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Table of Contents

RAAF Meteorological Service



Chapter 1: The Weather Factor in Warfare
The Weather and Chemical Warfare
Weather Control

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 Weather and Chemical Warfare (continued)

The AFES headquarters near Proserpine was situated on the cattle station, Gunyarra. It was a self-contained camp, housing some 250 civilians and military personnel. Supporting staff was drawn from most of the Allied world. The scientific controller was Colonel Gorrell (UK); the administrative head was Major Travis of Australia. Station numbers were augmented from time to time by the attachment of personnel, including volunteers from the Australian forces. The latter participated like guinea pigs in experiments, and in simulated attacks involving noxious materials, and all did not come through without injuries and burns.

'One of my most vivid memories' mused Don Fifer, 'of the time I spent in Innisfail is the myriads of large toads on the river banks at night, and of Dr Hugh Ennor standing beside a large pit tossing in portions of goat's lungs. Goats were tethered at selected spots during gas trials.'[12]

Don Fifer spent some time with another AFES team at the Adelaide River about 70 miles from Darwin, carrying out gas trials in open tropical country. Then, on a flight back to Proserpine, the plane in which he was travelling carried out an exercise involving the gas bombing of George Island, near Lindeman Island on the Barrier Reef.[13]

Another interesting aspect of the meteorological work associated with this special unit was that it was carried out in loose conjunction with other scientific disciplines, such as chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and medicine. This aspect applied particularly to field work concerned with checking and testing gas concentrations, physiological effects and the like. Solely meteorological investigations were concerned mainly with low-level atmospheric turbulence, which had been studied in the flat, lightly-vegetated terrain of Salisbury Plain in the United Kingdom. Its application in the vastly different tropical environment posed new problems of experimental attack and logistics.

People in Bright Sparcs - Ennor, Arnold Hughes; Lloyd, Stephen Henry (Steve)

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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