An association of Aerographers & Mates,
Meteorologists & Oceanographers

NWSA President

President 2017-2019:

 AGC Charles "Cap" Casperson, USN RET

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Source: Aerograph November 2017

Happy Autumn Shipmates!

I can’t believe it is November already, seems like just last week I was writing this note for the summer Aerograph.  Even out here in the high desert of California though, the leaves on the few trees here are starting to turn colors.  I know many of you have already seen the leaves turn, fall off, and for some, get covered by early snowfall, at least temporarily.  My parents and sister in northwest Montana and brother in Idaho have already experience several good snowfalls while we swelter in near-summertime heat the last half of October.  Who’d expect the first game of the World Series to be played in near-100 degree heat as Santa Ana winds and temperatures affected the Los Angeles basin, even keeping the temperatures well above normal in the high desert under the high pressure over the great basin area of the West?

We had the opportunity to observe the total eclipse of the sun in August at my brother’s home in Idaho Falls, within eight miles of the centerline of the path of totality.  It was amazing how dark it got and how much the temperature dropped.  Surrounded by Lori, our daughter, grandson, brother, sister-in-law, and nieces and nephews; it was a great treat.  Not sure how much the little ones will remember, but at least we can show pictures when they’re older.

Extreme weather and natural disasters have been the primary news stories this quarter as hurricanes devastated parts of Texas, Florida, and Caribbean Islands.  Forest fires in southwest Canada and the Pacific Northwest kept WA, OR, MT, ID, and WY under a heavy blanket of smoke affecting visibility and air quality in those states.  California had its usual number of wildfires in the Sierra’s, but some that impacted areas in Los Angeles, Orange, and Santa Barbara Counties where the population is much denser.  Most surprising and scary for those of us out west was the huge, aggressive fire in Marin County and Wine Country.  I know we have many members along the Gulf Coast and Pacific Northwest that may have been impacted, though I haven’t heard of any that were directly affected.  Our prayers go out to everyone that lost their homes in or were affected by the 2017 weather events and natural/man-influenced disasters.

While one of those tropical storms tried to hit New Orleans, it went ashore east of there with little impact, at least to New Orleans.  Fortunately, Gary, Libby, Pat, and the rest of the Reunion Committee have made great progress on preparing for Reunion #44!  The reservation form is available online and in this issue and the hotel reservation has been available since this summer.  Please get your reservations in as soon as possible so we can plan the best event possible.  We’re still researching a cruise-type event for #45 in 2019 and will provide more info to you as soon as possible to get your input and help you plan.

Please check out the Bellinger List this issue to see if you have shipmates that have dropped off or aren’t there and invite them back as well as confirming that your information is updated and correct.  I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans in April.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas season.  Please email me any thoughts or questions you may have to grow/improve our association or how I can serve you better as President.


In Service,

Cap Casperson

Source: Aerograph August 2017

Greetings from the upper Mojave Desert of California!  I can’t believe it’s already been a quarter of a year since Reunion 43!  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was just greeting our many friends in San Antonio. 

I’ve spent the last three months hopping back and forth across the country, mostly to the DC area, but also to northwestern Florida.  I’d love to meet with any chapters that meet when I’m in your area.  Although I missed meeting with Potomac Chapter President Tom Berkeridge when I spent the week at National Harbor, MD in June (we’ll get together next time, Tom), I was able to meet with many of the Pensacola Chapter folks for dinner thanks to Libby setting things up.  I thoroughly enjoyed having dinner with Larry and Nancy, Pat and Libby, Bernie, Ed and Patty, and Paul in Pensacola in July.  Bernie, thanks for dinner!  Following dinner, I even got to attend a Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball game with Libby, Pat, and Bernie; and they even won with a rally in the 8th inning!  I primarily only get to Arlington, VA and sometimes northwest Florida in my current job, but my primary responsibility is western US; China Lake, Point Mugu, Edwards AFB, Hill AFB, Fort Worth, MCAS Yuma, and Luke AFB.

I received a number of great comments from my report in May regarding the problem of bringing new members into our association from the active duty members of the Navy.  CDR Chuck White wished me well as he agreed that the problem of new “blood” was one that has plagued the Association for a long time, even when he was President.  LCDR Adria McClain a METOC Officer provided a good synopsis of our problem, “the Naval Weather Service Association is virtually unknown (at least in my experience) among both Active and Reserve METOCs and AGs.  In my 16 years of service (10 Active Duty plus 6 and counting in the Reserve) – all as a METOC Officer – I never once heard mention of NWSA.  I found out about it purely by chance via a Google search on military meteorology.”  I apologize for quoting you without your permission, but I believe this is a significant reason why we’re not seeing new Sailors join.  Adria’s excitement about being a METOC Officer in the new Navy is refreshing, especially in light of what our active duty 1800s and AGs get to do to protect our country.  AGCM Belt talked with me in Pensacola about his AGC son who works alongside the SEALS when they deploy, providing critical weather/oceanographic data that determines go/no-go decisions for our Sailors deploying at the pointy end of the spear.  Adria expressed similar thoughts and how exciting is it to be an 1800/AG today!  Many of you had similar experiences in Vietnam, but I would guess that the majority of us were far-removed from harm’s way, even if that distance was onboard a warship that had plenty of its own dangerous (how many of us have observed or participated in flight deck operations?).  Adria suggested that we could get significant visibility if we invited the several commands at Stennis Space Center.  We tried to get participation from the Admiral when we were at Pensacola, but maybe we try again?  We also received email from (a letter to the Editor in this issue), and I had a good conversation with, LCDR Robert Josephs who has submitted suggestions before and has some good ideas.  I look forward to having him help us be a better organization that can grow and thrive.  

Speaking of the Editor; Gary Cox, who is also our Reunion 44 Chair, really needs relief by the end of the year so he can properly chair the reunion next spring.  We need one of you great members to step up and take over the Aerograph Editor position as soon as possible.  Gary will be talking about the amount of time and what is involved in being the editor in this issue.  Another advantage of taking on this critical job is that we will pay your way to New Orleans for Reunion 44!  Raise your hand now…

I also heard from a submarine historian about my comment of the Flier.  Bruce DeWald has provided me additional information on lost submarines of WWII.  Thanks Bruce.

Lori and I were honored to meet with Lloyd and Daisy Corbett for dinner in Ridgecrest a few weeks ago, though the reason for their visit was less than optimum as they were here for the funeral of Daisy’s brother.  Lloyd was my mentor when I got to China Lake 24 years ago and I am forever indebted to him for his counsel and friendship then and continuing through today.

Gary and the O'Briens are lining up a great reunion in New Orleans.  I’m looking forward to having fun on Bourbon Street (or someplace close to there).  How do you earn those beads, again?

Lori (your First Lady) is considering chairing the 2019 Reunion (45) since we haven’t had a chapter step up to host it.  She has had several conversations with members and is looking into a cruise (not haze gray) for Reunion 45, probably sailing out of Florida.  Though many of the cruises are more expensive than a hotel in a specific city, they are all inclusive and can have a lot of activities that we don’t have to provide as an organization.  Please send an email to with your thoughts yes/no, destination/departure point, ideas, etc. so she can make a decision that the majority of us can agree with.

This association is not growing as much as we want, but that doesn’t mean it is dying.  We have a vibrant core of members that will continue to meet and enjoy each other’s company.  This is a social organization.  We don’t provide services like the FRA or DAV, but we do offer the ability to meet with fellow Sailors that stood the same watches, attended the same schools, sailed the seas of the world or operated to keep us and the world as free as possible.  I look forward to hearing from you and possibly seeing you in the next port.

Take care,



Source: Aerograph May 2017

Let me say first, that I am humbled to have been given this honor of serving as your Association President for the next two years.  A big thanks to past president CWO4 Bill Bowers for leading us for the past two years.  One special person, who gets very little credit, though she does more work than any of us, except maybe Aerograph Editor xAG2 Gary Cox, is our Secretary/Treasurer Libby O’Brien.  Libby, thank you for serving us for the past 15? years and completing your tenure (sentence) next year when Secretary/Treasurer-elect Tom Miovas takes over.

1st VP CWO3 Jim Romano, 2nd VP AGCM Mel Bourn, and I look forward to serving you and doing what we can to keep the pointy end of this great organization moving forward and toward the part of the horizon we want to see.

Our new first lady, Lori, and I had a great time in San Antonio at Reunion #43.  Thanks to the great Lone Star Chapter who put on a great reunion again for the 70+ participants who attended.  If you didn’t make it, you truly missed out on a good time.  Not only are things bigger in Texas, but for us you put on one of the best parties ever.  We did eat significantly more Mexican food than normal, but all the walking and sight-seeing seemed to keep the added pounds off so it was a win-win for us!

The main planned event this year was a day trip to the National Museum of the Pacific and Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg.  What a great trip, though the atrocities and the fierce fighting shown in the maze that is the museum was depressing for some.  One, completely unexpected, personal thing that came out of our visit, was information about a submarine sunk during the war.  We lost 42 to 52 (the museum display said 48) submarines during WWII.  Lori’s uncle was on the USS Flier (SS-250), one of those submarines that hit a mine and sank, and after touring the museum and finding no specific information about it, we went to the museum bookstore to browse.  Lo and behold, there was one book about the USS Flier named “Eight Survived” on the bookshelf and it was the only one there!

Apparently, the USS Flier was the only submarine in the Pacific that was sunk with crewmen that escaped the sinking (15 escaped the sinking, though only eight made it to one of the uninhabited islands of the Philippines), that also evaded capture by the Japanese until they were rescued.  Our interest piqued, we searched more online information when we got home and found a National Geographic video of the search and discovery/filming of the Flier on the bottom of the Sulu Sea.  If nothing else, this visit gave us much more information about a relative that gave his life for our country.

So… you’re all scratching your head and wondering where this young whipper snapper is going with this train of thought.  As I reflect on this reunion (and others) and the good times and conversations I’ve had with you, I realize that I don’t have a quarter of the sea stories or experiences that many of you have.  I’m one of those guys that listens a lot and doesn’t say much.  I am a Cold War Warrior (have a certificate that says so!).  I enlisted shortly after the time that the Vietnam War was ending and retired from active duty in Oct 1996).  While I was active during Desert Storm, I supported it from Guam and not at sea.  I’ve now been in my second career (not weather) for longer than my active duty career and going strong as a Navy civilian on a base that has less than 1,000 Sailors attached to it.  I don’t belong to a Chapter because I live 4+ hours from the nearest chapter (San Diego), though Lloyd Corbett tried hard to get a Desert or Point Mugu/China Lake chapter going when he was here.  The reunions are really the only opportunity for me to get together with fellow NWSA members and potential members.

As I’ve read in many past Aerographs, the recurring theme is that we need new members.  My goal, over the  next two years is to bring more younger members in the association.  Unfortunately, our chapters continue to decline in membership while we see little to no increase in active duty or recently retired members joining.  The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Community has completely changed in just the short time that I have been retired.  The Navy made the AG rating a part of the Information Dominance Corps, which makes sense if you think about it.  Last year they tried to eliminate the whole Navy rating structure in the name of political correctness, which happily, failed miserably.  Now our AGs are not even a part of ship’s company and have just recently become a part of Intel when they deploy.  These changes may make sense, but they’re different than what we’re used to, so we, now on the outside, remembering the good old days, seem to resist the changes and can’t (won’t) relate with the current Navy Weather Leadership.  I really want to hear what it’s like to be an 1800, LDO, Aerographer, or AG in today’s Navy.  We should certainly share our experiences with the new breed of Sailor, but we need to find, invite and welcome the current batch of AG/Meteorologist/Oceanographer Warfighters into our fold.

I challenge those of you have relationships with active duty members or points of contact in the fleet concentration areas to connect with the Officers and Sailors that can bring new ideas and energy to our Association.  If you have ideas to do that or can visit an active duty location, please let me know and let me know how I can help.

Reunion #44 planning is well under way. Reunion Chairman Gary Cox with Pat and Libby O’Brien have already started making plans for a great ‘New Awlins’ reunion at a great price!  Lori and I have never been there and we’re looking forward to visiting and seeing y’all there! 

Before I close, I can’t forget to remind you that we continue to need a replacement for Gary as the Aerograph Editor.  Remember, effective next reunion, the Association will help defray the cost of attending the reunion if you’re the Secretary/Treasurer or Aerograph Editor.  I apologize for going on so long, but the guy who doesn’t say much had something to say this time.

Take care,


To my buddies on shore or afloat –

“Shipmates but once and you are Shipmates ever,

Bound by the ties no years, no miles can sever.”

                                    From the book, “Hi Hattie, I’m in the Navy Now” published in 1941.

Source: Aerograph February 2017

Well folks, once again we have had a quiet quarter in the NWSA. And that is a good thing.


The only distraction we’ve had is a couple of SPAM emails in mid-January. One from a member’s address to the Sec/Treas and one from her address to a member. Our Aerograph Editor is in the process of trying to rectify the situation.  These emails have been related to the transfer of funds. If you receive an email that appears to be SPAM, please forward it to the Sec/Treas and Aerograph Editor.


Reunion #43 is just around the corner (April 3) and Carol and I are looking forward to a wonderful time in San Antonio. We have registered at the Holiday Inn at Market Square and with the Reunion Committee. Now we are working on the drive from central Florida to San Antonio. We look forward to seeing you there.


Reunion #43 will also bring the end of my tenure as President of the Naval Weather Service Association. It has been an Honor and Pleasure to serve you for the last two years. After the Reunion Banquet I will join you in supporting the incoming Officers: President Cap Casperson, 1st VP Jim Romano, and 2nd VP Mel Bourne. UNTIL that time, however, Mel Bourne, Jim Romano and I are available to serve you. If you have questions, problems or issues concerning the NWSA, please let one of us know.

This will be my last plea for one of you to volunteer to take over the position as The Aerograph Editor. Please talk to Gary Cox, our editor, and to me at the Reunion or to President Casperson after the Reunion.


Bill Bowers

NWSA President