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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

Chapter 6: The Met. Advancing
The Coral Sea Battle—May 1942
The Battle of Milne Bay—24 August to 8 September, 1942
The Bismarck Sea Battle—1 March 1943

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 Bismarck Sea Battle—1 March 1943 (continued)

This was while Hannay was Area Meteorological Officer with headquarters at the 57 Mile Post from Darwin. Most of this time he lived in a tent, which he shared with another officer; and later in a tin-roofed hut. The main operations were bombing attacks on the Netherlands East Indies.[71]

RAAF meteorological sections frequently provided services for American aircraft at bases where there were no US weather units, and American meteorological stations provided similar services for RAAF squadrons in similar circumstances. At some stations, such as Garbutt (Townsville) and Port Moresby, RAAF and US meteorological units were located side by side.

By mid-1942, many of the original Met. personnel had just returned from operational stations taken by the enemy. It was, therefore, not surprising that much of the discussion and argument about the weather on mainland stations such as Brisbane, at times verged on the 'troppo'.[72]

The fact that the personnel of the station were for some time exclusively male allowed a certain gusto and piquancy of expression in the learned discussion which flowed so freely. It was often a welcome relief from worry and tension. Towards the end of 1942, the first WAAAF Meteorological Charters arrived, and later female Meteorological Assistants. 'While this can only be classed as a good thing', commented Gibbs, 'albeit, a certain exuberance and richness of imagery was henceforth lacking in our essential discussions'.

The contacts made with the weather men of the US Navy and Army were both congenial and productive. The resultant interchange of ideas was stimulating, as the enthusiastic RAAF meteorological group feverishly searched for the right answers.

The pressure was on all Allied personnel at this time. Everyone had to give his best in view of the slender resources of the Allied air forces in early 1942. General Kenney had every available squadron on the job. Something simply had to be done to combat the growing enemy concentration on Rabaul. At the same time, the Allies could not afford heavy losses, and the north-west monsoon season was a formidable reckoning with which to contend.

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

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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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