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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



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Escape from Timor (continued)

'Unable to communicate by shouting, Cook slipped over the side of the wherry, and swam through the surf. He waded out of the water into the midst of the Australians, most of them members of the air force, with a few navy men. Starting with a handful, the party had gradually grown to its present size as other men fleeing the Japs had joined it. Some of the Aussies had been hiding in the bush as long as eighty-nine days, subsisting on what little food they could get from friendly natives. The castaways were in tatters, and all were suffering from extreme hunger. Some had hideous jungle sores on their legs and arms, and only one of them was free from malaria. Three were definitely stretcher cases.'

'In command of the refugee party was an Australian, Flight-Lieutenant Rofe. After Cook had explained to him that it would be impossible to bring the wherry through the surf and get it out again, the leader of the Aussies decided to divide his party in half. Cook had brought a line in from the small boat, and Rofe directed the sixteen men who were in the strongest condition to start out, pulling themselves along as best they could. It was slow and painful work, but at last all sixteen were in the wherry, including the second in command, whom Rofe had sent along while he remained behind.'

'Cassedy, meanwhile, had worked his ship in until it was barely skirting the surf, and the rescue party had a relatively short haul.'

'When the submarine returned to the rendezvous under cover of darkness, her signals were promptly answered by a group on shore, who had spent the day hiding in the bush. A fourth man was added to the wherry's crew this time—John Lorenz, a chief motor machinist's mate.'

'At the edge of the surf, the rescuers put out two new anchors. Lorenz remained in the boat, but Cook, accompanied by McGrievy and Markeson, swam ashore. These three men had determined to carry the Aussies who were helpless out to the wherry on their backs. Cook led off with one of the worst cases. It was a heart-breaking struggle, but he finally made it. With Lorenz tugging from within the boat, and the ensign pushing from the water, the limp form of the Aussie was hoisted aboard. At that moment, a series of heavy swells rolled in from the sea and two anchors let go. The small craft was swept through the surf, half swamped, but miraculously upright.'

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