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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
Major Projects

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 9: Instrumental Development and Maintenance (continued)

In April 1941, after the Commonwealth weather organisation had become D.Met.S., the officer in charge of the section (Mr A. Cornish BSc) was commissioned as a squadron leader in the RAAF, with the ranks of flying officer and warrant officer respectively going to the other members of the staff—Messrs A. R. Martin BSc and W. Hornidge (instrument maker).

A few months later, arrangements were made with the Directorate of Technical Services, RAAF headquarters, for all aircraft sextants in use by the Australian squadrons to be repaired and tested by the instrument section, since aircraft depots were then not in a position to provide the laboratories, workshops and qualified technical direction to achieve the necessary degree of accuracy. This was the commencement of a large amount of non-meteorological work carried out by the section for the RAAF. By the closing stages of the war, it had grown to include all optical work and calibrations for the Air Force, as well as type testing of a large range of Australian made aircraft instruments.

In order to do this, larger workshops were needed, so that, in December 1942, approximately 2000 square feet of floor space at 335 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, was allotted to the section. These premises, in addition to those at D.Met.S. headquarters, were maintained until December 1945 when the staff of the instruments section had reached 45, embracing RAAF instrument makers and aircraft hands, together with WAAAF clerks and equipment assistants.

Despite the added responsibilities of so much extraneous work, the task of equipping the section for standards and equipment testing proceeded throughout this time. When the war ended, its laboratories were well equipped with the necessary instruments for testing and calibrating modern meteorological equipment—in fact, a tribute to the scientific standard achieved is given by the fact that they were frequently used for examination of captured Japanese weather equipment, as well as enemy non-meteorological instruments.

For the development of this side of the section's activities, credit goes largely to Fl Lt Martin, Fl Lt G. Elston (who succeeded Sqn Ldr Cornish as officer in charge in March 1945) and Fl Lt H. W. A. N. Brann.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Directorate of Meteorological Services (D.Met.S)

People in Bright Sparcs - Brann, Harold Walter Allen Neale (Bill); Cornish, Allan 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
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