An association of Aerographers & Mates,
Meteorologists & Oceanographers

NWSA Historian
xAG2 Tom Hanagan, USN REL


See Organization


Aerograph August 2019

 I’m a Historian???

Greetings to all, and especially the members I met at the reunion almost a month ago. I just joined the association within the last year, and have a lot to learn, but it should be a lot easier with the friendly help of my new friends. I was asked if I would be the new Historian, and I accepted without hesitation. Harry is a great guy, and after talking to him on the phone a while ago, I can tell he will be of help as we make the transition. First of all, I need to pick up the many boxes of historical information, and I plan to head out to west Texas in June to make that happen. The month of May is super busy for my wife and I, as we like to travel, and after a quick trip to Purdue for a graduation, we’re heading to Amsterdam for a river cruise to Budapest, and that kills the month.

Where to go from here? Well, I have to sort through the material Harry has, and get a feel for what we have and what we don’t have. Fortunately, I have a lot of space, and spreading it all out will be the first familiarization task. Organizing and assembling next, then I’ll reach out to the Board and see what they would like to have done and with what priorities. Finally, I’ll reach out via The Aerograph to see if the membership has any requests or needs. At this point, I see the Historian billet as a resource for the association, and will do my best to be of assistance to all.

Unlike everybody I’ve met so far, I only had one enlistment, and that was March 1968 to June 1971. Immediately after boot camp at Great Lakes, I went to Lakehurst for A school, and reported for duty aboard the USS Coral Sea CVA43 in December 1968. Made Third Class quickly, went to Upper Air C school after my first WestPac, and made Second Class before my second WestPac. Loved being an AG, and when I was rotated off the ship in January 1971 and sent to the Navy Weather Research Facility in Norfolk, I became a computer operator on an old Univac 1107 mainframe. Well, I felt like a fish out of water, and really missed being a weatherman. The facility was decommissioning, and as the war was winding down if one had less than a year obligated service, you could stay in or get out. Best guess was that I’d stay a computer operator ending up in Monterey, so I opted to get out.

My life took a very different path. I finished my education and worked in food manufacturing for a number of years, then my wife and I started a service business in 1986. Sold that business in 2000, then purchased a manufacturing business in 2001, selling and retiring in 2016. Went for a tour of the USS Hornet CVS12 in December of 2016, had another tour in January of 2017, and got the bug to restore the weather spaces up on the O7 level. That’s my fun project now, and making slow progress. A lot of the clean up work is done, and it will take another year or so to complete the project. The really new project, though, is becoming your Historian. I’ll try to send in updates to the Aerograph now and again, and if anyone has questions, comments, or suggestions, please send them to me. I look forward to hearing from you! 


xAG2 Tom Hanagan, USN REL

NWSA Historian

In May 2010 NWSA members welcomed and congratulated AGCM Harry Hale, USN RET as he relieved CDR Don Cruse, USN RET as the NWSA Historian!


Don had been our Historian since "Day 1" and no one has worked any harder to preserve the Navy's Meteorology & Oceanography history AND the history of the NWSA.

After almost a decade the torch passes again, after 2019's Reunion #45  -- this time from Harry to Tom Hanagan. 

Don's dedication to the task he loved will be remembered every time we read the many historical articles on this website and elsewhere. Harry preserved Don's legacy and created 
one of his own.

Thank you Harry!  Fair Winds & Following Seas in your next endeavor!