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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
Organisation of State Bureaux on War Basis/ Additional Functions Undertaken
Communication and Censorship Problems
Operations at Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart

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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Acting upon instruction from D.Met.S., the Brisbane weather bureau organisation devoted much activity between September 1939 and the time of Japan's entry into the war in late 1941 to the reorganisation of weather information throughout the State for security reasons. Press and broadcasting arrangements were revised, together with other state-wide channels through which weather information passed in time of peace, while at the same time direct services to the forces and government authorities were arranged.

Where possible, plans were made to place the existing direct services to manufacturing, commercial and other interests on a wartime basis, through authorised subscribers, postmasters and so on. Special attention was given to continued provision of meteorological safeguards to life and property through flood and storm warnings.

Though censorship was modified from time to time, the organisation for fuller restriction was required by December 1941. Similar activity was, of course, experienced in the other States of Australia, but the advance of the Japanese forces on Australia brought meteorological services in Queensland integrally into association with organisation to meet actual fighting operations, with a possible enemy landing on the Queensland coast.

With the establishment of the Directorate of Meteorological Services within the RAAF, most of the existing staff at the Brisbane bureau were commissioned or enlisted in the Air Force, with Wing Commander A. S. Richards, Divisional Meteorologist, as officer in charge. Direct cooperation was established with fighter sector headquarters, and service included regular forecasts for day and night operations and immediate contact to check meteorological conditions whenever called for by radar units. As in the other States, an organisation was instituted for the collection and distribution of reports from volunteer air observers' corps units, and for reception of information on cloud heights from searchlight parties. Ballistic calculations for artillery batteries, together with service and instruction to Army units providing upper wind information by means of a radar device, also, were numbered among the special wartime duties of the bureau.

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

People in Bright Sparcs - Richards, Alfred Stanley (Stan)

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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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