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Table of Contents

War History of the Australian Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: D.Met.S.—Australia's Wartime Weather Service

Chapter 2: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 3: Met in the Retreat

Chapter 4: Met in the Advance

Chapter 5: Meteorology in Aviation

Chapter 6: Central Forecasting Services

Chapter 7: Met With the Army
How Weather Formations Were Created as Essential to the Army
Establishments Throughout Australia
Meteorological Staff Officer
Disposition of Flights
Successive Movements to Pacific Theatres
The Close of Hostilities

Chapter 8: Research and Personnel Training

Chapter 9: Instrumental Development and Maintenance

Chapter 10: Scientific Developments in the RAAF Meteorological Service

Chapter 11: Divisional Bureaux and Their Work

Appendix 1: List of Reports Provided by D.Met.S. for Advances Operational Planning and Other Purposes

Appendix 2: List of Service Personnel RAAF Meteorological Service

Appendix 3: List of Civilian Personnel Who Worked Together with Service Personnel of the RAAF Meteorological Service

Appendix 4: List of Locations at which RAAF Meteorological Service Personnel Served


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Successive Movements to Pacific Theatres (continued)

Due to various targets being engaged at several different positions many moves were involved. It was necessary to dig in at each new camp site, and much time was involved in digging and sandbagging weapon pits and sleeping quarters. After each move a series of points was registered for gunfire. The efficacy of the practice was shown when a Japanese attack came in the early hours of the morning. Unknowingly, the enemy entered a registered zone and in less than one minute predicted fire was falling accurately in the middle of the attacking force, which withdrew to strike from another direction. After cutting all telephone lines the Japanese entered the defence zone of another battery but, after radio communication of Meteors, accurate fire was falling in the area within 70 seconds, forcing the enemy to withdraw, leaving a considerable number of dead and many wounded.

November 1944 also saw the movement of No 5 Flight headquarters to Torokina on Bougainville with 2 Australian Corps. One detachment of this flight participated with 12 Field Battery on Numa Numa Trail and in the successful attack on Artillery Ridge, Sisivie Area. It was also with 10 Field Battery, 4 Regiment, in the Laruma River Valley. Another detachment landed in mid-December at Cutarp Beach, Jacquinot Bay, in New Britain, to provide meteor advices for 5 Infantry Brigade, while tide calculations for use by craft of 1 Water Transport Group also were issued daily for the Emirau-Munda route.

No 6 Flight left Townsville for Lae just before the close of the year, arriving on 2 January 1945, and reporting to the headquarters of First Australian Army.

In the advance from Aitape to But, No 3 Flight found the going hard. For the greater part of this attachment, regimental headquarters were about three miles ahead of three of the batteries, the fourth lying about 200 yards in advance of the weather detachment, less than a mile from the target area. Thus, shells were continually overhead and harassing fire was kept up for 24 hours a day. In this atmosphere of strain, the men were kept extremely busy, and when sleep was possible they turned in with automatic weapons beside them. A strict blackout was observed, making it necessary to release pilot balloons from the tent, and night calculations were made by concealed torchlight.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bell, Fred

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Haldane, T. 1997 'War History of the Australian Meteorological Service in the Royal Australian Air Force April 1941 to July 1946', Metarch Papers, No. 10 October 1997, Bureau of Meteorology

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