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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

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4



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The Story of the RAAF Meteorological Service

Errata: the incorrect acronym of WRAAAF in the original print edition of this publication has been changed to WAAAF; source: Australian War Memorial.


In 1991 John Zillman, Commonwealth Director of Meteorology, asked me to look at a history of the RAAF Meteorological Service written by Dr John Joyce, who had served in that part of the RAAF during the war. In the early 1980s Dr Joyce interviewed or exchanged letters with a number of former members of the RAAF Meteorological Service and other former RAAF personnel to obtain reminiscences of their war service. He also examined wartime files from the Commonwealth and Bureau of Meteorology archives and spent some time at the Australian War Museum, Canberra.

Dr Joyce was born and educated on the far north coast of New South Wales. He served some 40 years with the New South Wales Department of Education as teacher, headmaster, school inspector, staff inspector and, for the last eight years, was Director of Education for the North Coast Region of the Department. After retiring from the Department in 1975 he worked as lecturer or tutor at various universities and colleges. Dr Joyce gained his first degree at the University of New England at Armidale, NSW, in 1957. With a fellowship from the Australian Imperial Relations Trust he entered the University of London in 1962 and was awarded his PhD in 1964.

Dr Joyce enlisted in the RAAF in 1941 and became a member of the RAAF Meteorological Service in 1942. He spent some time as an instructor in the training section of the Directorate of the RAAF Meteorological Service at No.2 Drummond Street, Carlton, and then served in the meteorological offices of RAAF stations at Rathmines and Townsville and in the Sydney Divisional Office (formerly part of the Bureau of Meteorology). As a member of No 1 Mobile Met. Flight of the RAAF he provided meteorological information to the artillery of the First Australian Corps, AIF, in New Guinea. For the last 18 months of World War II he was in charge of the Meteorological Office of the RAAF station at Milne Bay, New Guinea. In 1980 Dr Joyce was awarded an Australian War Memorial research grant to write a history of the RAAF Meteorological Service and in 1982 was awarded a further grant to complete the history. It appears that the draft as prepared by Joyce was completed in 1982. After ascertaining that the Australian War Memorial did not wish to publish the history he indicated that he would welcome its publication by the Bureau of Meteorology. He died on 16 March 1992 on the far north coast of NSW.

In 1946 Group-Captain H. N. Warren, Director of the RAAF Meteorological Service, gave the task of writing a history of the Service to Thomas Haldane, who had also been a member of the RAAF Meteorological Service. When the first draft of that history had been completed, Mr Warren, who by that time had been appointed Director of the Bureau of Meteorology, began revising the draft, a task which was still incomplete at the time of his death in 1951. Although seven copies were made of the original draft all were mislaid and it was not until the early 1980s that a copy was discovered. That copy is being edited by Don Handcock.

People in Bright Sparcs - Gibbs, William James (Bill); Haldane, Thomas; Handcock, Don; Joyce, John; Warren, Herbert Norman; Zillman, John William

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Joyce, J. 1993 'The Story of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 5 October 1993, 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