set up a new weather station for the 352nd fighter group, yet to even have their aircraft there.
I was able to pick up a lot of "first" names from my copy of "44th Liberators over Europe" Roster. Also was keeping the January 1991 copy of Air Weather Association worldwide roster. I suppose if I had more time I could have requested help from Don Hyde, but knowing he has been rather ill, I hesitated to contact him anyway.
I just had a thought, Will. In the Air Weather Association Roster there is a listing for a Robert F. Long who was a Lt. When I arrived at Shipdham. He was there longer than I, and may have been recalled about our weather station log layout over in the Shipdham tower. If you feel flush enough to spend a buck or two, give him a call. He was a very nice guy and went places in the 8th Air Force Weather Service retiring as a B/General according to the Roster. He was from near Boston, MA, and it sounds like him.
His name is Robert F. Long; wife's name is Madeline F., 42 Valley Road, Nahant, MA 01908 (617)595-0332.
Just give him a ring and ask if he served at Shipdham. Do it, Will!
Well, hope I have been of some assistance. I gotta knock this off. Spent the whole afternoon trying to the best I could for you and our 44th. I even ran the ballpoint dry, which reminds me, I am as well…time for a highball!
I have made copies of this data to make sure they get to you. Drop me a card right away when you receive this, please.
All of the best
Enclosure: Copy of letter from friend Don Hyde and the list of Shipdham weathermen of the 18th Weather Squadron Detachment 115 he sent me in 1987.