Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Harry Fermont Geise, who served as a meteorologist during World War II and later became a broadcaster.
Right out of high school, Harry Fremont Geise landed a job as a meteorologist with WLS radio in Chicago and started performing long-range forecasts and broadcasts. Geise quickly rose to fame as a meteorologist, surprising his more experienced colleagues with his success and accuracy. However, he had to stop broadcasting in early 1942 when the U.S. government learned that his forecasts were inadvertently aiding German U-Boat commanders. They tapped into Geise’s broadcasts to help them maneuver the weather in order to sink ships during Atlantic patrols. His son, Harry R. Geise, recalled, “My father told me that one or more of his family members died due to the German U-boat attacks.”
On Aug. 9, 1943, Geise enlisted in the Marine Corps, where he eventually attained the rank of sergeant. On May 2, 1944, Geise joined a U.S. Marine Corps air station’s aerology department as a weather forecaster. Harry R. Geise said that one of his father’s favorite memories from his time in the Marine Corps was interacting with various famous actresses and models, who helped Geise sell war bonds and endorsed the war effort. One actress, Sugar Geise, caught the attention of his fellow Marines, who asked Geise if she and him were related. The answer was “Yes”, making Geise very popular in bootcamp. After World War II ended, Geise left at the rank of second lieutenant. He earned the American Campaign Medal and the Victory Ribbon.
Geise resumed broadcasting, using his gift for accurately predicting the weather, and moved to Sonoma County to work in the early 1960s at the request of KSRO’s program director, Merle Ross. Geise eventually landed a job with CBS television in New York. The systems and techniques he used are the basis for modern day television’s weather forecasts, however, Geise was able to make his forecasts accurately without the use of any satellites or Doppler Radar.
Geise died on March 2, 1995.
We honor his service.
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Writer: Alexander Boucher
Fact checker: Shiv Lamba
Graphic artist: Janice Sanders