Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Forces Veteran Daniel Wyatt Heatherington, Jr., who worked as a weather observer during World War II.
In January 1943, the Army Air Forces drafted Daniel Heatherington and sent him to Mississippi for basic training. He later went to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, for meteorology training, but he failed the classes. After taking basic training a second time in Greensboro, North Carolina, Heatherington attended weather school in Tampa, Florida. After graduating, he went to San Antonio, Texas and shortly afterward, he went to Europe on the Royal Mail Ship Queen Elizabeth.
Heatherington arrived in Glasgow, Scotland, in late 1944 and later traveled via airlift to Chalons, France, in October 1944. He served with Detachment DD in Chatres as part of the 21st Weather Squadron, 50th Troop Carrier Command. While stationed in Cherbourg, Orleans and Metz, every hour or two Heatherington would make observations and compile a report of cloud height, wind speed, relative humidity and many other statistics. These reports would then be coded and sent out.
Heatherington was in Chartres when the war ended in May 1945. Heatherington went to Berlin, Germany for occupation duty that same month. Heatherington’s unit supervised a group of German prisoners of war, some of whom worked as weather observers. Heatherington worked with the weather observer prisoners on creating weather maps. He later honorably discharged in March 1946 after his return to the United States.
After discharge, Heatherington attended Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia, on a football scholarship from before he entered the service. He graduated with honors in 1949 and obtained his master’s in biology from then-Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Heatherington later taught at a military school in College Park, Georgia, and Bethany College. He also worked for the pharmaceutical company in Philadelphia.
Heatherington passed away in 2015.
We honor his service.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to email@example.com with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Additional writer: Sarah Concepcion