||Federation and Meteorology
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
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
Chapter 10: The End, Aftermath, and Beyond (continued)
At a speed of from eight to ten knots, we crept carefully down the placid Bay through China Straits, and into the equally calm waters of the Coral Sea. Thence we travelled though Torres Strait and the incredibly translucent waters of the Prince of Wales Channel and the Whitsunday Passage inside the Reef. To the relief of all, the skies remained clear, the weather fine, and the seas quietfor the first seven days. One of the popular activities of the day was to walk to the bow, lift the hatch cover, and look down through the gaping hole in the hull into the clear tropical depths. The water swished into the hole, rising almost to the level of the deck, and the shored-up forward bulkhead creaked as the ship made heavy way.
When we reached a point off Rockhampton, we ran into a fairly rough sea with a heavy south-easterly swell, and the ship began to pound fore and aft, much to the barely concealed anxiety of the captain and the crew. However, we wallowed on, and just as we had almost reached the haven of Moreton Bay, a signal order was received from Brisbane that the ship was to proceed eastward of the 500 fathom line and discard all ready to fire (fused) ammunition. The war was over, and peacetime regulations were back in force! The captain's reaction was luridbut disciplined. We bumped out roughly, and the captain said 'I'll show the b......'s!'. When we reached the mark, he gave the order to load all guns, and fire the ammunition, instead of merely dumping it overboard. It was some fireworks display indeed! Within a few minutes, RAAF aircraft were overhead, requesting the vessel to identify itself.
At long last, on the tenth day, we limped into a mooring at Pinkenba dock in the Brisbane Riverand so weathered a remarkable voyage. I proceeded to the Repatriation General Hospital at Concord, NSW, where I spent two weeks resting, eating, and sleeping very well. Thence I went on leave for a week, after which I returned to Sydney to be discharged from the RAAF in March 1946four years and nine months after my enlistment. Some time later, I received a letter from the chief engineer of the ship on which I had returned to Australia. When the vessel was dry-docked in Brisbane, not only was the bow shattered, but also a great crack extended from the hole for some forty feet back towards the stern. 'Thank Godand youfor the good weather we had for most of the voyage!' he wrote. The joke about my control of the elements had lived on!
© 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