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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950
Warren the Man
Warren Joins the Bureau
Wartime Perceptions and Attitudes
Return to Civvy Street
People in the Bureau
Re-establishing and Reorganising the Bureau
Reorganisation of Central Office
The Position of Chief Scientific Officer
Post-War Reorganisation
The Haldane Story
Public Weather Services
The New South Wales Divisional Office
The Victorian Divisional Office
The Queensland Divisional Office
The South Australian Divisional Office
The Western Australian Divisional Office
The Tasmanian Divisional Office
Pre-war Services for Civil Aviation
Post-War Meteorological Service for Aviation
Indian Ocean Survey Flight
The Aviation Field Staff
Synoptic Analysis, Prognosis and Forecasting
Antarctic and Southern Ocean Meteorology
A Wider Scientific Horizon
Research, Development and Special Investigations
Analysts' Conference, April 1950
Instruments and Observations
Radar Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Climate and Statistics
The Universities
Achievements of the Warren Years

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



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Re-establishing and Reorganising the Bureau

Warren had three sectors of Bureau activity to re-establish and reorganise, the Central Office, the Divisional Offices and the field offices. The Central Office and Divisional Offices functioned in much the same fashion as in 1939 but the field offices operated in a vastly different environment described later in this chapter.

The major difficulty facing Warren was the shortage of resources, manpower and equipment. During the war the shortage of adequately trained and qualified staff had confronted all the military services, Navy, Army and Air Force, and the RAAF Meteorological Service was no exception. After the war the problem was aggravated by the fact that during the war years many of those who were of an age when they would normally contemplate a university education were anxious to join the armed forces or, in 1942, were conscripted for war service. This meant that the output of suitably qualified people with tertiary education from universities was reduced and by war's end there was a shortage of science graduates.

The pre-war scheme of Commonwealth Public Service cadets aimed to recruit outstanding matriculation students in their late teens to the Commonwealth Public Service and provide them with a salary which enabled them to attend university. Close links were maintained with the cadets by the Commonwealth Departments which sponsored their cadetships, and they were required to continue with the Department after graduation. The Bureau had at least four cadet meteorologists in 1938–39, Cassidy, Halsted, Hounam and Ryan, all of whom made important contributions to the Bureau during and/or after the war. There will be further mention of these four in later paragraphs of this and later chapters.

The cadet scheme seems to have lapsed during the war and although Warren ensured that it was resumed after the war the full benefit was not evident until the cadets had completed their university education. Thus the scheme did not ease the immediate problem of finding suitably qualified people. The cadet scheme has been highly successful for the Bureau, recruiting some outstandingly talented people, many of whom have remained with the Bureau.

Thus Warren had a difficult task of finding suitable people and for most of his term it was necessary to shuffle available staff to meet urgent requirements. The magnitude of the problem is indicated by figures quoted by Gardner (1997) indicating that whilst the RAAF Meteorological Service had a maximum staff of 1073 the Public Service Board wished to limit the Bureau staff to 400 after the war.

Obtaining equipment required by a post-war Bureau was also extremely difficult. Major advances in technology during the war gave an optimistic picture of the future but it took some time for post-war industries to produce urgently needed equipment.

People in Bright Sparcs - Ryan, Patrick (Pat); Warren, Herbert Norman

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Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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