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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)

'The rescue party were in an even more precarious situation then before. The boat, however, was bailed out, and everything made ready for the almost hopeless effort to pass out through the surf to the waiting submarine. The weakest men were put in the bottom of the small craft: the others ranged themselves alongside, grasping the gunwales. Rowing, paddling, and kicking the water, the grim-faced little band shoved-off.'

'They reached the surf, and almost instantly were sent tumbling back. Repeatedly, they drove into the swirling water, and repeatedly it pounded them, coughing and choking, back towards the shore. Cook declared later, that, when they started their final effort to break through, he had about decided it was useless. The men at the paddles and oars were exhausted; those in the water could barely hold their grip on the bouncing wherry. And then the sea relented, and sent them swirling through the white water into the relative calm beyond. A backwash picked up the wherry and its gasping occupants and flung it through the surf. A few minutes later, the Aussies were being hauled aboard the big American submarine.'

'The journey to Australia was a nightmare voyage.'

'The officers and crew of Cassedy's sub gave up their bunks to the starved and fever-racked refugees and slept wherever they could find a corner or a bit of steel deck to stretch out on. When not on watch, the members of the crew nursed the sick Aussies and dressed their sores. The only Australian who had escaped malaria came down with it as they were heading for home. Several of the rescued men appeared to be hovering between life and death. But not a man was lost and all eventually recovered completely.'

'It had been a harrowing experience, but the worst lay ahead. As the submarine was approaching Fremantle, fire broke out. She was badly overloaded with human cargo. Besides, she was carrying tons of shells originally destined for Corregidor, and the shells largely were stored adjacent to the compartment in which the flames burst forth. For two hours, Cassedy and his men fought the flames. They got the fire out at last, but their ship was so badly crippled that it could barely crawl through the sea. A call for help was answered, and they were towed triumphantly into Fremantle by a corvette.'[59]

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