National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


A Tribute to the Meteorologists and Weather Observers Who Lost Their Lives Defending Freedom




Many battles throughout history have been won or lost, at least partially, due to weather conditions. George Washington, Commander of the Continental Army and amateur weather observer, led Revolutionary War troops to the Battle at Trenton as he knew weather conditions would favor their surprise attacks. About 150 years later, General Dwight D. Eisenhower tasked meteorologists with predicting the right weather conditions for the D-Day invasion of France.

Weather observers and meteorologists have been employed by the Armed Forces since before the Civil War. While many meteorologists work in forecast offices, some are deployed to the battle field, where many have lost their lives. Weather observers often jump with parachutes behind enemy lines to set up weather observing stations. They are also fully trained and equipped for battle.

More than 350 weather observers and meteorologists have given their lives in the service to their country since World War II from the Air Force alone.

The men and women of the National Weather Service honor their sacrifice and all war heroes this Memorial Day.