EMAILS I HAVE RECEIVED FROM GRADUATES OF THE 93E2 SCHOOL AT FT. MONMOUTH, NJ
PART 3: AFTER MY CLASS IN JANUARY, 1964
Compiled by Paul A. Roales
Note: The email below are arranged in order of graduation date from the school.
Updated Feb. 7 2010 (see April, 1967 below), March 11, 2010 (see Summer, 1969 below) and May 10, 2010 (see the second November, 1964 below). Updated March 20, 2011 with a picture and email from a July, 1969 graduate. Updated July 11, 2013 (see August, 1969 below). Updated August 8, 2013 (see Feb.-March, 1968 below). Updated Jan. 29, 2015 (see August, 1969 below).
1964 In January, 2007 I heard from Robert Berkovitz. His story is unique because he never attended a Meteorological Observation school. His training was totally OJT. He says:
“I was trying to find former weather people who may have been stationed at the Yuma Proving Grounds Met Team. I was stationed there from 1964-1966. From the names below [PAR Note: I sent him a list of Yuma people], I do recognize Ken Fields, Sgt Rankin, Sgt Redding, Sgt Turner, and Tommy Thomas. Sgt Pullin also sounds familiar. I actually didn't go to Ft. Monmouth, I was OJT at the Yuma Proving Grounds. My training was strictly hands on. I first worked in the field section at YPG during my first year, and in the observation section during the 2nd year, which I really enjoyed, since this gave me an opportunity to study the weather charts and work with the forecasters. I learned a lot doing that. I believe Sgt Redding was one of the forecasters, as were Sgt Josephs (who I did meet once when I visited the weather office in the Twin Cities years ago, and who eventually became Official in Charge of the National Weather Service Office at International Falls, Minnesota), Sgt Murphy, Sgt Keating, and Sgt Pritchard. They were quite helpful in passing their knowledge over to me. Of course, the technology and forecast models have changed greatly over the years since then. I had no classroom training while in the army. I can't remember what my MOS number was, but it was listed as a meteorological observer, and it never changed.
I attended the U. of Minnesota for a few years in the early 60's after graduating from high school, but Minnesota did not offer a degree in Meteorology, so I was going to work a few years to earn enough money to go out of town to pursue my degree. However, since I was out of school, I got drafted in 1964 but was lucky enough to get into my field while in the military. Weather had always been an interest to me, and after leaving the army in 1966, I went back to school at the University of Washington in Seattle, earning a B.S. degree in Atmospheric Science. I worked for the National Weather Service starting in Seattle in 1969, then going to Yuma, AZ (where my youngest daughter was born) as the agricultural meteorologist with the NWS in 1973, and then to Phoenix, AZ as the fire weather meteorologist with the NWS in 1977, until I retired from the NWS in January of 2005. While at Yuma, I did get to see Tommy Thomas and also Sgt John Hall. As the fire weather meteorologist at the Phoenix office, I would often go out to large forest fires, mainly in the western states, to give weather information and forecasts to the fire teams. One of the fire camps I was at in the 1980's was located at YPG, which brought back a lot of memories. There were also a lot of changes there since the mid 60s. I also did public and aviation forecasts with the NWS, and taught weather at many of the fire behavior classes for the fire agencies, such as the forest services, BLM, and BIA. Hope this information helps, and thanks again for your response and the information on your homepage."
Summer 1964. In September 2003 I got a couple emails from Roger Marois who attended the 93E school in the summer of 1964. Here is what Roger had to say: "Paul, Found your 93E homepage, if your interested I also went to school at Ft. Monmouth for 93E. I came here TDY when I got back from Korea, in the summer of '64. Your website brought fond memories. I also ended up at WSMR and later at Holloman. I am now back at Ft. Monmouth as a contractor testing batteries. I remember a few names, Bob Moore who stayed in and if I recall became a Sgt. Major and finally ended up at Aberdeen. Ken Odom who I think is still at WSMR, Chuck Fellows I believe is some sort of banker in El Paso. Sgt. Miles ended up at WSMR for awhile, I worked with him, he was one of my instructors. Can't remember what happened to him. Mr. Kurtz, what happened to him? I had one instructor who was big on tornadoes can't remember his name, nice guy. I'll try to find some of my old stuff if I can, pictures etc. I also ended up going to school at Chanute AFB in Illinois. Memory is getting foggy with age. Too much water under the bridge. Ft. Monmouth has really changed, all the barracks are now offices, hardly any military here. Camp Evans is closed, Asbury is in shambles, Charlie's is now a strip mall. So many changes. Let me know if you remember any of these guys or know their whereabouts especially Bob Moore, was good friends with him and lost touch."
Summer 1964. And then Bob Moore contacted me in November, 2009. He said:
"I happened upon your site today and was quite surprised to see my name there. I attended the 93E school at Fort Monmouth in the summer of 1964 with Roger Marois. You would have been one of our instructors during the summer of 1964. Our class began in the middle of May 1964. Roger and I served together in Korea prior to attending the 93E school and we were both assigned to White Sands Missile Range following graduation. Roger decided to terminate his military service but continued to work as a contractor providing weather support at White Sands. I continued to serve in the military until my retirement in 1989. After I completed the 93E course I was assigned to WSMR. After being there a year I applied for, and was accepted into, the forecaster tech course at Chanute AFB in Illinois. I spent the next 10 years as a forecaster in various assignments. In 1978 I was promoted to First Sergeant. I spent four years as a First Sergeant, then six years as a Sergeant Major. Obviously , I was no longer working in my MOS. My last assignment was as the Airfield Sergeant Major at Simmons Army Airfield, Ft. Bragg ( airborne ). I retired in 1989 and like you used the GI Bill for college (BS and MA) with a teacher certification in high school math and science. I am retiring at the end of this school year. I have 10 years in the classroom and 8 years as a high school administrator. I currently live 12 miles from Fort Knox."
I was able to help these two old friends (see both entries above) reconnect and Bob emailed me: "I talked with Roger this afternoon via telephone. We tried to cover 35 years in a couple of hours!!! I want to thank you for creating the conditions that made this possible."
November 1964. In June, 2007 I heard from Pete Redner. He says: "I attended the Met School at Monmouth from July 64 to November 64. I don't recall you as an instructor, but I do remember SFC Horn, SSGT Robbins and SP/5 Genest. Alas, I don't recall the names of the others. My class included Dwight Dick who went on to be an instructor as well as Larry Webb, Richard Freeman, Richard Groendyke and others. I was assigned to Ft. Greeley, Alaska upon graduation where I met Maj. Don Ritter and First Sgt. Prescott. They rotated out and were replaced by Maj. McCollum and Top Shirt Gonda. I was on 3 tests involving NBC warfare. From there I went to Met Team Dugway commanded by some captain whose name I've forgotten (Barr, just remembered, the SOB gave me a nasty Article 15) and First Sgt. Jesse Wachter. Lot of good guys there, I hope they're all OK. Met Team Dugway was pretty much broken up in early "67". In January, half the team was sent to Germany and the other half to Korea as Artillery Met spotters. Short timers like me had to kill 3 months by going to the Gym, Golf Course, Salt Lake City, etc., etc. More recollections; Ft. Monmouth-"A" Company- Lt. Bell, a CO so bad, he was relieved of command. First Sgt. Tobin-Good top shirt driven from "A" Co. to the night company ,Co. "G". The weekend whose name I forgot but where one company got stuck with all the shit details for the weekend. The USO beach in Long Branch and Bilow's Liquor Store on Rt.35. Other classmates were David Huddleston, Moore, Sp/5 Runck and Don Brunetti. Capt. Cataldi was Battalion CO.
Ft. Greeley; Gerstle River, bad place! The Trophy Lodge in Delta Junction, good place. Hamm's and Grainbelt; Good beers, better than Coor's. Met Sgt. Harvey Lyttle who was on TDY there. Nice guy, but he drank a lot. Also worked projects with Navy and AF personnel. They were so "good" that the managers at Deseret HQ demanded that they be replaced with Army guys. As an AF Warrant Officer remarked of me; "Lousy soldier but good Met Tech." A compliment if ever I heard one.
November 1964. In April, 2010 I heard from Don Brunetti. He says: "Hi Paul, I do remember you as one of the instructors at Ft. Monmouth, but 1964 is a hazy memory. I was just 21 years old when I entered the Army on April 13, 1964. Now that I’m 67, I still have a good memory, but it’s shorter than it used to be. I got into meteorology by accident, but as it turned out, a lucky accident. When I walked into the Draft Board in Holyoke MA, the lady there said I was going into the Army on April 13. I decided to join and get my choice of MOS, and my first choice was the Armed Forces Radio School, but they couldn’t get me in by April 13, so the Sergeant said that because of my science background, I could qualify for the Met School at Ft Monmouth. That sounded interesting, so I signed up. My 8 weeks basic training at Ft Dix NJ turned out to be 10 weeks, but in early July 1964, I arrived at Ft Monmouth. I was assigned to a company, but as I was unpacking, a guy from the Drum & Bugle Corps asked if anyone could play a bugle, and since I had played the trumpet as a kid, I joined. That got me into Headquarters Company and a Class A Pass. I really enjoyed the Met School, and I learned a lot of stuff that I still use, but since I had that Class A Pass, I was usually hung over in class. Long Branch NJ was a great party town, and I met my ex-wife in Asbury Park NJ. I don’t remember much about the Met School classes, but one thing I do remember is that I once asked Sergeant Robbins, “How can you tell the difference between rain and drizzle?” After staring at me for a long, long thirty seconds, he said, “You take a board, drill big holes and little holes, stand outside, and if it goes through the big holes, it’s rain, if it goes through the little holes, it’s drizzle”. I also remember the night school, and I probably learned more there than in the day school as I have never been a morning person. Somehow, I managed to graduate, and was a member of the group that was assigned to Ft Greely, Alaska. In November 1964, Pete Redner and I got on a plane in Newark NJ, and after a stop in Seattle, flew to Fairbanks where it was 50 below zero when we walked off the plane. For the first couple of months, I lived in the barracks at Ft Greely, but then my girlfriend (aka, my ex-wife) flew up to Alaska. We got married in Delta Junction, and bought a trailer house in town. Since she was an artist from the New York City area, things did not go as well as it might have, but we did have a son who was born at the Army Hospital in Fairbanks. My mentor was a member of the Met Team named Billy Beams, who was from Oklahoma. He helped us navigate our first few months in Alaska, and taught me some things about life for which I will be forever grateful. The Met Team was located in the hanger at the airfield. We had two Sergeants, McDowell and LaRoche, who were from WW2 and were assigned there to finish out their time to retirement. I live just South of Nashville TN, and I repair swimming pool equipment for a living. I mentioned I learned things as a weather observer that I still use. One thing that works for me is that I can model a swimming pool just like one of those test grids we set up in Gerstle? River, on the nerve gas tests. The medium is different, water instead of air, but the model is pretty much the same. I can stand at someone’s pool and describe in great detail, what is actually going on as the water moves around the pool, in three dimensions (Bi-Vanes). Another thing I learned is that your body doesn’t react to the actual temperature; it reacts to the change in temperature. My first few months in Alaska, the temperature stayed below 40 below from the day I got off the plane until around the end of February. Then, we got a Chinook wind off the Alaska Range and the temperature shot up to zero in less than 24 hours. My neighbor had her picture taken at the junction of the AlCan and Richardson highways, in her bikini. People were running around in tee shirts because it was so warm.
1965. In Nov. 2008 I heard from David L Reinhart. He says:
"I was a 93e, 1965 to 1974, did 1 tour in RVN 69-70,was at HOLLOMAN AFB 65-69 and Natick labs 70-74.
did 20+ years in the army and retired 1979 as a CWO, radar tech. I was a Sfc 93f in RVN, at Natick Labs I was the station chief with our headquaters at ASL WSMR, had about 15 men in a very remote location.
I had a top secret clearance from 59 to 79, and that qualified me for every tdy that came along. I was probably the only SSG at the school that ever got a article 15 while at school, was speeding at sandy hook. LOL. Only one article 15 I ever got. My years as a 93e were the very best and most enjoyable.
I was able to work on many projects with NASA and the navy . I went to school as a SSgt and left the field on the Msgt list. Loved IT Simply Loved it. Was privileged to work with some of the most brilliant minds."
February 1965. On October 9, 2003 I heard from Charles Wagner in New Mexico. Here is his email:
"I enjoyed your web site. Another fellow Met Observer who now lives in Santa Fe, NM told me about the site. I was at the school from late-November 1964 till early February 1965. Sorry, but I don't remember you. (Actually, I don't really remember most of the names of the instructors.)
I enjoyed the school immensely. After graduation, I was first assigned to Ft. Monmouth (Evans Labs) where they sent me to Flagstaff, Arizona for a thunderstorm research project. Upon returning to Evans Labs in September of 1965, I was reassigned to Ft. Wainwright, AK for 18 months. Enjoyed that, but minus 50-60 degree temperatures were a little rough. I tended the micro-met sites and changing charts on thermographs was rough in those temperatures.
I was assigned to White Sands Missile Range in April of 1967 where I spent the remainder of my three years at the Stallion Range camp on the northern end of the range. It was fun. I was born and raised on Long Island, New York, but I fell in love with New Mexico (and a local red-head in the town of Socorro) and stayed on after ETS. I finished my college at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces with a BBA and an MBA. While attending college, I worked at WSMR for contractors doing upper air support for missile firings and such. I was a civilian Met Tech at WSMR from 1967-1975. All, thanks to the US Army and my education at Ft. Monmouth.
Your recent e-mails from Roger Marois and Jim Fridley brought back memories. I worked with both of them at WSMR.
Today, I'm a financial planner and stock broker. But, weather is still in my blood. Good luck to you and all the former 93Es out there."
March 1965. During my survey of ex-Army meteorologists in Feb. 2004 I had email contact, and then a phone call with Stewart Hoch. Stewart was a student at the Met school from Oct. 1964 to Mar. 1965. He was then assigned to Ft. Wainwright, Alaska for 18 months and then to Yuma Proving Grounds till ETS in Aug 1967. He was out of the Army for a couple years then returned and attended the 8 month Weather Forcasting school at Chanute, IL. and was assigned to White Sands, NM from Dec. '69 until Jun '71. After his discharge in August 1975 he worked for the University of Illinois for a while before moving on to the Weather Bureau. He worked for them from 1977-87 before quitting to try other things. He now lives in Florida. He has a lot of memories of his time in Ft. Monmouth: "Maybe you taught me about Bi-vanes, micro-met mast, thermocouples, Ws-101 WS/D, Eppley Perheliometers, Honeywell recorders etc... Remember the PIZZA wheel (RH wheel), the GREEN giants (upr-air workup wind sheets/plastic boards-BIG), the WBGT (wet bulb globe temp), Radiometers for Insolation (IN coming SOLar radiATION), TMQ-5, GMD-1 etc... etc... I had this little synoptic "blue print" on clear plastic that would fit over the synoptic code from the TTY... Used it a lot. Good 'ol Eatontown just outside the gate!! Used to use that to get to Greyhound station and the CLEANERS there!! I remember using "CLEAR" floor wax on the boots and low quarters for that spit shine look...lol." He also reminded me of the Crypto Lab or School on Fort Monmouth. The building was separate from other buildings and they played music or tones on outside loudspeakers constantly ( I guess to keep anyone from hearing what was going on inside). He also remembers Bob Boyd from the Met class after his at Ft. Monmouth. From his work later he says: "Did you know Captain Guptal/Guptle /sp./ (something like that from Dugway)? Major RIDDER" was another name that comes to mind from Dugway or Black Mesa, Blanding Utah area... in the mid 60s."
March, 1965 OJT Earlier in April, 2008 I heard from another OJT 93E. Don Madison said: "I have really enjoyed reading all the info you have posted on the web about Ft Monmouth, the Signal Corps, etc. I was stationed at Ft Monmouth (Eaton Area) from about March, 1965 to September, 1965 before being transferred to Ft Wainwright Alaska. I came direct to the Met Team at Ft Monmouth OJT from basic at Ft Leonard Wood, MO so I didn't attend the meteorology school. I was stationed with Charles Wagner at Ft Monmouth & Ft Wainwright. I would like to touch base with Stewart Hoch too." A second email from Don said: "I located Charles Wagner today and just got off the phone with him. It was a great reunion."
April 1965 In June, 2004 I got an email from MSG. Frederick E. Baney (Ret) 93EH50. He says: "Saw your Web Site and I wanted to respond. My name is Frederick E. Baney. I attended the Meteorological Observer Crs. at Fort Monmouth from November 1964 until April 1965. I am not for certain about the dates but they are close. I remember you as my instructor for Micro met. Some of the other names I remember were Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Kurtz, Mr. Ballinger, and SSGT. Martin. The one real memory I have of the school was in the upper air section of the course when my class got a rawin to 146,200 Ft.( 1 Millibar). That was the record for that time. I don't know how long it stood. After graduation , Pvt Raines and myself were sent to Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. I spent four and a half years at Dugway I met my wife while stationed there at one of the Service Club Saturday night dances. We have been married 37 years. Some of the names from that time period are: Capt Guptel (my first met team CO), 1st SGT. Jesses D Wactor, SSGT. Anderson, and SP5 John Grindley ( John was from England and was quite a charcter). There were a lot of 93E's assigned to the met team at that time, around 70 I believe. In August of 1969 I was on orders to Vietnam as a 93F but they were cancelled and I was sent to WSMR. I was at White Sands until 1972. While there I worked a team leader at LC33, and in 1970 was sent TDY to Vanenberg AFB. to rocketsonde school. When I returned I worked at SMR as the launch scheduler for the met rockets (Loki, Arcas,Super Loki, Loki Viper, and Boosted Arcas). I also ran the launch countdowns, and the payload impact predications. This was the most FUN I ever had in Met. After WSMR, in February of 1972, SSGT Jesses Couch, SSGT Al Schnider, and my self were assigned to USAEUR (Germany). I don't' know what they wound up doing, but I ended up in Det 12, 7 Wea Sq. (Finthan AAF) Air Force Weather. I was an SSGT, at this time, and was put in charge of the combat weather team for the 8th Infantry Div. Spent a lot of time in the field with the AF. When I returned to the states in March of 1975 I was assigned to the 93E at Ft. Sill. I worked as an instructor there with Mr. Ballinger in the Micro met section of the Course. The school moved to Chanute AFB in June 1976. Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Kurtz and Mr. Ballinger were the civilians that moved with the school. There were also 5 or 6 Army that moved. The only one I remember was SP5 Susan Quirk, she was teaching the Air Quality Monitoring class. I remember that it took us about 3 months to get ready for the first class there. We were now part of a DOD Meteorology school (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) Everyone went through the first 6 weeks together, after that they were split into particular services. Mr. Ballinger and I did the 2 week Micro met portion, we had a full site (3, 10 meter towers with full instrumtation, net and total , eppley,selective band,shadow band and normal incidence radiation, WS101 wind sets, and all those Honeywell Recorders. During the early eighties, class size started to drop, (1-5 students per class) as the army started to phase out the MOS. Mr. Schwartz passed away in the fall of 1976, and Mr. Ballinger retired in 1981. That left an all army crew of instructors I taught upper air to all the services from 1981-1982. At that time I became the NCOIC of the army section of the course. I was promoted to MSG in March of 1982. I retired 1 Sep. 1984 with 20 years in the MOS.as a 93EH50. After retiring from the Army, I got a job with Civil Service. doing, guess what?, a Meteorological Tech (1341) at Dugway, Utah I have been here almost 18 and 1/2 years and will be retiring again in March 2006. There are 2 ex army met techs ( Ron Barbero & myself) and 2 ex Air Force here. We handle the work that about 70 of us did in the 1960's. It has been an interesting career, I love working in Met. Your web site has brought back lots of memories. May you always have CAVOK in your life."
1966 In January of 2003 I exchanged emails with Al Norgard. Here is what he had to say: "I ran across your site "US ARMY SIGNAL CORPS MOS 93 E Meteorological Observation" and thought I'd drop you a note as I am mentioned on your site [see Jim Fridley's comments above]. I was stationed at both Ft. Monmouth and at Ft. Sill at the school and was an instructor there for a while under Anthony D. Kurtz. I was also stationed at White Sands Missile Range and Dougway Proving Grounds and am familiar with many of the names referred to on your page. Sgt. Miles was one of the instructors, after Vietnam I was sent to the school at Ft. Sill where I ran into then Capt. Miles. After high school I entered the Army in August of 1963. My first tour overseas was to Korea, 7th Infantry Division as a tower guard in an MSA from February, 1964 to March, 1965. Upon return I got married and was sent to Ft. Rucker, AL. After Ft. Rucker I was stationed in Ft. Monmouth, NJ, White Sands Missile Range, Viet Nam (67-68), Dougway Proving Grounds, UT and Ft. Sill, OK. My MOS was Signal Corps Meteorologist for the greatest part of my time. I left the service in 1971 as an E-6. I then moved to Louisiana where I graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1985. I work for the State of Louisiana as a Community Development Program Specialist." Some of Al's Vietnam photos can be seen here on web pages starting at (http://www.geocities.com/nam_album/ArmyPage14/ArmyPage14.html).
1966 In January, 2007 I got a short email from Robert Cotnoir. He said: "My name is Bob Cotnoir NY 93E20 from 66-68 spent much time in AZ and tdy everywhere else. Love the weather!"
January 1966. In June, 2002 Jim Fridley sent me these photos of himself and the Ft. Monmouth school building (below), and the following email: "Hello Paul . You were probably one of my instructors. I attended the Met School from August '65 until I graduated in Jan. '66. I'm sorry I don't remember your name, but I do remember Sargeant Robbins and Mr. Reigert (Sp?) and Sargeant David Martin. Two of my fellow students were Al Norgard and John Malburg, who was stationed with me at White Sands Missile Range, NM after we left Ft. Monmouth. I had many fond memories of the Ft. Monmouth assignment, especially Asbury Park on the weekends. There was also a dynamite sub shop just outside the gate in Eatontown. I remained in the army for 12 years. After returning from Nam in 1969, I was assigned as an instructor at the 93E School, which had moved to Ft. Sill, OK. Jake Reigert was instructing there, as was Al Norgard. In 1972, I was accepted to the Forecasting School at Chanute AFB, IL (I was the only Army type there). After that, I was assigned to WSMR as a research forecaster working with the SkyLab Project (great duty). We were TDY in civiies half the time. In 1975, I was reassigned as a forecaster at Ft. Greely, AK. MSGT Robbins was the Section Chief there. I really hated it, and when my reenlistment came up in May of '77, I left the service as a SP7. I guess I wasn't the lifer I thought I was! In 1998, I revisited the Ft. Monmouth area. Big Mistake!!! The fort looked about the same, but Asbury Park looked like a war zone. I couldn't believe it. Everything was deserted - even the Stone Pony. I truly left in a state of shock. I guess nothing stays the same." A later email from Jim says: " (Another) name hit me - Mr. Ballinger. I'm almost positive that was the name of the Pearl Harbor survivor that was a Micromet instructor - ring any bells with you?"
April 1966 In May, 2006 I heard from Rich Gonia, an April 1966 graduate. Here is what Rich had to say:
"I enjoyed your web site. It brought back many fond memories of my days as a Met-Vet. I was drafted in the big build-up of Aug. 1965 and after finishing basic at Leonard Wood I received orders to report to Ft Monmouth for training as a 93E20 Met Observer. I still have my certificate of completion from Ft Monmouth. Date of graduation was April 8th 1966. I recall that I had just started classes when the “Big Blackout” occurred. I believe you were visiting New York at the time. I’m sorry to say I can’t recall many names or fellow students in my class or the instructors. I believe that one classmate’s name was Bethke and I think he was assigned to Dugway P.G. I also remember our class having two young ladies that reenlisted for Met School after having done Air Traffic Control in Alabama. Of my class most went to Dugway and White Sands. I was the only one assigned to YPG (Yuma Proving Ground).
At YPG I was assigned to the Field Section led by Sgt. Turner. A routine assignment was 105 shell testing where from each lot of shells produced a sample was sent to Panama (hot–wet) Yuma (hot-dry) and Greely (cold) for evaluation. A long hot boring day where not much happened and one was supposed to stay in a small concrete shelter which no one did. A few weeks after coming home I learned that a shell exploded killing the Met Observer who wasn’t in his shelter. Another regular assignment was recon drone tests. It’s interesting to see how these 1st or 2nd generation drones that we supporting development of would evolve into the armed hunter-killer UAV’s of today’s CIA and military. Pretty Cool!
I pulled a few months TDY in Alaska for a project I still can't talk about. My TDY assignment to Alaska was a secret test conducted at a temporary camp built for this program. We had no contact with the Met teams stationed in Alaska and were self supporting. We brought in all our own equipment and our Alaskan counterparts never knew we were on their turf. Our leader was a civilian meteorologist Ed Ringers from Ft. Huachuca. We had an Army Elect. Tech. and a USAF telemetry expert.
Back at YPG I worked on Project HARP, a cannon to shot a projectile into orbit.The project Director Dr. G. Bull was years later assanated by the Israelis for trying to build Sadam a cannon to launch projectiles into Israel. Most of our shots were fired at night and I saw several. I was not on duty for the record breaking shot. [PAR Note: "The Yuma Gun's claim to fame was that on November 18, 1966 it lofted a Martlet 2 vehicle to a world record altitude of 180 km, which still stands today."] At the time we didn’t know it was such a successful shot nor did we even know a second cannon existed. While at YPG the ”old man” signed me up to support the Arizona National Guard for two weeks. It was a reserve artillery unit. One of our senior Sergeants had a background in Artillery Met and gave me a crash two weeks of training so I could go out with the National Guard for two weeks and support them with artillery met data.
From looking at some old photos some of the names are coming back. Stewart Hock whose name I saw on your site. Another person to transfer to YPG after a term at another test facility was Bob Hummel from Panama. Other YPG Met team members I recall are:
“Woody” Woodruff, Andy Matura, “Jonesy” Jones, Paul Ryan, Harry Holter, Bill Flower, Orville Grandquest, Ken Harkin, Sgt. J. Turner , Section head, Sgt. Rankin , Sgt Pullin 1st Shirt, Sgt. Redding, Section head, Major Don Ridder CO. Of course I’m guessing at these names and spellings.
Sometimes I feel guilty to say I had such a great time in the military while grunts I shared a room with at Leonard Wood didn't come home from Vietnam. It was a strange time for all of us."
Early 1966 In June, 2004 I heard from Dana F. Smith, a 1966 graduate. Here is what Dana had to say: "I graduated from the "Met" observer school at Fort Monmouth early 1966 and was stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Early in the 1970's, I applied and was sent to Chanute AFB for training as a Weather Forecaster." Dana is now Associate Environmental Engineer, New Mexico Operations, PhelpsDodge Corp.
December 1966 In September 2007 I got an email from Pat Brown. He says: "My name is Pat Brown and I was a 2 Dec '66 93E Fort Monmouth graduate. The folks I graduated with were all assigned to Fort Greely and then to Dugway Proving
Grounds (1968). A few of the names I remember are: Charles Bin Eng from Seattle WA, George Sozomenu from Brooklyn NY, Charles Dorsey from Baltimore MD, Wayne Heady from Salt Lake City UT."
Early 1967 In October, 2004 I got the following email from Dick Fuhr. If you know anything about the "Vietnam Project" he is asking about get in touch with me and I'll connect you with Dick. Here is his email: "My name is Dick Fuhr. I trained and was stationed at Monmouth from 1966 to 1969. I started met school training around November 1, 1966. Do you know anything about the Vietnam project? I worked at the upper air research lab at Belmar N.J. from 1966 to 1969 and went to Vietnam in Oct. 1968. There were three of us that took dirgibles onto which antenna wires could be flown. This could monitor human sensing devices which were dropped into infiltrated areas in Nam. Been trying to research this for about 1 year but no one seems to know of this project. Any help would be greatly appreciated."
April, 1967. The day after Christmas of 2009 I got an email from John Hannah who said: "I went to Monmouth, NJ to 93E20 school graduating approx Apr. 1967. Stephen
Harder was a roommate of mine at Monmouth as well as afterward at WSMR until
I got married Dec 29, 1967. Dick Fuhr was, I believe, in our class also as
was Ed Clark who was also a roommate of mine at Monmouth. Ed later had a
similar incident happen to him as killed Stephen Harder and spent, as I
understand, most of a year recovering from burns. I still have the orders
that shipped almost a whole company of 93E20s from WSMR to VietNam. We were
all Monmouth grads of about the same time and ended up in VietNam disbursed
up and down the country. I was at Camp Eagle with Kenneth Nilsestuen, also
a Monmouth classmate. Dave Ebert, also a classmate was with us some of the
time off and on. I arrived in country Oct 17, 1968 and got an early out on
June 20, 1969. I did metro stuff from arrival in country until mid Jan 1969
and then became 101st DivArty S4/5 clerk for the duration of my stay.
Nilsestuen ended up in the middle of the A Shau for quite a spell in spring
and summer 1969. L'Amie, Tanaka, Itamura, Reynolds were some of the others
that graduated from Monmouth at about the same time and also ended up in
Nam. I still have the orders that lists the entire group. Probably over 30
on it. Our whole group was kind of a bunch of "no luck" bastards. We got sent to Nam to be artillery weather observers and did not know anything about it. We were all
enlistees with less than one year to go in the Army. The army had to send a
bunch of draftees through Monmouth to replace us and because of the length
of the school the draftees had little more service time left than we did.
The army could have sent the draftees to a month artillery weather school
and then sent them to Nam and saved a lot of money plus had trained people
to do the job in Nam. Sort of $1000 toilet seats on a smaller scale."
June 1967. In September of 2002 I heard from Bruce Mervine, another former Instructor. He sent me the photo of the Instructors badge shown on the right. He says: "Your website brings back fond memories. I was at Monmouth from December '65 thru June of '67, first as a 93E student, then as an instructor, before spending a year in 'nam as a 93F with the 8th TAB, 25th Artllery.
I've not had time to read your entire website, but I did spot the name Swartz, who was there during my stay.
I still have my "Tin Tittie" (the instructors' badge) and will send some photos of it, and others that I'll have to dig up. I engraved my dates of service as an instructor on the back of my badge....29 July 1966 thru 15 June 1967. Does the name Jim Mann ring a bell? He was also an instructor back then, and thru a wierd set of circumstances, we hooked up again in 1969, and his family & mine have spent all but about 6 New Years eves with him, even though we're about 500 miles apart."
Feb.-March, 1968. In July 2013 I got an email from Don Filer. He also sent me his class photo and a photo of him (on the left) working at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. The photos are below. He said: "I enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 20, 1967 after graduating from Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, California. I spent 8 weeks at Ft. Bliss, Texas doing Basic Training and arrived at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey in October for 19 weeks of Meteorological School. I don’t remember a lot about the school itself other than it was broken into 3 sections. Surface Observations, Micro Meteorology and Upper Air. The few classmates’ names I can recall are: Garry Patton (from Louisiana), Kenneth Cain (from North Carolina), Robert Rash (from Pennsylvania) and twins Danny and Ranny Wright (from Indiana). I believe my class began in October and graduated in February or March of 1968. I was very fortunate to be promoted from E-2 to E-4 upon graduation and assigned to Ft. Huachuca, Arizona where I began my 93E-20 career as a Surface Observer at Libby Army Airfield. I also lucked out and was sent on two TDY assignments. The first to Searcy, Arkansas and the second, to Colorado State University for a hail suppression R&D project. The other members of that team included PFC Larry Webb, SP4 John Kelley, and PVT Brazil (an OJT 93E). We had 4 Forecasters at that time who shared the LAAF duties but I can’t remember their names. Some of the NCOs I do remember the names of include: SSG Gieger, SFC Rust, SSG Bordine and SSG Escobar. My counterparts in surface observations included: John (Skosh) Whitten, Drexel Sterling, and Daryl Sartanowitz. About a year after I arrived, the company lost its Company Clerk and since I knew how to type, I was recruited to take his place. Not long afterward the Meteorological contingent moved from the newer brick buildings to the older refurbished wooden quarters. We also had a Micro Met facility and Rawinsonde building just up the road from the airfield. Before moving the Meteorological Activity to White Sands Missile Range, we also did special projects on post including monitoring surface observations during drone tests at Laundry Ridge as well as special Rawinsondes for the effects of dew on microwave signals. I was ultimately replaced by a real company clerk and not long after got out of the Army in August 1970. I went to San Francisco State University where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration after two years at Diablo Valley College. I had a successful career working for several high-tech companies including Hewlett-Packard and think the background I got in Meteorology, which I still love to this day, had a lot to do with it."
May (?) 1968. In October, 2005 I got the following email from Tony Georgakis: "I stumbled accross your site while looking up theodolites. I graduated
93E20 from Monmouth in 68... did a year and a half at Yuma Proving Grounds running surface and rawin... then to Vietnam (Nov 69) where I
took over as section chief for a met section with the 1/83rd FA. We basically set up a GMD on abandon firebases and ran met for
army/airforce/navy (NATO met). I had the occassion to run pibals on hills where we couldn't transport the GMD.
Got out in 1970... did the college thing (BS in Ed)... joined the NY Army Ntl Guard (1986) where I became a tanker (armor)... moved up the
ladder until achieving MSG status in my present position as intel analyst...
Missed the old days... some "wild" stories to tell about Yuma, 4 legged aliens with large ears visiting the Yuma shelter... nice knowing there
are others out there with balls enough to come out of the meteorological closet."
In August, 2009 I got the following email from Keith Mertz: "I've enjoyed reading your MOS93E20 website. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a BS in Geography, I enlisted in the Army in April, 1968 and took basic at Ft. Campbell, KY. I attended Met school in Ft. Monmouth, NJ from July 1968 until December 1968. From there I was stationed at Ft. Huachuca, AZ from Dec. '68 til Oct. '69. I was a surface weather observer at Libby AAF. In Oct. '69 I received orders to Nam and arrived there in late Nov. '69. I was assigned to the 1/83 FA(Met Section)at LZ Roy between Danang and Hue until about Mar. '69 when we moved to Camp Eagle and set up our met equipment there. I left Nam and the Army in Nov. '70. I was fortunate in 1975 to put my Army met experience to civilian use when I went to work with the Tennessee Valley Authority as a Meteorological Technician for almost 3 years until the program expired. I remember Anthony Georgakis, who has written you a short military biography, from Nam. He was a 93E20 from YPG who arrived at LZ Roy a couple weeks after me along with Jim Gilmore and John Ward, also 93E20's from YPG. I read with interest your page on 'weather people' who died in Nam. I knew Robert Shurr, he was honor grad, or #2 in my 93E20 graduating class. I saw him in Nam just a couple weeks before he was killed. Although he was 93F in Vietnam, he was trained as a 93E20. We were stationed in Ft. Huachuca at the same time."
March 1969. Jim Griffin (seen on left) sent me some information and his picture in December, 2001. "I graduated from the 93E school at Ft Monmouth in Mar of 69. I was in Nam in Sep 69-we had a wonderful "compatible MOS" with the 93F-ers. Don't remember any of the names of the instructors. Remember putting nite lights in the balloons during the last phase of the training. Caused a little stir in the community as I recall. Something about UFOs. Wish they would have spent more time on the ballistic met charts... HA! Attached is one remaining pic of me in met school."
May 1969. In June of 2005 I got an email from Francis Kessler. He says: "I served from August 1968 to June 1971. Took Met school at Ft. Monmouth from November 1968 to May 1969. Stationed in Panama from June 1969 to December 1970. We lived at the jungle school site, Fort Sherman?. Launched weather balloons and fired weather rockets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in support of an Atomic Energy Commission fallout study gathering high altitude weather data in case they dug a new canal with nuclear energy. Great times in Panama. Finished up at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, gathering data for rocket trajectory computations. Some of us got lucky during the Vietnam era."
May 1969. In November of 2002 I heard from Joe Alajko. Here is what he had to say: "Paul, I am a May 1969 graduate of the metro class at Ft Monmouth. Your website is very interesting. After graduation I was assigned to White Sands Missle Range in New Mexico. There I worked at the Stallion Range Center and then at Holoman Air Force Base doing all phases of Met observation. In August of 1970 I received orders for Vietnam and spent 11 months working as a 93F20, the artillery version of the met observer. Recently I was able to contact four of my fellow "metro rangers" from Holoman AFB and Vietnam. Many memories have been passed along via e-mail, including pictures , a couple of which were taken at Ft. Monmouth. If you would like to see these photos you can access them on: http://www.fountainheadcreations.com/nitehawk/crb.html. Robert Fulwiler is the creator of the site. He is an August 1969 graduate of the 93E20 course. What I am attempting to do is find out who was in my class in 1969. I can only remember a couple of fellows. I was wondering if you had any ideas or any contacts at Ft. Sill that may be able to help me. Ideally I would like a picture of my class, if there is one. After 33 years, I don't remember. If I come across any artifacts of Ft. Monmouth I will certainly let you know."
Summer 1969 In March, 2004 I heard from Steve Repasch. here is what he says: "I was born and raised in Fountain Hill, PA and started my Army career in January, 1969, enlisting, just before I would have gotten drafted. Spent basic training at Ft. Bragg N.C. and several months afterward waiting for my orders to enter the Met Observer School at Ft. Monmouth. I eventually got there around April and spent most of the summer there, graduated from the school and was sent to the C.Z. in August. I was first stationed at Ft. Sherman on the Atlantic side where I worked in all three areas of Met Observations. First the surface obs, then micro met and finally high altitude work at Battery Mackenzie where we launched weather rockets 3 days per week. My last 6 months there were spent at Ft. Davis, again on the Atlantic side after they closed our weather facility at Ft. Sherman.
I left the C.Z. in March of '71 and was returned to duty at Ft. Monmouth where we worked at a weather station in Red Bank, N.J., sending up balloons and radiosondes daily. I was discharged a bit early in November of '71. I went home, continued my education getting a degree in Environmental Science. I've worked in the environmental field, water and wastewater, for over 28 years. I was also elected Mayor of my town and am in the third year of my second term."
Summer 1969. On March 1, 2010 I heard from Gregory Kane who is now a Systems Security Engineer at Ft. Hood, TX. He says: "Great page and some fantastic memories. I arrived at Monmouth in Sept of 68 and graduated in early 69 and to our surprise our entire classes orders for
RVN were cancelled and we were holdovers. The entire class was then assigned
to the Canal Zone for the next 18 months. I was there with Frank Kessler and
Steve Repasch and a host of others - Lonnie Bower was our tech repair guy,
and Art Lazenby was the E6 in charge. We had an E8 who enjoyed the life out
of cutting grass with a riding lawn mower, and of course Mr. Carlson our
OIC. Mr Carlson lasted for a while then something happened, not quite sure.
I was in on the building, or attempted building, of the sea watch tower at
the battery - until the engineers condemned it. The project of cutting the
jungle by hand to clear a 180 degree full view of the sea - never happened.
Had a lot of fun trying to play basket ball in the old hanger with the open
leaking roof - and of course it rained every day. We had two dogs out at the
battery - Tinker and Sheba - a mutt and a German Sheppard and at one point a
boa. Spent time with Tony the Tapir at the local zoo - we traded jungle
finds with the zoo for dog food. Spent the entire time on the "Atlantic
Side" shooting the Argus and Loki rockets the three days a week, along with
the radiosondes and the appropriate 1000 gram balloons. Of course there were
the piball and theodolite tracking contests. I do not think any of us knew
what the real Army was. We had Shimmy Beach and Devils Beach to keep us in
the water. One guy that comes to mind was Charlie Judas - may have the
spelling off. He use to hook sharks on chains and baited grappling hooks
then swim out and fight them. I guess it was something to do. We had the
invasion of the blue land crabs that occurred every so often and would block
the road to the battery. I was there for the barracks move off of Ft.
Sherman and left soon after. I went from the Canal Zone to WSMR and was there until 1973. I left for recruiting duty with the whole intent to returning to the MOS - found out a few months later that the MOS was decommissioned. I ended up staying as a recruiter for the next 7 years. I was still not part of the regular Army. The story goes on but I ended up being reclassed some time after recruiting duty into flight ops. It seems that many fellow 93E went that way, if not into Artillery Met"
July, 1969. In March, 2011 I heard from Fred Choppy. He says: "Stumbled across your wonderful site, so many memories! Graduated from Ft
Monmouth (by the way, it will be shut down 9/2011 for good) and went to CZ
till end of '71. Spent equal time on both sides, and worked with S. Repasch
(one of your story tellers). There was a request by a Mr Fuhr looking for
info on the "Viet Nam Project" in which I was involved. Quite simply, a
projectile that was actually a listening device (it was long and thin and
had an antenna that looked like a vine). They were dropped by air or by
hand in a series and clicked on and off in a pattern. To determine their
accuracy it was necessary to discern between man and animal, weather, etc.
So the Army set up a 20' clearing in the Gamboa jungle range. We would then
be sent out there day and night to take met measurements and log ALL noises
and times. This on site data was compared with listening post data at HQ to
determine reliability. Spending the entire night in the jungle with nothing
but a flashlight and pen with paper could be interesting at times. A few years back one of our Canal Zone mates started a webiste for our group, but I did not keep up with it. It was started by Ed johnson out of Long Island, but moved up to the Albany, NY area. Some of my closest mates were Tracy Jones (CA), Jim Barthelmew (PA), Lloyd Nolan (CA), and Tom Wilson (NJ). I'll try to dig up some more names and photos for you."
Fred sent me 10 photos of his time in the Army. I'll post his 7/69 Ft. Monmouth graduation photo here (on the right). He identifies the men as: "Front row: Mike Fee, Fred Choppy, Mark Rafferty 2nd. row: Tom Autry, Ed Johnson, Jim Barthlemew, the man behind the 2nd row is Tracy Jones, a california kid."
I'll probably post some of his other photos later.
August, 1969. On June 30, 2013 I heard from Ed Johnson SP/5 about his time in 93E. He says: "I recently came across your 93E20 web site and it brought back many memories. Like my old cube mate Fred Choppy, I did equal time on the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the Canal. I graduated with in the 93E20 class around Aug of '69. I was involved heavily in the wireless sensor "Vietnam Project" Fred discusses in his email. I was also one of the two ballistics people responsible for keeping the Arcas and Loki rocket motors from landing in the Republic of Panama or on our own heads. We used a dinosaur radar from WWII that could only track something within a degree or two of where it was pointed. This made ballistics a real challenge. Our resident scientist was Dr. Richard Keen who was always up on the latest astronomical happenings. Then we had Californian Rick Krolich last seen a few days before his ETS sailing away on a trans Pacific cruise ship with an Aussie hunny. He waved goodbye to the rest of the 93E20 boys from the upper deck as the ship sailed from the port of Colon. Most of us got our first choice stateside reassignments as Richard Nixon was trying to wine and dine us to reenlist during the early days of the "all volunteer Army". Fred and I ended up back at Camp Evans outside the late Ft. Monmouth. We had a great apartment a few miles from the beach in Neptune, NJ. I ETS'd a few months early to return to school in the Westchester area of NY. I had run a web site for awhile for the 93E20's from CZ, but it never had enough interest to keep it going. Maybe will try to bring it back to life. I am now living in Palm Bay, Florida and working as a systems engineer for public safety two way radio systems. Fred and I were cube mates in the CZ and shared an apartment at Camp Evans. He is from Troy, NY originally and I later moved there. We almost hooked up a few times, but never managed to get the timing right. I have been in touch with Richard Keen, Stephan Repatsch, and Tom Ardry and a few others but nothing since I shut down the web site a few years back. Strangely, I lost all most of my photos of my time there to a flood. Those 35mm slides that survived were effected by good old Panamanian mold. I was lucky to work on one of the first Ozone monitoring projects when we night fired Arcas rockets equipped for ozone measurement "under" one of the orbiting Apollo spacecraft to assist in the calibration of the sensor to be put into orbit a few years later. We also worked extensively on the "Vietnam Project" as Fred calls it. They were wireless sensors that measured ignition noise from gas powered vehicles, diesel fumes from exhaust, infrared emissions from moving bodies (and some animals) and sound measuring sensors. They were all sent by radio to a receiver overhead and relayed back to appropriate personnel. As Fred mentioned, we provided Met support and stayed in the jungle all night identifiying what was in the area to the Navy test trailer where the sensor data was being received."
August, 1969. On Jan. 27, 2015 I heard from William Barnette. He says:
"I arrived at Monmouth after basic at Ft,Gordon in April,1969. Of the people in the class that I remember are:Ronnie Jordan,Gazda, Frank Mlaker and Floyd Lewis. After graduating in August,1969 Floyd and myself were ordered to Ft.Greeley. Upon arriving at Wainwright a sergeant asked us where we were going and we said "Greeley". At that point he wondered what we had done wrong. Anyhow ,we proceeded to Greeley. Names I remember at Greeley included Sergeant Berryhill, Henry Lamb, Frank Rauscher, Kevin Walsh, Dwight Gammulo, Roy Osugi and Vic Lukasiak. After 2 or 3 months on post I volunteered to go to Gerstle River to monitor Chemical Corps. experiments; it was great because our CO could not come to surprise us without going through the colonel of the post first. Consequently, no surprise inspections or any other army stuff. The Met people at the river included Bill Natvig, Steve Smith, Stanley Daub, Doug Causey and myself. At the river we lived in two parallel quonset huts. We had good food and very little interference. Our data were sent to Arizona along with other data accumulated at Dugway. After a year or so at the river it was back to post for a couple months working at the hanger and an occasional radiosonde. After Greeley, it was back to Monmouth and Evans Lab where I was reunited with Ronnie Jordan from the Canal Zone. We ETS'd in Nov,1971. All in all it was a pleasant experience!"
Late summer 1969 (last class at Ft. Monmouth). After receiving Joe Alajko's email and visiting the Holoman "metro rangers" web page mentioned in that email, I got in touch with Robert Fulwiler in late November, 2002 and he sent me the following information: "Hi, Paul, Great pages! Yes, we are guilty as charged. Our class was the last 93E class at Ft. Monmouth. As we completed each of the three sections, we dismantled the equipment and boxed it for shipment to Ft. Sill. We finished up in late summer of 1969. I'm not sure what all occurred but I understand that there was a considerable amount of time between our graduation and the next batch of 93E's. This put quite a strain on the system due to the fact that many 93E's were levied to Vietnam and used as 93F's. Upon graduation, several of my class ended up at various sites in New Mexico under the overall umbrella of White Sands Missile Range. These sites included personnel at White Sands, another group at Holloman Air Force Base, and a smaller group further up-range at Stallion Site. They tried to send us all to Vietnam at one time. Obviously, there were no replacements for us in the pipeline. Our orders for Nam were cancelled [temporarly] and they sent us about a dozen OJT's, straight from basic training. We had about 60 days to turn these losers into 93E's. Our morale was low and I'm afraid we did little in the way of training other than how to run a floor buffer. What could they do to us? Send us to Vietnam? Anyway, the switch from 93E to 93F was a piece of cake. I have personal knowledge of only one 93E casualty. He was a guy in the 1/92nd Arty on Arty Hill at Pleiku. We assumed that there was a static electricity discharge while he was filling a balloon with hydrogen. It wasn't a fire as much as an explosion. Closed casket funeral." Be sure to visit Robert's web pages using the link on the main MOS 93E2 page. His photos include two from Ft. Monmouth (one of the last graduating class and one of instructions inside the Bldg. 200 Upper Air classroom).
Additional Graduating Classes taken from Graduation Exercises Programs
1) May 2, 1969: SP5 Robert E Malone, SP5 Gerald W Williams, PFC Joseph Alajko Jr., PFC Stephen J Alred, PFC Ronald A Cislo, PFC Thomas J De Preta Jr., PFC Stanley L Doepke Jr., PFC Francis B Kessler, PFC Stephen J Kinnal, PFC Kenneth N Lodding, PFC James F Mullin, PFC James H Ratterree, PFC Robert C Stein, and PVT Jerry A Rounsley.
To view email messages from people who graduated prior to 1959 go HERE.
To view email messages from people who graduated from 1959 up to my class in 1964 go HERE.
To view the email messages from those who graduated after the school moved from Ft. Monmouth go HERE.
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E-mail feedback or questions to Paul Roales. I hope you have enjoyed my efforts. I want to extend thanks to everyone who provided information for this page. Feel free to email me with suggestions for improvements using the link above. You can return to my MOS 93E2 page HERE, or go to my HOMEPAGE here. You can access my other web pages from there. Page and all contents copyright 2001 to 2015 by Paul A. Roales