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Table of Contents

War History of the Australian Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: D.Met.S.—Australia's Wartime Weather Service

Chapter 2: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 3: Met in the Retreat

Chapter 4: Met in the Advance

Chapter 5: Meteorology in Aviation

Chapter 6: Central Forecasting Services

Chapter 7: Met With the Army

Chapter 8: Research and Personnel Training

Chapter 9: Instrumental Development and Maintenance

Chapter 10: Scientific Developments in the RAAF Meteorological Service

Chapter 11: Divisional Bureaux and Their Work

Appendix 1: List of Reports Provided by D.Met.S. for Advances Operational Planning and Other Purposes

Appendix 2: List of Service Personnel RAAF Meteorological Service

Appendix 3: List of Civilian Personnel Who Worked Together with Service Personnel of the RAAF Meteorological Service

Appendix 4: List of Locations at which RAAF Meteorological Service Personnel Served


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War History of the Australian Meteorological Service in the Royal Australian Air Force April 1941 to July 1946


When, in the early 1980s, Dr John Zillman agreed to the suggestion that the Bureau of Meteorology might support a project to preserve and make known information relating to the history of the Bureau of Meteorology few would have expected that some 10 to 15 years later ten editions of Metarch Papers would have been published by the Bureau. These ten editions have contained reminiscences of Bureau and earlier meteorological activities from the time of George Grant Bond as early as 1892 to those of Reg Stout as recently as 1981.

I remember when Tom Haldane worked in the Head Office of the Bureau of Meteorology at No 2 Drummond Street, Melbourne, in the late 1940s. I think it likely that he had experience as a journalist. In preparing his text of the history of the RAAF Meteorological Service he spoke to many members of the Bureau about their wartime experiences.

Don Handcock has achieved an important objective in bringing Haldane's original text, with the many amendments made by H. N. Warren, postwar Commonwealth Director of Meteorology, to the state where it could be published as Metarch Papers No. 10. The appended list of the names of known members of the RAAF Meteorological Service, compiled with the assistance of Paul Ruckert, is a valuable addition.

Don was in training for service in the RAAF as aircrew in 1945 when the Empire Air Training Scheme was discontinued. He remustered into the RAAF Meteorological Service and after training saw service in Balikpapan and Mount Gambier. He joined the Bureau of Meteorology on discharge from the RAAF in 1946 and had a distinguished career in the field of meteorological instruments and observations before retiring in 1987. He has made an important contribution to the history of meteorology in Australia.

W J Gibbs

November 1996

People in Bright Sparcs - Gibbs, William James (Bill); Haldane, Thomas; Handcock, Don; Warren, Herbert Norman; Zillman, John William

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Haldane, T. 1997 'War History of the Australian Meteorological Service in the Royal Australian Air Force April 1941 to July 1946', Metarch Papers, No. 10 October 1997, 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