Page 390
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
Table of Contents

Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: Growing Up

Chapter 2: Port Moresby Before Pearl Harbour
Sydney to Port Moresby by DH-86
First Impressions of Port Moresby
Meteorological Office Routine
Flight to Kokoda
Tropical Meteorology
John (Doc) Hogan
Setting up House
We Join the RAAF
A Contrast in Attitudes
Some RAAF History
RAAF No 10 Squadron
RAAF No 11 Squadron
The Catalina Story
Construction of the Seven-mile Airstrip and Reclamation Area
Meteorological Service for the RAAF
Unexpected Vistitors
Our State of Readiness
Our Domestic Situation
A Japanese Surprise Packet
What Had We Meteorologists Achieved?

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


Contact us

Sydney to Port Moresby by DH-86

It took most of the first day for the DH-86 to fly from Sydney to Townsville, with stops for refuelling at Brisbane (Archerfield) and Rockhampton. The runways were gravel strips in what seemed to be farm paddocks. During refuelling, we passengers waited in small sparsely-furnished rooms in modest weatherboard cottages adjoining the runway, while airline staff attended to the paper work relating to our flight. I am not sure that the cottages at Archerfield and Rockhampton contained aeradio and/or meteorological staff.

The DH-86, like all aeroplanes of that time, was unpressurised, and to ensure that passengers did not suffer the effects of lack of oxygen it rarely flew above 10,000ft (3km). As a result the aircraft often flew between or through cloud and passengers were frequently subjected to convective turbulence. When the turbulence was severe the more vulnerable passengers needed to use the brown paper airsickness bags provided by the airline.

After overnighting in Townsville in hotel accommodation provided by Carpenters we flew first to Cooktown where the aeroplane was refuelled. We then made what was, at that time, a long flight of about four hours to Port Moresby over the sea. The first glimpse of Papua was of coral reefs, a hinterland of dry-looking hilly country with straggly eucalypts and, in the distance, high mountains shrouded in cloud. The Kila Kila aerodrome was even more primitive than those in Australia. Within a few hundred metres of a native village a grassy undulating field contained a short narrow strip of gravel and one small solitary building housing the meteorological and radio offices. I was met by John (Doc) Hogan, the meteorologist I had come to replace. The only other member of the meteorological staff was Alan Hobson, of whom more later. The radio room was staffed by RAAF signals personnel from whom we obtained most of our weather reports from the Australian mainland.

People in Bright Sparcs - Hogan, John (Doc)

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

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
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher