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Table of Contents

Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: Growing Up

Chapter 2: Port Moresby Before Pearl Harbour
Sydney to Port Moresby by DH-86
First Impressions of Port Moresby
Meteorological Office Routine
Flight to Kokoda
Tropical Meteorology
John (Doc) Hogan
Setting up House
We Join the RAAF
A Contrast in Attitudes
Some RAAF History
RAAF No 10 Squadron
RAAF No 11 Squadron
The Catalina Story
Construction of the Seven-mile Airstrip and Reclamation Area
Meteorological Service for the RAAF
Unexpected Vistitors
Our State of Readiness
Our Domestic Situation
A Japanese Surprise Packet
What Had We Meteorologists Achieved?

Chapter 3: Port Moresby After Pearl Harbour

Chapter 4: Allied Air Force HQ and RAAF Command, Brisbane

Chapter 5: Japan Surrenders and We Are Demobilised



Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Milestones

Appendix 3: Papers Published in Tropical Weather Research Bulletins

Appendix 4: Radiosonde Observations 1941–46


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First Impressions of Port Moresby (continued)

The third member of the staff of our meteorological office was Alan Hobson, whose duties involved observations of surface weather and upper winds, preparation of climatological records and plotting of observations on charts, work which we meteorologists shared. Alan was a shy and somewhat taciturn fellow who became a firm friend. He lived with his wife and small daughter in a house in the same street as Doc Hogan, so when Audrey and I took over Doc's house, Alan and his wife were our near neighbours, living next door but one.

Our office at the Kila Kila aerodrome had an old, lean and hungry-looking Papuan handyman. He seemed exceedingly morose as he desultorily swept the premises. His moroseness was probably due to his limited English vocabulary and our almost non-existent Motuan. We nicknamed him Hughie and attempted to converse with him but the lack of a common language made it difficult.

I found Port Moresby immensely attractive despite its dusty roads. The town lay on a narrow peninsula between a large harbour on the landward side and the long clean Ela Beach facing the reef-lined ocean. The only road of any consequence was that stretching about 50km from the town to Rouna Falls. The road proceeded by way of Ela Beach, where it was lined by majestic palm trees and fronted by handsome houses, many built on tall stumps in typical tropical Australian style. One of the houses on the road at Ela Beach had been acquired for the RAAF Officers mess. The road to Kila Kila aerodrome branched off the road to Rouna Falls where the latter climbed the hill to proceed inland. The Kila Kila aerodrome was about 6km from the town.

At first I lived in the Moresby Hotel on the harbour waterfront not far from the wharf. The hotel was like something from a Somerset Maugham novel. Although I knew nobody in Port Moresby and had arrived there with all my worldly possessions, I felt confident about the future. At the age of 23 I had found employment in a profession that I enjoyed and I had persuaded an attractive young lady to marry me.

People in Bright Sparcs - Hogan, John (Doc)

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Gibbs, W. J. 1995 'A Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 7 March 1995, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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