Plymouth County

Lt. James W. Thomas



Has Been Overseas Fourteen Months

First Lieutenant James W. Thomas, LeMars, is a member of the 21st Weather Squadron of the Ninth Air Force which recently was awarded the Meritorious Service Unit Plaque for superior performance of duty in connection with tactical operations of both the Air and Ground Forces prior to and during the invasion of the Continent.

Lt. Thomas, a weather forecaster who is charged with assimilating in------
[next line is not readable], draws the maps and forecasts the weather.

The citation covered the period from January 1, 1944, to July 1, 1944, when the squadron—with detachments working in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and Germany—furnished the weather service to all commands of the Ninth Air Force, in addition to the U. S. First, Third, Seventh and Ninth Armies, and the First Tactical Air Force and First Allied Airborne Army.

Completely mobile and operating under combat conditions, often under fire, each of the squadron’s detachments is capable of setting up and operating an hour after arriving at a new location.

In addition to weather service used for both air and ground operations, the 21st Weather Squadron’s oceanographic section furnished information necessary in the continental invasion. It helped determine the most suspicious time and place for land operations and later provided data on the sea and surf for the unloading of supplies on the beaches.

Personnel of the squadron also developed a meteorological ballistics program which increased accuracy on anti-aircraft and field artillery firing.

Lt. Thomas, son of Mrs. Jessie Thomas, LeMars, is a graduate of the University of Iowa. He has been overseas fourteen months.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, April 24, 1945