The Crossroads of Special Operations

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Neil Gray And The Origins Of Air Force Special Reconnaissance | Coffee or Die

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Neil Gray and his “guerrilla weathermen” went out without hesitation.

In 1942, Cornelius “Neil” Gray joined the United States Army Air Forces. He has chosen an unorthodox program that developed weather watchers with meteorology training, sometimes known as “guerrilla weathermen.” During World War II, Gray worked at a meteorological station in the China-India-Burma Theater. As a member of Detachment 404, he parachuted beyond enemy lines into Central Burma. Neil Gray and Allan B. Cross of the OSS Air Force Special Reconnaissance spent 77 days in the Burmese jungle.

The resupply airdrops happened every three or four weeks; thus, the squad subsisted for over a month on monkey flesh. Gray and his men arranged a British motorboat to retrieve them from the bush after the Japanese capitulation. After World War II, Gray was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army Reserves. He has regarded as one of the pioneers of the Special Operations Weather Team profession. Gray passed away in 2012; in 1998, he was honored in the Air Commando Hall of Fame. In 2019, the SOWT career field was renamed Special Reconnaissance, one of four Air Force particular warfare positions.

Source: https://coffeeordie.com/neil-gray-special-reconnaissance/

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