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Table of Contents

Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: Growing Up

Chapter 2: Port Moresby Before Pearl Harbour

Chapter 3: Port Moresby After Pearl Harbour
Work in the Meteorological Office
Japanese Land in Rabaul
Catalina and Hudson Operations
First Sight of the Japanese
Japanese Plans for the Invasion of Port Moresby
RAAF Meteorologists Under Threat of Japanese Advance
More Air Raids on Port Moresby
The Story of the Hudson
A Blow to Morale
More Air Raids but No 75 Squadron Kittykawks Arrive
Japanese Attempt to Invade Port Moresby by Sea
Japanese Submarines Attack Sydney
Attack on MV MacDhui
Return to Australia
The Meteorologists' Contribution

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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Chapter 3: Port Moresby After Pearl Harbour

After Audrey's departure, I moved to the RAAF barracks at Konedobu near the south-east corner of the harbour, where the Administrator's residence and the native village of Hanuabada were located. There was little room in my new quarters to store personal belongings. I did not see our house overlooking the harbour again until after the war. Like other homes and buildings in Port Moresby, it was devastated by looters from our military forces who anticipated the damage that Japanese bombardment from the air would soon produce.

It had been necessary to tell our faithful house-boy, Havi, that I would not be needing his services. Some time later he was to turn up at the RAAF barracks asking for his pay. I explained that, as in the past, he would be paid by the civil native affairs office and should receive the deferred pay which the office had deducted from the amount they had received from me. I did not see him again.

At our new meteorological office on the reclamation area against the hillside on the southern shore of the harbour, we soon settled down to the routine of making surface and upper wind observations, plotting and analysing our weather charts and making forecasts. We were in a good situation for accessibility to aircrew as the jetty for boarding the motor boats which transported them to their aircraft was near the meteorological office. We were not in a good position for briefing pilots of aircraft using the Seven-mile airstrip, but at that time there were no aircraft based on that strip. Soon after Pearl Harbour a group of Wirraways, led by a Hudson, landed at Port Moresby en route to join No 24 Squadron in Rabaul. When they arrived in Rabaul the Squadron numbered four Hudsons and 12 Wirraways.

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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