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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


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We Join the RAAF (continued)

When the formal proceedings of the RAAF Mess nights had finished we sang songs with lyrics composed by Bill Purton and melodies borrowed from current popular songs. I recall one popular tune with the title "Somewhere over the rainbow" which Bill used with the words "Somewhere over the ranges" to describe the flight over the Owen Stanley Range. Bill's songs were never crude or salacious, contrasting with those of my Sydney University Regiment days.

The RAAF Mess also had ladies' nights which Audrey attended, wearing the long evening dresses fashionable at that time and looking very young and glamorous. Other wives at these functions were those of the CO, one or two of the Qantas pilots and some of the other RAAF officers.

Although there was less regard for rank and protocol than in the regular peacetime RAAF, a relic of that stuffiness emerged when someone gave Audrey a booklet on RAAF etiquette describing the procedure which should be observed in leaving visiting cards with the wives of other officers and how, when invited to afternoon tea by the CO's wife, one should politely decline when offered a second cup of tea and should take one's leave five minutes thereafter.

RAAF parades were held on a parade ground near Konedobu on the southeastern shore of the harbour at Port Moresby. Keith Hannay was keen that we should participate and arranged for a Flight Sergeant to give us a verbal description of how we should behave during parades. Down in Melbourne members of the RAAF Meteorological Service were given a short course to instruct them in such matters. Having received considerable instruction in parade ground drill as a member of the Sydney University Regiment in the 1930s, I did not feel the need to become involved and managed to quietly avoid attending parades.

People in Bright Sparcs - Hannay, Alexander Keith (Keith)

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