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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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The Yanks Are Coming

I soon became accustomed to a more peaceful existence with the benefit of more comfortable living and much better food. More and more US troops became evident in the streets. The GIs were clothed in uniforms much smarter than those of Australian troops. They were free spenders, having a much higher pay than their Australian Allies. They had a far smoother approach to the attractive female population. The rather male-chauvinistic attitude of the Australian soldier contrasted with the fast-talking, free spending Yanks who radiated self-confidence.

Many Australian girls were entranced by the well-groomed, sophisticated American soldiers, sailors and airmen who were able to buy gifts such as silk stockings from their P-X canteens which were unobtainable in city shops. There was inevitable conflict between Aussies and Yanks and from time to time this erupted into fisticuffs which were usually quickly broken up by military police. A great number of the Australian military and civilian male population and many of the older females regarded the GIs as having three disadvantages—they were 'overpaid, oversexed and over here'. But there is no doubt that Australia owes a great deal to US Army, Navy and Air Force personnel who fought with our own military forces in protecting Australia from invasion by the Japanese.

Japanese Advance Across Owen Stanley Range

Following the battle of the Coral Sea, the Japanese abandoned their strategy for a sea-borne invasion of Port Moresby and adopted the alternative of an overland assault. On 22 July 1942 they landed troops an the north coast of New Guinea at Gona where they established a strong military presence. Another strong Japanese force landed at Milne Bay on the south-east tip of Papua late in August 1942. Fierce fighting by the AIF and attacks by Kittyhawk fighters of RAAF No 75 and No 76 Squadrons drove the Japanese off their Milne Bay beachhead by 8 September with great loss of life. This was a notable victory as it was the first occasion since the outbreak of war in the Pacific that Japanese ground forces had been defeated. As such it merits recognition with other notable battles by Australian troops in World Wars I and II.

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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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