Herbert Dorsey, Jr.
U.S. Weather Service
Grove Dorsey, Jr., was born in East
Orange, NJ, on
September 15, 1912. His parents were the
renowned physicist and inventor, Herbert Grove Dorsey, and Julia Virginia
Rowlett. Dorsey graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in mathematics
and studied meteorology at MIT. During
the thirties and forties, Harvard’s Blue Hill Observatory was internationally
recognized as a center for advanced meteorological research. Under the guidance of Blue Hill’s director,
Dr. Charles Franklin Brooks, Dorsey successfully experimented with sending
meteorological observations by radio from remote weather stations in order to
make more accurate weather forecasts possible.
applying for a position with USAS in 1939, Dorsey was appointed Chief
Meteorologist at East Base. Three weeks
prior to his departure for Antarctica, Dorsey married Wellesley student Elizabeth Ballantine, daughter of foreign service
officer Joseph Ballantine and his wife, Emilia. While in Antarctica,
Dorsey’s first child was born.
upon his research at Blue Hill Observatory, Dorsey devised a method of
developing exceptionally accurate weather reports for aircraft operations on
the Antarctic Peninsula. After returning to the U.S. in 1941, Dorsey presented his paper, “An
Antarctic Mountain Weather Station,” to the General Meeting of the American
Philosophical Society on November 22, 1941, in Philadelphia.
after his return from Antarctica, Dorsey
joined the Army Air Corps. In February
1947, while stationed in Greenland as an Arctic Weather Specialist, USAF,
Captain Dorsey was a member of the party that successfully rescued the crew of
a Strategic Air Command B-47 that had crashed into a frozen lake. President Harry Truman honored the rescue
party at the White House. In 1952, while
attached to the Seventh Weather Group, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, Major Dorsey was assigned to Fletcher’s Ice Island
(T-3) to oversee camp operations and to collect meteorological data for use in
weather maps throughout the arctic area.
completing his duty assignment on T-3, Dorsey retired to civilian life to
conduct hydrological research for a water project in California.
Later in life Dorsey became a printer.
Dorsey, Jr. died in Selma, OR, on July 28, 1977.
Antarctic Service Medal (gold)
Contributions: Mountain Weather Station on Palmer
An Antarctic Mountain Weather Station”, Lieutenant H.G. Dorsey, Jr., U.S.
Army, Proceedings of The American
Philosophical Society, vol. 89, Part 1, 1945
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