It's July 14th and you know what that means, right? Bastille Da...no wait, Ground Observer Corps Day! What are you doing to celebrate? Are you having a picnic with your fellow observers? Did you get a nice little ceremony at your observation post with town officials? Is there a nice shout out in the paper … Continue reading Happy Ground Observer Corps Day
When Ground Observers Spotted UFOs
No, gentle readers, you read that headline correctly. I was going to write this entry a bit later but apparently Trump is talking UFO and the US Navy has revised its guidelines on how to report UFOs. The GOC was actually tasked to spot UFOs. Well, not in so many words but being under the … Continue reading When Ground Observers Spotted UFOs
Spot All the Things!
Being an observer could get a bit, well dull. Air traffic in the 1950s was a fraction of what it is today. Some places hardly had any air traffic. Air Force bases and the local Civil Defense office ran drills to keep everyone's skills sharp but it wasn't the same as the real thing. Fortunately, … Continue reading Spot All the Things!
Shilling for the Corps
Recruit! Recruit! Recruit! There was a huge push in the 1950s to recruit people for the GOC. While the GOC officially started in 1951, Operation Skywatch in 1953 set the goal of having all observation posted manned 24/7 at full capacity. Recruiting volunteers to watch the skies for planes at all hours of the day … Continue reading Shilling for the Corps
Differently Abled Observers
The first article I read about the GOC mentioned that recruits ranged from 7-80 years in age and the only requirement was that you be able to speak clearly on the telephone. There were actually some observers that were blind who located planes by sound. Well the October 1955 issue of The Aircraft Flash magazine … Continue reading Differently Abled Observers
The Ground Observer Corps Gives You Wings!
First - an update: I've mentioned that the GOC had official advertising but hadn't found any more information about that. Well, I recently received 2 copies of the Aircraft Flash magazine, the official newsletter/magazine of the GOC that was produced by the Air Force. The September 1955 edition has a huge article about advertising for … Continue reading The Ground Observer Corps Gives You Wings!
Flyers – of the Paper Kind
Edit - I have a whole post on the Advertising Council here. I haven't been able to find out anything about the Advertising Council for the Ground Observers Corps as mentioned in the Supervisor's Guide but you will find copies of the GOC brochure out there. Like the Ground Observer's Guide, the brochures were produced in … Continue reading Flyers – of the Paper Kind
Who Watches the Watchmen?
A GOC post was overseen by a supervisor. The post supervisor was assisted by the chief observer and the assistant chief observer. For the new post supervisor, The Post Supervisors Manual outlined everything a new supervisor needed to know to successfully recruit, train, staff, and fund-raise for their new post. At only 14 pages, it … Continue reading Who Watches the Watchmen?
All Along the Watchtower
Once a community stood up a Ground Observation Corps post, they needed an observation tower. Observation sites were ideally spaced 8 miles from each other. Obviously, this didn't happen so neatly in real life for a number of reasons, mainly there are limits to how many volunteers could build and staff observation posts. While the … Continue reading All Along the Watchtower
“The Air Force Man”
The Ground Observer Corps (GOC) was under the direction of the United States Air Force (USAF). With the call for over a million civilian observers and observing posts placed 8 miles apart over thousands of miles, the USAF had to hit the pavement and go into local communities. They not only tried to recruit people … Continue reading “The Air Force Man”