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Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology


Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1929–1946 by Allan Cornish
Chapter 1: My Early Days in the Bureau
Chapter 2: Some New Vistas
Chapter 3: The RAAF Measures Upper Air Temperatures
Chapter 4: The Bureau Begins to Grow
Chapter 5: My Voyage in Discovery II
Chapter 6: The Birth of the Instrument Section
Chapter 7: Darwin Days
Chapter 8: I Leave the Bureau

History of Major Meteorological Installation in Australia from 1945 to 1981 by Reg Stout

Four Years in the RAAF Meteorological Service by Keith Swan

The Bureau of Meteorology in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s by Col Glendinning


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Chapter 5: My Voyage in Discovery II (continued)

As well as showing the flag, Discovery II was to carry out mapping, marine biology and the life history of the southern and the fin whales.

When I joined Discovery II in Perth I had had no instructions from External Affairs on the nature of my duties. The day before we sailed a Commonwealth messenger arrived with an envelope with 'Secret' printed all over it. I had to sign for it. It was a letter from Casey telling me to keep a watch on what the Japanese were doing in our whaling areas and other mysterious instructions.

Before joining Discovery II I had been instructed by Captain J. K. Davis, Commonwealth Director of Navigation, on such trivial matters as not talking to the officer of the watch in bad weather and distracting him from his duties. Nevertheless, he provided me with a lot of help.

Captain Davis was the skipper of the ship which took Douglas Mawson's expedition to the Antarctic. He also was the prime mover in the establishment of a meteorological station on Willis Island for cyclone warning purposes.

The skipper of Discovery II was Commander Hill of the Royal Navy. All the executive staff were also Royal Navy. The ship was about 1 100 tons, with a single steam engine and single screw. It had two boilers, oil-fired. When we left Perth we had 44 gallon drums all over the fore deck. They were used first and gave us additional sailing time.

The ward room had about eight or nine scientific officers. They were bright boys. Three of them were made FRS later. One of them was a hydrographer from the Admiralty. Dr McIntosh was a marine biologist. They were a top line group of people. Deacon was not on that voyage.

People in Bright Sparcs - Casey, Richard Gardiner; Cornish, Allan William; Davis, John King; Mawson, Douglas

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Cornish, A., Stout, R., Swan, K and Glendinning, C. 1996 'Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 8 February 1996, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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