Page 666
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
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
Port Moresby to Milne Bay
New Pacific Stations
9 Operational Group
10 Operational Group
Northern Command
First Tactical Air Force
Labuan Island
The End in Singapore

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


Contact us

Labuan Island (continued)

In July 1945 RAAF Catalinas based on Labuan commenced mine laying operations in the seas in the vicinity of Sumatra.

At the Labuan headquarters of 1st TAF Sqn Ldr A. J. Shields (subsequently mentioned in despatches) filled the position of staff meteorological officer, having succeeded Sqn Ldr H. T. Ashton in April 1945, while the 47OBU weather section was under Fl Lt D. G. McIntyre. At—Tarakan, where the weather officer's duties included forecasts for the construction of an airstrip—a task much hindered by heavy rainfall and the unsuitable water-logged terrain—Fl Lt D. E. Halsted was stationed and at Balikpapan Australian meteorological staff worked in conjunction with Netherlands East Indies Army weather men.

With the Japanese surrender on 15 August 1945 the end of the war came to all the island stations.

Disbandment for demobilisation commenced shortly afterwards at many units, but arrangements were made for a party of volunteer weather men, headed by a veteran RAAF tropical meteorologist in Fl Lt R. J. McConnell, to move to Japan as the meteorologists for 81 Wing in Tokyo. Back to Koepang, which he had evacuated in February 1942, went Sqn Ldr Bryan Rofe and, at about the same time Fl Lt McIntyre, another veteran forecaster whose long service throughout the Pacific area serviced by the RAAF meteorological organisation is exceeded only by that of Fl Lt McConnell, left on attachment to the RAF at Singapore. This airport was then handling a considerable traffic of Australian aircraft from Labuan.

Thus the cycle of meteorological retreat and advance was completed on 7 September 1945 when Australian weather men accompanied the first RAAF aircraft to return to Singapore from which the original Australian weather party had been evacuated early in 1942. One RAF representative, Sqn Ldr Lee, recalled with pleasure his association with Sqn Ldr Mackey, Sqn Ldr Hannay and others who comprised the first Australian detachment.

People in Bright Sparcs - Ashton, Henry Tamblyn (Harry); Hannay, Alexander Keith (Keith); Mackey, George William; Rofe, Bryan; Shields, Archibald John

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

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