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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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Reorganisation of the Bureau

Although the Bureau was still a civilian organisation there was an air of purpose about it which was largely due to the efforts of H. N. Warren or 'Normie' as he was called in his absence. H. Norman Warren was a Public Service Inspector in Hobart when, in July 1938, the Public Service Board (PSB) decided that the Bureau management needed a shake-up to meet the demands of a rapidly developing commercial aviation industry in Australia. The PSB chose 'Normie' for the job and he was installed as Assistant Director (Administration). When W. S. Watt retired from the position of Director of Meteorology Normie became Acting Director; and when the Bureau became the RAAF Directorate of Meteorological Services in April 1941 Normie was placed in charge with the rank of Group Captain.

Love and Marriage

Audrey Taylor and I had been engaged for some time before my departure to Melbourne to attend the forecasters' course. We had first met in the early 1930s when we taught Sunday School at the same church in Epping, a suburb of Sydney. The barriers to our marriage were threefold. Her father believed that I was too impecunious and immature to become his daughter's husband. The second barrier was that his assessment of my impecuniosity and immaturity was correct. The third barrier was that Audrey was in the final year of a four-year nursing training course at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Sydney and trainee nurses were not allowed to marry. War often produces strange reactions in young men and women. Some develop a strong desire to marry and raise a family. Audrey and I were keen to marry despite my impecuniosity and immaturity. After exploring various options we decided that the only way to overcome the barriers was to conceal the knowledge of our marriage from the hospital and Audrey's family. This dilemma appears quaint at the present time when we recall that her age was 21 and mine 23 when we married.

People in Bright Sparcs - Rofe, Bryan; Warren, Herbert Norman; Watt, William Shand

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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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