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Serving the Present... Remembering the Past...
Air Force Weather

 

Weather Badge

By now everyone is aware of the death of Chief Justice of the United
States, the Honorable William H. Rehnquist.  However, the newer ROWF may
not be aware that the Chief Justice was one of us!  He was in Air Force
Weather (Army Air Corps actually), serving as a weather observer in
North Africa during World War II.  He separated in 1946 and took
advantage of the G.I. Bill after the war to earn his bachelor's and
master's degrees.

Back in 2001, I heard him mention his military weather experience in an
interview on Fox News.  I reported this to the ROWF network, and the
chair and vice chair of the DC AMS chapter (Chris Moren and Ken Carey,
both ROWF's) picked up on it.  With Chris' encouragement, Ken contacted
Mr. Rehnquist's office and invited him to speak to a chapter meeting.
He accepted!  The only stipulation was that he not be asked any
questions about court cases.  He talked only about weather.  A summary
of his talk and his war experience aws reported by ROWF Lauraleen
O'Connor is on the NWS web site at:
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/nwsfocus/fs110901.htm#Topic2

My wife and I had a brief conversation with the Chief Justice in the
hallway before the meeting.  I told him that my three heroes were he and
Justices Scalia and Thomas.  I pointed out that the other two did not
know anything about weather.  With a twinkle in his eye, exclaimed "Then
I win!"

One remarkable thing about his addressing the chapter was the lack of
visible security.  This was in October 2001, the month after the 9/11
terrorist attack on the US, and Washington was on edge.  Yet here we
were in a hotel meeting room with the head of one of our three branches
of government.  I had just walked up to him in the hall and introduced
myself!  It sounds like a Secret Service nightmare, but there we were.

William Rehnquist was a member of the Air Weather Association.

Contributed by Dave Pace.
 

 

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