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Table of Contents

RAAF Meteorological Service



Chapter 1: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 2: Establishing and Developing the RAAF Directorate of Met. Services (D.Met.S)

Chapter 3: Recruiting and Training of Personnel

Chapter 4: Meteorology in Aviation
The RAAF Meteorological Flight
Hazards Galore

Chapter 5: The Met. Retreating

Chapter 6: The Met. Advancing

Chapter 7: The Met With the Army and the Navy

Chapter 8: Divisional Offices of the Bureau of Meteorology During the War

Chapter 9: Research and Instrumental Development

Chapter 10: The End, Aftermath, and Beyond

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4



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Hazards Galore (continued)

Wing-Commander Richard Cresswell was the first pilot to shoot down a Japanese bomber at night over Darwin, and later he commanded several Kittyhawk squadrons in the South-West Pacific area. He had this to say about the weather and the Met. service:

'..We always accepted that your (Met.) service was a vital need for any successful operation, for ferrying of aircraft, for the flying training courses.'

'In operations, meteorological information was sparse; especially northwards in the Pacific where the enemy lurked. Overall weather information elsewhere was reasonably good—good forecasting. However, point of target was not so good unless we used subs for local information if the target warranted this source of intelligence.'

'In all, good forecasting was the answer which could result in good planning. Not easy, and I believe that forecasters were born, not made, in some cases. Experience of the local area was necessary. In New Guinea, coastwatchers or local ex-district commissioners could accurately give you the weather pattern for the next six hours.'

'In Darwin in 1942, when I was the only night-fighter pilot—and the Japanese only flew at night—full moon periods and weather information generally were very important. In full moon periods, one usually had good weather. The cloud, rising 3,000 to 40,000 feet in moonlight was a backdrop for me to see enemy formations coming in, and it was because of such a cloud formation I picked up three enemy bombers and successfully shot one down and damaged another around about 1.30 am, 24 November 1942.'

'Generally, great reliance was placed on the RAAF weather service and the men who worked in it despite the forecasting difficulties.'[40]

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Joyce, J. 1993 'The Story of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 5 October 1993, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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