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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
Radiosonde Personnel
Chemical Warfare Experiments
Training of Outside Personnel
Miscellaneous Training and Lectures
Civil Air Lines' Trainees
Compilation of Notes and Manuals
Meteorological and Climatic Reports
Coastal and Seaward Areas
Enemy Occupied Areas
Training Statistics

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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Chapter 8: Research and Personnel Training

Sustained demand for skilled personnel to staff the rapidly expanding network of weather stations provided the Directorate of Meteorological Services with one of its most difficult tasks, but it was met successfully by a vigorous training programme that not only produced a large number of forecasting officers, observers and charters, but also encompassed the instruction of many members of services other than the RAAF. Actually, training operations extended back to June 1937 when the first weather officers' course was conducted, but, so far as the wartime period is concerned, the instructional programme may be said to have commenced with a class that began in March 1940, and produced 22 forecasters who were given honorary commissions in the RAAF. These officers were chiefly university science graduates recruited from the education departments of the various States and their commissions were confirmed and made substantive when the meteorological service became a RAAF Directorate in April 1941. Training continued steadily from that time onwards, throughout the war, with classes still in progress when Japan capitulated.

At the outbreak of war in September 1939 the research and training section of the Commonwealth meteorological organisation was functioning under the control of Mr (later Wing Commander) H. M. Treloar LL.B BSc F. Inst.P., supervising meteorologist, who, in August 1940, was advanced to the position of Assistant Director (Technical), with responsibilities covering the whole service. Wing Commander Treloar also undertook a number of special wartime investigations, including aspects of radar meteorology of the north, forecasting waves and swell for landing and invasion purposes, northern upper wind systems and relationships between pressure and wind in low latitudes. Incidentally, these and earlier research activities were recognised in 1946 with the award to him of a Doctorate of Science by the University of Melbourne.

In August 1940 the section was placed under the charge of Mr (later Sqn Ldr) J. Hogan (1896–1970) BSc A.Inst.P., with the following subsections: instruments, with Mr (later Sqn Ldr) A. W. Cornish BSc in charge; air-mass and frontal analysis, under Mr (later Sqn Ldr) P. Squires MA, and training, under the charge of Mr (later Sqn Ldr) L. J. Dwyer BSc A.Inst.P. This arrangement was continued after the transfer of the weather organisation to the Department of Air, save that the instruments division was established as an independent section, while in October 1942, the creation of a separate section of the Directorate to serve the needs of the Commonwealth land forces resulted in Sqn Ldr Dwyer transferring to take charge. His place as officer in charge of training was taken by Fl Lt (later Sqn Ldr) D. Forder BA BSc.

As has already been mentioned, several classes for the training of forecasting officers had already been completed before war began, and for the most part those who had been successful subsequently became RAAF meteorological officers. They embraced the thirteen senior meteorological assistants trained in the initial weather officers' course, which commenced in June 1937; the 15 men—13 of them science graduates, with one representative each of the RAAF and Department of Civil Aviation—who were trained between September and December 1937, on the second course, and eight forecasters from the third and final prewar course conducted in the middle of 1939.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William; Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Forder, Douglas Highmoor (Doug); Hogan, John; Squires, Patrick; Treloar, Harry Mayne

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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
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