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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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Papua New Guinea and New Britain (continued)

The first Met. officer in charge at Port Moresby was J. (Doc) Hogan (later Squadron-Leader) who was also the first such officer posted outside Australia. His task was to organise the first meteorological services in Papua-New Guinea and to provide for the first commercial air service from Australia. During 1940, he organised a special reporting network to provide a meteorological service to RAAF Squadron No. 11. The nickname Doc was gained through his interest in first aid during his early days at college.

In September 1940, Hogan was succeeded by Bill Gibbs (later Squadron Leader) and when the station strength was increased to two forecasters, Keith Hannay (later Squadron Leader) became OIC. The latter told how the staff of four had to be augmented by borrowing individuals from other sections in order to meet requirements, which were rapidly increasing. He recalled how visits were made to Salamaua, Rabaul, Talasea, Kikori, and other places from time to time to observe and become familiar with weather conditions. Main new reporting stations were set up at Talasea and Misima. The occasion when the barometer was brought to Talasea and the station set up was the first alighting made there by a Service flying boat.

Hannay left Port Moresby on 8 December 1941 on posting to the Far East, 'heading into the teeth of the oncoming Japs'[43], and W. J. Gibbs took over as OIC. The meteorological section at Port Moresby had been unofficially absorbed by 11 Squadron by January 1941, and the date of final enlistment of the section took place at the general formal transfer to the RAAF of the Australian Commonwealth Meteorological Service on 17 April 1941.

Gibbs recounted how when he arrived in Port Moresby in September 1940 the RAAF had only Short Empire flying boats and the officers were accommodated in a private residence. 'Everything had a very colonial atmosphere' he reflected, 'with social life revolving about the doings of the Administrator and his staff, the local bank and store group, and a handful of Navy, Army and Air Force people. The war in Europe seemed very far away indeed'.[44]

People in Bright Sparcs - Gibbs, William James (Bill); Hannay, Alexander Keith (Keith); Hogan, John (Doc)

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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