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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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Construction of the Seven-mile Airstrip and Reclamation Area (continued)

The marine section was also located near the reclamation area with moorings for crashboats used to ferry crews and equipment to and from the flying boats. There was also a two-masted longboat with sails and two smaller wooden clinker-built sailing dinghies.

I was delighted when one of the marine section asked me whether I would like to learn to sail the dinghy. After two or three lessons I was adjudged qualified to sail on my own. I had many happy off-duty hours sailing that dinghy in the south-east season of 1941, often with various members of our staff as crew. The dinghy accommodated four or five. In the south-east season the harbour, although sheltered, developed waves of one metre or more. From our house high above the harbour Audrey would sometimes watch anxiously when the hull of the small boat disappeared behind the waves some kilometre or more distant at the northern end of the harbour.

One day Ted Tunbridge (a new member of our meteorological staff) and I sailed to the entrance of the harbour where there were some small sandy cays on one of which we made the exciting discovery of an ancient ship's cannon.

Ted Tunbridge was one of the staff of our meteorological office who was an enthusiastic sailing companion at that time. I still remember Ted's habit of asking me on the first day of the new month whether I had remembered to say "white rabbits" before I uttered any other word. Ted was convinced that this ensured good luck for the rest of the month.

Other construction which occurred in 1941 included the building of an Officers' Mess, Sergeants' Mess and living quarters for Officers, Sergeants and other ranks. This camp was on the eastern shore of Port Moresby harbour, not far from the Administrator's residence at Konedobu.

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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
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher