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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)

In a letter to me, Alan wrote:

I landed in a tree, and the first thing I saw was a line of Nips running along a track below me. By this time, it was nearly dark, but the men below looked like a string of ants. So, I was either in a very tall tree, or else it was growing on a cliff below which the track ran. When all seemed to be quiet, I dropped my steel helmet and counted the seconds before it hit the ground, and my calculations placed me about 120 feet above ground level. As I was thinking about my means of descent, a very ominous crack sounded—not gunfire—but the branch from which I was hanging. The second crack was definitely the branch splitting, so not much choice of means of descent. I cut the cords, etc., and on the fall down, I had time to think that my height calculation was correct. My feet hit an obstruction above the ground, and I turned over to land on my shoulder. When I came to again, I couldn't move, but when I suddenly thought that I was on the track along which the Nips had run, I moved alright and passed out again some distance into thick jungle. And so ended a rather inglorious operation! Nip intelligence said four parachutists landed on the roof of a navy barracks, and in the ensuing confusion, got away, but were killed the following day as they attempted to cross the Balik River—although only three bodies were recovered.

'After some days of wandering, I was befriended by some wonderful natives, who took me into the jungle, and brought me such food as was available every second day or so.'

When our blokes took Balik, the natives brought me down the river, and so an end to a hopeless operation. As I was lying in the jungle, I used to think what I would like to do to the aircraft captain who had ordered the parachute jump . . . years later, I went into a Western Australian hotel for something, and there he was, booking in! He looked at me, and said 'Hell! I didn't expect to see you alive'. Fortunately, I said, 'Have a drink?'—and that was that .'[78]

Alan Martin is a quiet, modest Western Australian, who does not talk much about his experiences—surely as incredible as almost any individual's incident in Australian military history.

Before the end of the war the entire Allied weather organisation under a committee chaired by Group-Captain Warren (D.Met.S.) had co-ordinated meteorological services from America to the western Pacific, the Indian Ocean, the Himalayas, and into Siberia.

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

People in Bright Sparcs - Warren, Herbert Norman

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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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