Operating Procedures Concerning Weatherships

Headquarters 398th Bombardment Group (H)
Office of the Operations Office
APO 557, U.S. Army
S.O.P. III-9

1 November 1944

A. A weather ship will be dispatched, as per instructions below, from this Group on each operational day from the 21st of each month to the end of the month. The crew to fly the weather ship will be taken from the Squadron that is stood down for the next day’s mission.

B. Pilots flying weather ship will be briefed on the following procedure before each flight.

1. On operational days the weather ship will be at assembly altitude and report over VHF to Figleaf, 1 hour before earliest Group take-off. It will then proceed to fly the Combat Wing assembly route, reporting the weather over each point on the route. Weather Ship will aid Combat Wing assembly in every possible way if weather is doubtful. i.e. flying out ahead of Combat Wing leader and reporting weather conditions along the route direct to Combat Wing leader.

2. Combat Wing Operations will give the Weather Code sequence to Group operations prior to the daily flight to be made on non-operational days by the Weather Ship. Group Operations will provide Combat Wing Operations with the following information.

a. Route number
b. Time of take-off
c. Call sign of aircraft (squadron R/T call sign and aircraft letter)

3. Weather Ship will take off on schedule on days of the Operational Mission unless ordered otherwise by this Headquarters.

4. A complete report of weather as it exists over the assembly area will normally be given over VHF by weather aircraft using the following code:

a. The Combat Wing Field Order will contain a code word for the day, which will give the order in which the various items of weather information are to be transmitted. This code will consist of the combination of the five code symbols V A B I T and be scrambled daily.

(1) These symbols represent -

V = Visibility in miles at assembly altitude
A = Amount of clouds in tenths
B = Base of clouds in thousands of feet
I = Icing level and degree
T = Tops of clouds in thousands of feet

(2) Should the code word for a particular operation be “B I T A V”, the pilot’s report will in the form: 02, 05, light, 12, 08, 03. When decoded this sequence reads: cloud base 2,000 feet, light ice at 5,000 feet, cloud tops 12,000, amount of clouds 8/10, visibility three miles.
(3) Unlimited visibility will be reported as 10.
(4) If there is no cloud, it will be reported as none.
(5) If no cloud tops or bottoms will be reported as none.
(6) If there is no icing, it will be reported as none