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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)

Batten's account in the 'Mirror' of 12 February 1944 mentioned:
'It was the courage of Lieutenant Hiram Cassedy and his crew of the Sea Raven that made the rescue possible. Cassedy, whom I met, is a great chap, typical of the US submarine service—quiet, soft-spoken, but a regular tiger when there was work to do. With him associated particularly in the rescue work was Ensign George Cook, an astonishingly strong swimmer. It was this combination that made the rescue possible.'[58]

The Saturday Evening Post (USA) gives the best available account of the actual rescue from the time the US Navy received a feeble radio cry from the stranded Australians:

'It was decided to attempt to rescue the Australians immediately. Our nearest suitable craft was a submarine, commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Hiram Cassedy. The craft reached the designated point of contact exactly on time. Moving in at night on the surface, she flashed a recognition signal. From the shore came what appeared to be an answering flash. An eighteen-foot wherry with an engine was put overboard and Ensign George Cook, a reserve officer, who was an exceptionally strong swimmer, was selected to lead the party. With him went Joseph McGrievy, a signalman, and Leonard Markeson, quartermaster. Bad luck hit them immediately. The engine refused to give so much as a wheeze. With desperate haste, paddles and oars were fashioned from the tops of ammunition boxes, and finally the three men in the wherry headed towards the beach. On the high and dangerous surf, it was a bad spot to be in. Not only were the Japs all around, but there was a strong current as well as the surf and the useless engine to contend with, and in the water about them they could see sharks, which Cook later described as 'big as torpedoes'. Worst of all, no further signals had come from shore.'

'Cassedy, aboard the submarine, was watching the rescue effort with increasing concern. The situation was not only discouraging, but ominous, and the hour was growing late. Finally, he recalled the men in the wherry, and the boat was hoisted on deck. The submarine stood out to sea to charge her batteries while there was still a protecting curtain of darkness.'

'During the day, the submarine moved under water along the shore on an intensive hunt for a sign of the Australians. Through the periscope, Cassedy and his officers scrutinised the beach, but they found nothing to encourage them. Meanwhile, some of the crew had been improving the makeshift oars and paddles, and Hall had fashioned some crude oarlocks.'

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