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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
Senior Officers
Recruitment and Personnel
Training Courses
'Who are these Met blokes?'

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 WAAAF (continued)

Mrs Dorothy Wilkinson (nee Ross) wrote about her experiences as a Meteorological Assistant at the Melbourne bureau during 1942 and 1943.

'In the mapping office upstairs at the met. bureau were nine or ten girls who plotted the maps as the reports came in from all over Australia. Then the maps were passed to the officers in an adjoining office to fill in the isobars, and from there the reports were sent out around Australia. There were three officers—Flight-Lieutenant P. Squires, Pilot Officer Max Cassidy and Pilot Officer Henry Phillpot.'

'The girls were Sergeants Roma Thomas (who did an officer's course), Ivy Burden, Gwen Dixon, Irene Britton (whose husband was killed in action in 1942); Corporals Edna Camp and Dulcie Ross (me); ACWs Enid Egan and Val Mercier; and a civilian, Dorothy Moore.'

'We did shift work around the clock. Most of the girls lived at home, but the girls from the country lived in hostels. Some of us lived in 'Heathfield', a beautiful mansion in Kooyong Road, Toorak, which belonged to Sir Keith and Lady Murdoch. They loaned it for the duration as a hostel for service women. We used to catch all-night trams at all hours—a thing one would be afraid to do today.'

'One of our main worries at the Bureau at night were the rats. They used to frighten us running around when all was quiet in the early hours of the morning. Periodically, a man was hired to bring his little white rat catcher dogs in to eradicate them.'

Working at Head Office was very fulfilling, but most of us were there for only twelve months, and then posted to a station somewhere.'

'. . . the roof of the bureau was a popular venue for an occasional break during working hours.'[23]

The WAAAF were indeed the women behind the men of the Met. service, holding the fort at home, and so enabling men to be released for essential duty in combat areas.

WAAAF Met. assistant

Figure 5 A WAAAF Met. Assistant about to release a pilot weather balloon whose flight she will follow through the theodolite to ascertain wind speed and direction. Photo taken at Laverton, Victoria 1944. Australian War Memorial negative no. VIC0200

People in Bright Sparcs - Phillpot, Henry Robert; Squires, Patrick

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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