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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

Chapter 7: The Met With the Army and the Navy
With the Army
With 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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With the Army (continued)

It was not so funny when some landing barges, having been furnished with a tide forecast by a mobile meteorological detachment, were stranded high and dry some one and a half miles from shore!

The mobile meteorological detachments had to share the hard conditions that go with an army in action—lack of fresh water, the incessant, ear-splitting crash of heavy guns, the nightly stand-to in weapon pits, enemy infiltrations, blackouts, and lack of sleep. Stores and equipment had to be manhandled and kept in working order. Catching chills from living in damp underground dugouts—even on the Equator—was a common pestilence.

Many exciting stories could be told of the MMF in action. At times, when battles waged desperately, RAAF Meteorological Assistants were detailed to command weapons pits manned by the AIF on perimeters. Such stories are to be found in official reports written about the trails or beaches at Mt. Tambu, Lae, Finschhafen, Scarlet Beach, Dumpu, Sio, Vanimo, Matapau, But, Karawop, Dagua, Cape Wom, Boram . . . Numa Numa Trail, Doyabie River, Laruma River, Bange's Hill, Pear Ridge, Taiof Island, Puto, Soraken, Kalapu, Beaufort, Miri, Balikpapan . . . on many of which, they were the first or only representatives of the RAAF.

In action, a MMF was organised into a headquarters section and one or more meteor detachments which were deployed to serve army needs. Accommodation at flight headquarters varied from a bongo hut to a dug-in half shelter, according to whether it was located at the headquarters of a senior formation or moving with a division—in the latter case, such as along the coast with 6th Division AIF from Aitape to Wewak. Flight headquarters' main function was to act as an administrative and intelligence centre, directing the activities of the detachments as well as running a forecasting office. Occasionally, long-range forecasts were required in advance. For example, an order for a report on weather conditions for the amphibious landing at Dove Bay, required fourteen days before D-Day.

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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