An association of Aerographers & Mates,
Meteorologists & Oceanographers


Don Cruse, Potomac Regional Chapter





In August, 1976, thirty years ago, this association was first given a name.  That action occurred in Pensacola during the USA's Bicentennial Year. The good news in 2006, in Pittsburgh, is that our association remains strong and viable, despite the occasional forecast calling for its demise.  The fact that we are assembled here in Pittsburgh for one more enjoyable, rewarding reunion of friends, relatives and shipmates testifies to our conviction that someone had a great idea many years ago.


The job of Historian has not changed since we met in Branson last year.  The framework of this job remains our NWSA archives basic records consisting of The Aerograph and The Bellinger List.   But this year, more than ever, we are becoming accustomed to work in the digital and electronic worlds.  What used to be unique has become commonplace.  Our individual lifestyles have adapted.  Witness the effectiveness of our NWSA web page, which is faithfully maintained by Chief Trenz.  We rely on it to spread the good word on our association and exchange information.


Editor Jordan has followed up Joe McKinzie by increasing electronic transmission of The Aerograph with every issue.  That saves money  The NWSA web page is a valuable tool, but we must never forget that the quarterly newsletter underpins our association.  It behooves every member to contribute to this record, and also to keep personal addresses - both email and USPS up to date and thus expedite transmission of these media by our members who have volunteered to do the job.


The NWSA web page on the Internet is effective in spreading the news about our activities.  It also generates more and more work for the Historian.  Email has become a way of life for me, but it will never replace the USPS.  As evidence I offer my outgoing correspondence log for 2005 which totals 350 pieces of outgoing.  Yes, it was a Branson year, so there was a lot of reunion business mixed in.


In our most recent issue of The Aerograph I note what I consider to be a logical and worthwhile project for NWSA's regional chapters.  Refurbishing the aetiological offices in historic sips like USS MISSOURI (BB-63) can provide focus for energies and talents.  We've seen that succeed in the USS HORNET (CV-12) Museum at Alameda, and in the "Big Mo" at Pearl Harbor.  Last year, in my annual Historian�s Report, I enumerated the many historical ships that are open to the public.  USS IOWA (BB-61) continues to swing on her hook in the muddy Suisun Bay, unfortunately.


Hampton Roads Regional Chapter has been trying to identify a meaningful project to add to their Veterans Hospital efforts.  For HamRds and our other chapters I offer the historical ships as a worthwhile endeavor, one which NWSA can assist in by contributing memorabilia.  Our willing team in Monterey chapter, Zane Jacobs and Frank Ivie, still maintain custody of three large boxes of aerology memorabilia.  This is in addition to all the material that NWSA has donated to the National Museum of Naval Aviation over many years.


Finally, I feel that NWSA must stand steady right now because severe turmoil is taking place within the METOC community.  That is the community which succeeded Naval Aerology and the Naval Weather Service.  We have established a strong historical structure, and now is definitely the time to cultivate and maintain it.

                                                                                                                        DAC 6/06