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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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Pre-war Services for Civil Aviation (continued)

Walter Dwyer had joined the Commonwealth Public Service in 1921, and in 1926 became a meteorological assistant in the Bureau. Like Allan Cornish, who joined in 1929, he received his meteorological training by association with and instruction from more senior experienced officers in the Bureau. He strove to improve his education by correspondence courses. He was transferred to the Melbourne Central Office as Inspector (Aviation) in 1937 when G. W. (George) Mackey took over as OIC of the Darwin office.

Walter and George both had wives and families who found it difficult to adapt to their primitive houses. George reported that his house had no reticulated water or electricity. Walter, as resident meteorologist in Darwin in these early days of aviation, met such aviation notables as Ulm, Kingsford Smith, Amy Johnson, Amelia Earhart, Jim Broadbent, Jim Melrose and James Mollison.

Forecasts for the DH86s for the flight from Brisbane to Darwin, which entailed many stops at intermediate landing grounds, were presumably provided by the staff of the Brisbane Divisional Office of the Bureau and, like those provided by other Divisional Offices were neither detailed, timely or particularly suited to aircraft requirements.

The MacRobertson air race of October 1934 provided a further stimulus for aviation in Australia. Sir MacPherson Robertson gave 10 000 pounds prize money for an air race from England to Australia to commemorate the centenary of the establishment of the city of Melbourne. There were two sections of the race, speed and handicap. The first of 12 finishers was a DH88 Comet, a twin-engined low-wing monoplane piloted by Scott and Black, which overflew Flemington racecourse in Melbourne on 23 October 1934 after an elapsed time from London of 70 hr 45 min. Second was a KLM DC2 aircraft, flown by Parmentier and Moll, carrying a load of passengers. Its elapsed time was 90 hours 14 minutes. Compare these times with the 12 to 14 days of the Qantas/Imperial Airways service of that time.

Timely forecasts, specifically tailored for aviation, did not become available until late 1937, by which time two formal training courses of weather officers had been conducted. Trainees on the first course were mainly meteorological assistants with experience in the Bureau's Divisional Offices, while most of the students in the second course were new recruits with university degrees in science with majors in mathematics and physics.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William; Dwyer, Walter Anthony; Mackey, George William; 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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