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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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Domestic Affairs (continued)

We possessed no car—firstly because we had little money in the bank but also because cars were a somewhat scarce commodity and petrol was even scarcer. Petrol rationing was so severe during the war that many owners put their cars on blocks and left them in their garage. With no car, walking, the tram, the bus or suburban steam trains were our only means of transport. Audrey wheeled our daughter about a kilometre over hilly terrain to the shops at the tram terminus to buy our household provisions. When on early shift, I caught the first tram of the morning at dawn which took me directly to my place of work in the city. The trams travelled smoothly and, unlike public transport in Sydney and Melbourne, contained friendly people who enjoyed talking to strangers, particularly to those in uniform.

From time to time we had parties in our home to which all the staff of our meteorological section were invited. Some of the US Navy meteorologists also attended these parties as most welcome guests. Ralph Holmes was a frequent visitor, spending much time with us when off duty. Later Bryan Rofe arrived in Brisbane in charge of a Mobile Meteorological Flight en route to provide support to Army 25 pounder batteries in more tropical areas. Bryan was invited to lodge with Audrey and me during his projected short stop-over in Brisbane. Unforseen difficulties prevented the departure of Bryan's unit and we enjoyed his company for some considerable period.

Audrey, Jennifer and I were able to make excursions by tram, steam train and/or bus to explore Brisbane and environs in my off-duty periods. We had a wonderfully relaxing holiday at Surfers Paradise when the area that is now occupied by towering apartment blocks and amusement houses was the scene of one small hotel, a few small shops and weatherboard holiday houses. The poor food and Japanese air-raids of Port Moresby seemed far away.

People in Bright Sparcs - Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward; Rofe, Bryan

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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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