Olympian becomes weather officer during World War II
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- Archie Williams, 1936 Olympic Gold Medal winner was later Archie Williams, Air Force weather officer and pilot. With a need for thousands of weather officers in the expanding Army Air Forces in World War II, a Meteorology Aviation Cadet program trained more than 5,600 weather officers by the last graduating class in mid-1944.
This program took only the best and brightest young men and, in nine months, provided nearly the equivalent of a graduate degree in meteorology. While the pressure to perform was intense, one 1943 cadet had already succeeded in the demands of appearing on the world stage.
Archie F. Williams was one of the legendary African-American track stars whose decisive victories at the 1936 Berlin Olympics publicly demolished Hitler's propaganda of Aryan supremacy.
Growing up in Oakland, Calif., he initially started college at San Mateo Community College, south of San Francisco. After one year, in the fall of 1935, he transferred to the University of California at Berkeley for the mechanical engineering program....
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