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WWII US Army Air Forces Weather Paratroopers - Where it all started for the Grey Berets

The Grey Beret Legacy of service in Special Operations and Airborne forces starts in WWII, with the weather observers and forecasters who volunteered for specialized duty as Paratroopers and Glidermen

Special Operations volunteers served in both the European and Pacific theaters of war with the Secret Intelligence (SI) section of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a multi-service intelligence organization. All of these men received specialized training from the OSS and attended British Parachute school.

  • In Europe, 19th Weather Squadron Parachute Detachment personnel operated behind the lines in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia and at OSS HQ in Bari, Italy
  • In the Pacific, 10th Weather Squadron personnel operated behind the lines in Japanese-occupied Burma, and at OSS HQ in Kandy, Ceylon

On the conventional Airborne side of the house in Europe, volunteers served as Paratroopers and Glidermen with both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions

Four weather observers jumped and rode gliders into Normandy

  • Airborne Paratrooper S/Sgt Robert Dodson and Airborne Gliderman Cpl Eugene Levine served with the 82nd
  • Airborne Paratrooper S/Sgt Chuck Straub and Airborne Gliderman Cpl Warren Wolf served with the 101st

They didn't wear Grey Berets yet in WWII, and much of this early history has been lost to time, but fortunately we have been able to capture some of their stories

And we're very happy to share those stories here for all to see





"Serving Proudly Since WWII"


THE YUGOSLAVIA CAPER - Charles T. Hight, Lt. Col. USAF Ret.

A transcription of "The Yugoslavia Caper" by Chuck Hight, Commander of the WWII Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Secret Intelligence (SI) Weather / 19th Weather Squadron Parachute Detachment personnel that operated in Yugoslavia and the OSS HQ in Bari, Italy

Click HERE to view




FIRST IN FRANCE - S/Sgt Charles J. Staub, US Army Air Forces Weather Paratrooper

Jumping in to combat with the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, USAAF Staff Sergeant Charlie Staub's "Rendezvous With Destiny" was to be the first weatherman to reach France during the Normandy Invasion!

Click HERE to see his story

Airborne - All The Way!