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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

Chapter 5: The Met. Retreating
Papua New Guinea and New Britain
The Netherlands East Indies and Malaya
Escape from Timor
Northern Australia—1942

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



Contact us

Escape from Timor (continued)

Rofe's team was split in two. Half of the members of the RAAF team were sent to a beach to radio to Darwin for a flying boat to take the party off the island. These men were saved by natives who warned them of the presence of Japanese on the beach.

With half of his group, Rofe then moved to Army H.Q. in the hills where Brigadier W. C. D. Veale AIF (later Town Clerk of Adelaide) was in command. Unable to assist the army, Rofe and his party took to the jungle-clad hills, aiming to reach the coast—their only possible point of rescue. So began a fantastic 58-day jungle ordeal, a grim cat-and-mouse exercise with the Japanese troops hunting the fugitives.

Rofe's story to the T.V. Times went on:

'At the sea, at last, contact was established with Darwin and plans made for a flying boat to rescue the men. We were all stripped waiting for the plane to arrive, and being eaten by sandflies, when we received a message that Broome, through which the plane was to fly enroute to us had been bombed the day before it was due to arrive there. The plane was no longer available. It was a bitter disappointment for some of the men, but back to the jungle we went, and we began moving from native village to village in quest of food. At first none of the villagers was very cooperative, and once I had to threaten to shoot if we were not given food.'[54]

In the jungle they met a native and his son who came to be known as George and Little George. They helped to get food and supplied information about the movements of the Japanese. Another native 'angel' who helped the party when it was dodging the enemy was Trina, a boy who worked in the Kwong Ha Chinese cafe in Koepang before the war. Dr Ghabler, an old Eurasian medico, once hid the party, risking capture and execution by the Japanese.

People in Bright Sparcs - Rofe, Bryan

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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
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher