In a segment recently featured on The Weather Channel, reporter Paul Goodloe interviewed author and Tuskegee Airmen historian Daniel Haulman about the less-well-known Tuskegee Weather Detachment. Haulman is one of the co-authors of The Tuskegee Airmen, An Illustrated History: 1939-1949, as well as other books on the Airmen.
Haulman told The Weather Channel that among the duties of the African American detachment was “not only determine what the weather was like at the base and help make sure that the operations at the base were consistent with what the weather allowed, but also helped prepare for the missions. They had to know what the weather was going to be like on the way and what the weather was going to be like on the way back.”
The men who made up the detachment, Goodloe said, had been trained in meteorology and selected for their leadership qualities. Among them was Charles Edward Anderson, who went on to become the first African American to receive a PhD, in meteorology.
“The weather officers,” Haulman said, “like the [Tuskegee Airmen], really were pioneers, because just as the pilots demonstrated that black men could fly military aircraft in combat just as well as the white pilots, the weather officers demonstrated they could perform the meteorological tasks they were called on to do as well as the white officers.”
Watch the full report on the Tuskegee Weather Detachment at the Weather Channel website.
Other books on the Tuskegee Airmen by Daniel Haulman include Eleven Myths About the Tuskegee Airmen, The Tuskegee Airmen and the “Never Lost a Bomber” Myth, and What Hollywood Got Right and Wrong about the Tuskegee Airmen in the Great New Movie, Red Tails.