iaymael: (Default)
iaymael ([personal profile] iaymael) wrote in [community profile] aws2016-03-05 10:02 pm

Hello!

The purpose of this site is to provide a place where information about the Ground Observer Corps of the Aircraft Warning Service can be shared, with the focus the possibly forming a reenactment organization."What the heck is the Ground Observer Corps of the Aircraft Warning Service?", you may ask. Well...

At some point in 1941 it was decided by the Army Air Force that aircraft spotters would be needed to help with the air defense of the United States. A network of volunteer spotters dubbed, you guessed it, the Ground Observation Corps of the Aircraft Warning Service,was created. These men, women, and even teenagers, manned observation posts that were every 6 miles along the entire coastline of the country and for 400 miles inland. Working in two hour shifts, they watched the sky 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In a survey done in April of 1943 it was estimated that there were 1,500,000 spotters of all social groups, religions, and even convicts from Folsom Prison, watching the sky.

The official qualifications were, "observers must be able to speak English clearly and distinctly, and should have good eyesight."

The  Ground Observer Corps of the Aircraft Warning Service was disbanded in at the end of 1944 (although it lasted in Hawaii until VJ day), as the air war shifted to a more offensive strategy. However, with the onset of the cold war, the corps was reinstated in 1950 and became the core of the Skywatch program, which ran from 1952 to 1958,  searching the sky for Soviet long range bombers.