John Bellamy, a Laramie, Wyoming native, earned a Ph.M. in Nuclear Physics in the 1938 at the University of Wisconsin, a private pilot's license in 1940, and a Ph.D. in Meteorology in 1947 at the University of Chicago. As an Assistant Professor at Chicago he founded and tested the "Bellamy Drift" navigational procedure over the North Atlantic in 1942, served as the Director of the Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Puerto Rico in 1943, and developed the upper air analysis and forecasting procedures used in the Guan Weather Central during WWII - for which he received the U.S. Medal of Freedom.
He was the Associate Director of the research laboratories of the Cook Electric Company from 1948 until 1960 when he returned to UW as Director of the Natural Resources Research Institute and Professor of Civil Engineering. Among other honors he was named Distinguished Alumnus of UW in 1968 and was inducted into the first class of Fellows of the Institute of Navigation in 1999.