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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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'Who are these Met blokes?'

These words may well have been a query from some of the older members of the permanent RAAF on becoming aware of the innovation in their midst of Met. servicemen. Early appointments to the new Directorate were made urgently. In many cases, the appointees did not receive any military training, as they were needed for immediate specialist service. To the despair of some of the more meticulous RAAF sticklers for military observances, odd behaviour was apparent in some of the newcomers. For instance, one Wing-Commander of D.Met.S. insisted on carrying his umbrella at all times, whether in uniform or not. This caused confusion when the need for saluting—very carefully practised around Melbourne—emerged. Sometimes, the resolute man with the umbrella managed to give a vague wave with his left hand in acknowledgement; but as often, he dismissed the occasion with a perfunctory upward thrust of the umbrella. Polite hints passed on from above had little effect on the officer in question. After all, it wasn't any ordinary weather forecaster who could nonchalantly produce an umbrella whenever it rained.

Civilian Met. officer (later Flight-Lieutenant) Reg Shinkfield was working at Parafield (SA) RAAF base when the transition of the Commonwealth Meteorological Service to the RAAF took place. He narrated to me how he told the guards that he was to be a Flight-Lieutenant and that they would have to salute him. Subsequently they did with great deliberation, especially when he was on his bicycle.

Reg Shinkfield also remembered having to do some drill:

'A sergeant did his best to teach us to march and it must have been funny as Bernie McEwen and I were put through our paces—just imagine Bernie, six feet odd and me just over 5 feet, and Bernie with long strides and me pattering along behind. The cooks were watching and were laughing, but the sergeant spotted them and gave them all ten days C.P.'[25]

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

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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
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