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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

Chapter 5: Japan Surrenders and We Are Demobilised
Visit to Japan
The RAAF Meteorological Service Returns to 'Civvy' Street
Some Thoughts on Tropical Meteorology



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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Visit to Japan

Late in 1945, while still in uniform in the RAAF Meteorological Service, I was informed that I was to proceed to Darwin to join Allan Cornish on a military mission to Japan. No doubt there were other Australians in Japan on similar missions, but I cannot recall meeting them or receiving a briefing, except for general instructions that we should find out what we could about the state of the Japanese Meteorological Service, with Allan concentrating on technology, especially meteorological instruments and methods of observation, and I on synoptic meteorology and similar topics.

Records show that I left Brisbane on 28 November 1945 and returned on 3 January 1946. Allan and I were the only passengers in the RAAF DC-3 which departed from Darwin. There were three crew who travelled in the flight cabin (pilot, copilot and mechanic). We were alone in the passenger section except when one of the crew paid a visit. The only seats were arrayed along the sides of the passenger cabin.

We were curious to see a stack of toilet soap forming a wall from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall athwart the passenger cabin. This was positioned about a metre to the rear of the door leading to the flight cabin. The wall of soap was about a half-metre thick and had a hole at the top through which the crew gained access to the door to the flight cabin. The curious position of the soap no doubt was determined by the need to make sure the centre of gravity of the aircraft's load was in the correct position. Allan and I diplomatically disguised our amazement at this cargo of soap, realising that the crew were taking it to Japan where, as a very scarce commodity, it could be bartered for desirable Japanese objects such as cultured pearls.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William

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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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