Originally appeared in the May 1998 issue (Vol. 22-2) of The Aerograph the Naval Weather Association newletter.
Capt. Sherman W. Betts, 88, of Whispering Pines, North Carolina, died Saturday, February 28, 1998.
Capt. Betts was born in Westwood, NJ. He graduated from Baldwin High School in Long Island, NY. He played varsity baseball at the US Naval Academy from which he graduated in 1931 with a commission in the U.S. Navy. On June 4, 1931 he married Ruth Earle, who passed away on August 14, 1997.
Capt Betts served two years aboard the cruiser Marble-head and earned his wings at NAS Pensacola in 1943. He served aboard the USS Indianapolis, USS Ranger, and USS Goff. He became a specialist in Meteorology, earning a master's degree from MIT in 1941.
Capt Betts served as aerology officer aboard USS Wasp in the Atlantic and transferred to Fleet Air Wing 5 in Norfolk, VA at the outbreak of World War II. In 1942 he joined the staff of the Seventh Amphibious Force attached to General McArthur's command in the Pacific and served in Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines as weatherman, assistant intelligence officer, assistant operations officer and navigator, taking part in several landing operations.
In April 1944 he went to NAS Anacostia, Wash, D.C. as aerologist and worked on the planning for the invasion of Japan. In July 1945, he joined Fleet Air Wing 18 as weather-man and helped develop procedures for tracking typhoons in the Western Pacific. He later commanded the Joint Typhoon Tracking Center on Guam.
Capt. Betts attended the Industrial War College of the Armed Forces and joined the staffs of the Joint Chiefs in Washington, the Supreme Allied Commander in Norfolk, and the Commander in Chief North East Atlantic and Medi-terrean in London, England. He became OinC of the Fleet Weather Central and Staff Meteorologist for CINCPAC and CINCPACFLT in Hawaii, management officer for meteor-ological equipment at the Bureau of Naval Weapons in Washington, Director of the Naval Weather Service in Washington and executive secretary for the National Science Foundation's committee coordinating all governmental research in atmospheric sciences in Washington.
He retired from the U.S. Navy in 1965 and continued in his position with the National Science Foundation until retiring to Whispering Pines in 1972.
Surviving are his sons, Capt. Roger S. Betts, USN RET, of Punta Gorda, FL, and Professor David S. Betts of Oneonta, NY; brothers LtGen Austin W. Betts, USA RET, of San Antonio, TX and Earl F. Betts of Port Jefferson, NY; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.