1964 Hurricanes

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Barb and I weathered several hurricanes when we lived in the West Indies. However, the positive life style we experienced there has caused those worrisome storm memories to fade into washed out images that have grayed with time.

The hurricane predictions for 1964 were so dire that six WC-130 Hurricane Hunters aircraft were dispatched from Mississippi and spent the summer with us. One of the crew members, a meteorologist, moved into the apartment beneath us. I came to know him quite well. Though much of his job was classified as a Need To Know, he shared a few aspects with me.

Barometric pressure within a hurricane proper is so radical a typical barometer we might purchase from a store is useless. Instead, they depend on a radar altimeter of which my shop maintained at that time – SCR-718. The aircraft commander relied heavily on this and had two identical systems with twin readouts which he monitored closely. If the readings indicated a difference greater than 50 feet between the two, he aborted the mission and went home instead of flying into the eye.

I asked about the ride inside a storm. He told me the turbulence was so great the crew members remained strapped into their duty stations to prevent being thrown to the floor.

Eventually, the hurricane season passed. My neighbor packed his belongings and returned to Mississippi. And I’ve not seen him since.

Submitted by:
Scott Laughlin

About the author:
I devoted ten years to the air force, serving in Military Air Transport and Strategic Air Command. When I first gradated from electronic school in 1957 my field was that of Airborne Radar Equipment Repairman and I had something to fix on virtually anything capable of flight. However, thing change. My AFSC is no gone. So are the A&E Squadrons. If, after nearly 60 years, I my field would most likely be Avionics, focused on B-52G and KC-135A. I've been a licensed ham for nearly 30 years. My call is N7NET.

Web site:
4903 Highway 82 W, Lot 500

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