World War II Weathermen Recognized For Sacrifice During Battle Of The Atlantic


In the summer of 1942, the tide of World War II was turning against the fascist Axis powers, but the struggle for control of the North Atlantic shipping lanes between the U.S. and Great Britain was still being fought in the sprawling Battle of the Atlantic. And if German submarines could continue sinking thousands of tons of U.S. merchant vessels bound for Great Britain with vital war supplies, they might swing the struggle back in their favor.

On the afternoon of August 24, 1942, the US Coast Guard Cutter Muskeget weighed anchor in Boston harbor and set sail for a weather station in the North Atlantic about 560 miles northeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland. There were 121 men—most of them Coast Guard sailors—aboard the ship.

They wouldn’t return. After sending coded weather information for about two weeks, the Muskeget suddenly went silent on September 9.

The Muskeget‘s ill-fated crew included four civilians who were employed by the U.S. Weather Bureau, the predecessor to today’s National Weather Service. The weathermen— Luther Brady, 27, of Atlanta; Lester Fodor, 27, of Cleveland; George Kubach, 24, of Sandusky, Ohio; and Edward Weber, 24, of New York City—had volunteered for service in the Atlantic shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Brady, who’d earned degrees from Emory University and the University of Georgia, had worked at Weather Bureau stations in Savannah, Washington, D.C. and Boston before volunteering for duty in the North Atlantic. Fodor had served at Weather Bureau stations in Cincinnati, Buffalo and Boston. Kubach had been posted to stations in Akron, Ohio; Syracuse, New York and Boston. Weber had been assigned to a Weather Bureau station in Boston before going aboard the Muskeget.

They weren’t dodging bullets, but they were doing vital work for the war effort. And it was dangerous. Weather information —> Read More