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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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Analysis Statements

In 1943 I suggested to Ralph Holmes that it would be useful for meteorologists at field stations to receive a copy of our synoptic analysis for mean sea-level, which we provided daily to Allied Air Headquarters and which we used for our presentation to those attending General MacArthur's daily war room briefings. Ralph advised me to discuss this idea with Group Captain H. N. Warren, head of the RAAF Meteorological Service, when he next visited RAAF Command.

This I did and Warren agreed, although some of his staff in the headquarters of the RAAF Directorate of Meteorological Services in Melbourne, particularly Harry Treloar, felt that the Air Mass and Frontal Analysis (AMFA) section in Melbourne was in a better position to provide this information. I was summoned to Melbourne for a discussion of the subject opinion on a subject about which so little was known. The upshot was that we began the issue of a coded statement which was transmitted daily to all field stations.

MacArthur's Remarkable Strategy

In 1943 the RAAF was still heavily involved in air operations in New Guinea. The 9th Group RAAF, with Air Commodore Joe Hewitt commanding, operated from Milne Bay and Port Moresby using Wirraway, Kittyhawk, Beaufighter, Hudson, Beaufort and Boston aircraft. Much to the chagrin of the Australians, who were making a notable contribution in the air, on land, and at sea, MacArthur's press releases concentrated on the exploits of US air, ground and naval forces.

It was at this stage that MacArthur's military genius became apparent. He bypassed Rabaul, first landing with an amphibious force in Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands near the equator on 27 February 1944. MacArthur and Kenney still retained their headquarters in Brisbane and their accommodation in Lennons Hotel at this time, but they spent much time shuttling to their advanced headquarters in Port Moresby, with MacArthur wishing to participate personally in the major amphibious landings by US forces.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Air Mass and Frontal Analysis Section (AMFA)

People in Bright Sparcs - Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward; Treloar, Harry Mayne; Warren, Herbert Norman

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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