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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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This is the story of the relatively small band of men and women who formed the Directorate of Meteorological Services (D.Met.S.) of the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II, and afterwards, from 1939 to 1946. The group was generally known and referred to as the 'Met. service', or simply just the 'Met.' no doubt largely because of our typical dislike of the continual use of long words, particularly when saying, writing, spelling or reading them! The term 'Met.' is used freely throughout this account. Weights and measures used are mostly imperial, as in use during the period concerned.

The nucleus of this service was the personnel of the pre-war Commonwealth Met. Service established as a branch of the Department of the Interior. After transfer to the control of the RAAF in 1941, this ready-made unit was increased five-fold in establishment and number of personnel by the recruitment of volunteers—mostly with scientific or technical backgrounds. Many were school teachers of physics and mathematics.

Every military operation is affected by the weather. Hence, the vital function of the Met. Service in World War II was to meet the requirements of the Allied navies, armies and air forces.

The response to my appeal for information and assistance in writing this account was magnificent, and far beyond my expectations—bearing in mind that the events concerned took place almost four decades ago. The help given to me by the Director and staff of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, A.C.T. has been especially appreciated. In particular, I am grateful to Mr Peter Stanley and Mr Michael Piggott, for their advice and support.

So too, I appreciate the painstaking interest and cooperation of the Australian Archives at Mitchell, A.C.T., and at Middle Brighton, Victoria, and of the National Library of Australia, Canberra. The Department of Defence and the RAAF Public Relations Section also rendered valuable assistance.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Directorate of Meteorological Services (D.Met.S)

People in Bright Sparcs - 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