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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
Papua New Guinea and New Britain
The Netherlands East Indies and Malaya
Escape from Timor
Northern Australia—1942

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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Chapter 5: The Met. Retreating

This chapter deals first with developments and events in Papua-New Guinea, New Britain, the Netherlands East Indies, Singapore and Malaya between 1939 and the Battle of the Coral Sea in early 1942; secondly, it recounts the early events of 1942 in northern Australia.

Papua New Guinea and New Britain

Met. personnel—forecasters and observers—had been posted to various stations north of Australia in New Guinea, New Britain, Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies long before the bombing of Pearl Harbour at 8am 7 December 1941 Honolulu time (4am 8 December Eastern Australian time).

A meteorological office was opened at Kila Kila aerodrome, three miles from Port Moresby, late in 1939. Premises were shared with the Aeradio Station which was taken over by the RAAF upon the arrival of No. 11 Squadron (flying boats), which had been formed in 1939 at Port Moresby. Subsequently, this Squadron was increased in size, equipped with Catalina aircraft and joined later in 1941 by Number 20 (Catalina) Squadron. The first Catalina arrived in Port Moresby in March, 1941. Number 11 Squadron became the first long-range flying boat reconnaissance unit to be stationed at Port Moresby. Carpenter's Civil Airlines was running a twice-weekly service to Rabaul from Sydney via ports, including Port Moresby.

The meteorological office established liaison with 11 Squadron, the headquarters of which was at the flying boat base in the harbour itself; but Met. remained at Kila Kila, because of the permanent nature of the equipment and the closeness to Aeradio, which transmitted to and received from both Carpenter's and RAAF aircraft. Local Papua and New Guinea reports were received through AWA; Australian reports, and later PLO Bandoeng reports, were received through RAAF Signals.

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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