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Recollections of Service in the Bureau and RAAF
RecollectionsMascot and Rose Baythe Early Years
Sojourn in the Far East 1942
Sojourn in the Far East 1942 (continued)
This is an extract from the official history of the time, Royal Australian Air Force 1939-42; page 197 (Gillison D, Australian War Memorial):
'The weather, of immense consequence in any military campaign and particularly in air operations, was now of crucial importance. The north-east monsoon (October to March) had brought a cycle of chiefly fine mornings, rainy afternoons and clear nights, with intermittent, unpredictable and violent storms and bad visibility, particularly over the sea. This was weather which made the movement of vehicles and aircraft on the ground almost impossible except on properly constructed roadways and runways. It was weather which the Commander-in-Chief had hoped might deter a Japanese southward thrust but which in fact now created conditions favourable to a seaborne assault in that it provided low cloud cover for the assembly, movement and approach of enemy convoys.'
All the weather forecasts and advices from the Sime Road section were passed to Operations, Far East HQ, in the same building. Mostly these were on an area basis, for use by all the services as required. There was little contact between the meteorologists and the users. The times were uncertain, confused and urgent.
It is not for me to summarise the complex military situation in January. By the time we arrived in Singapore almost all the remaining British and Australian air force had been withdrawn to Singapore Island. The main Japanese land thrust was down the west coast of Malaya, where it speedily gained one objective after another. The Australian 8th Division, on guard in southern Malaya, came strongly into the fighting from 14 January onwards.
People in Bright Sparcs - Forder, Douglas Highmoor (Doug); Hannay, Alexander Keith (Keith)
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