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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

Chapter 4: Allied Air Force HQ and RAAF Command, Brisbane
General Douglas MacArthur
We Join Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane
Ralph Holmes
Forecasting Procedure
WAAAFs and Other Staff
Briefing MacArthur & Co
Domestic Affairs
The Yanks Are Coming
Japanese Advance Across Owen Stanley Range
General George C. Kenney
Additional Staff
Staff Arrangements
Long Range Forecast
Investigations into Tropical Meteorology
Analysis Statements
MacArthur's Remarkable Strategy
A New Direction
Tropical Weather Research Bulletin
RAAF Command, Pat Squires and Henry Phillpot

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 Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane

I am not sure why Ralph Holmes and I were chosen to work as the staff meteorologists for Allied Air Headquarters, but presume that MacArthur's advisers realised the importance of meteorological information and decided that meteorologists who had forecasting experience in the tropical South-west Pacific would be best suited to provide Allied Air Headquarters with the meteorological advice they needed.

My first endeavour on arrival in Brisbane in July 1942 was to arrange temporary accommodation for my wife, our nine-months old daughter, Jennifer, and myself in a boarding house in the city. I telephoned Audrey who took the first train from Sydney and our family was reunited after seven months separation.

I reported to the headquarters of the Allied Air Force in the AMP building where I first met Flt Lt Ralph Holmes, who was the officer in charge of our newly established meteorological section. From memory the only other staff at that time were Sgt 'Herbie' Whittingham and Cpl Leo Fitzgerald. Our office was a single somewhat spartan room about ten by four metres containing a few simple tables and chairs, a map cabinet, and a tall cupboard. Ralph soon acquired a teleprinter, typewriter, charts and other essential material.

People in Bright Sparcs - Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward; Whittingham, Herbert E. (Herb)

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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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