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Table of Contents

Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: Growing Up
Early Australian Meteorologists
Early Days in the Bureau
Forecasters' Training Course
My Classmates
Reorganisation of the Bureau
Love and Marriage

Chapter 2: Port Moresby Before Pearl Harbour

Chapter 3: Port Moresby After Pearl Harbour

Chapter 4: Allied Air Force HQ and RAAF Command, Brisbane

Chapter 5: Japan Surrenders and We Are Demobilised



Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Milestones

Appendix 3: Papers Published in Tropical Weather Research Bulletins

Appendix 4: Radiosonde Observations 1941–46


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My Classmates

Most of our class were in their early twenties and unmarried, although some, like me, had a fiancee in their home State. War in Europe had been in progress for six months but, in what was called 'the phoney war', Europe had not been completely overrun by the German armies and the participation of the USA was still almost two years hence. We were a light-hearted group of young men, with a keen desire to grapple with the mysteries of meteorology and at the same time have fun. Occasionally we were accosted in the streets of Melbourne and asked why we were not in uniform. We did not bother to explain.

Six or seven of those of us from States other than Victoria found a boarding house in Albert Park where, for a modest fee, we were able to share one capacious bedroom. The landlady was a thin, somewhat grim person who each morning provided us with a meagre breakfast which failed to satisfy our youthful appetites. We usually bought a pie for lunch at the small shop across Victoria Street opposite No 2 Drummond Street and had a frugal evening meal in one of the many coffee houses in St Kilda. The St Kilda coffee house did not expect patrons to hurry over their drinks and we had long philosophical discussions interspersed with the occasional ribald story.

One evening, after a few beers, we repaired to our bedroom where in high spirits we staged an impromptu game of rugby football, using a pillow for a ball and vaulting over beds to tackle our opponents. The noise roused our landlady who made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that she preferred us to find alternative accommodation, which we did, in an old St Kilda mansion turned boarding house.

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Gibbs, W. J. 1995 'A Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 7 March 1995, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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