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The Duckworth Flights

While Army aviators at Bryan Army Air Field, both instructors and experienced fliers alike, learned to direct aircraft through inclement conditions via the use of instrument navigation, those pilots stationed at Bryan Field used a variety of activities to pass the time.

One in particular put instrument flying–and the durability of his American-made aircraft–to the ultimate part of one of the most famous wagers in U.S. military history.

That endeavor is among the most notable events in the history of what is now called the RELLIS Campus.

Texas A&M meteorology professor John Nielsen Gammon recounts the hurricane flights of Col. Joseph Duckworth.


John Nielsen-Gammon is a Regents Professor at Texas A&M University and is the Texas State Climatologist. Dr. Nielsen-Gammon received an S.B. in Earth and Planetary Sciences, an S.M. in Meteorology, and a Ph.D. in Meteorology, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Nielsen-Gammon joined the faculty of Texas A&M University in 1991 and was appointed Texas State Climatologist by then-Governor George W. Bush in 2000. Dr. Nielsen-Gammon conducts research on large-scale and local-scale meteorology, basic and applied climatology, and air pollution meteorology. He teaches courses in weather analysis and forecasting, climate, climate change, and computer modeling. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.