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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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Radar Winds and Radar Weather Watch (continued)

Max's great-grandparents had immigrated to Victoria from Ireland and England in the early or middle 1800s.

Max heard of a scheme in the PMG's Department in which bright young secondary school students were offered cadetships with financial support and time-off to attend university lectures. When he applied for a cadetship H. N. Warren told him that the Bureau would have similar cadetships. He, Col and Pat were among the first Bureau cadets. Another Bureau identity, Des Halsted, was also a cadet about this time.

Max graduated with first class honours in natural philosophy (physics) in December 1941 and was awarded the Dixson Scholarship (Meteorology). Col Hounam graduated later and Pat Ryan opted to withdraw from his cadetship but remain with the Bureau.

All three had continued working in the Bureau during their university courses, becoming well acquainted with the staff and procedures of meteorological work. Max's reminiscences paint an interesting picture of the Bureau.

His first assignment after graduation was to staff an observing station at Forrest on the Nullarbor Plain for a few months early in 1942 after which he joined Pat Squires in AMFA in the Bureau's Central Office at 2 Drummond Street. His work with Pat Squires included preparation of a radiosonde manual for operation of radiosonde airborne and ground station equipment and construction of a diagram on which to plot the observations.

He joined the RAAF Meteorological Service with the rank of pilot officer in July 1943 and continued his work in AMFA until Pat Squires and Henry Phillpot (who had joined AMFA that year) moved to Brisbane late 1944 or early 1945 to join our RAAF Command meteorological section. Max remained in Melbourne and after demobilisation in April 1946 was transferred to the Victorian forecasting section under Jack Johnston.

In 1948 Max transferred to the Instrument Section under Bill Brann and was given the task of working with engineers of DCA in installing one of the less-battered 277 radars at Bowes Avenue near the Essendon aerodrome. This reached the operational stage by December 1948 but for some reason routine observations did not commence in Melbourne until a 277 was installed at Laverton in 1953. The most likely reason is that the Bowes Avenue 277 was regarded as a prototype rather than an operational unit.

Working with DCA Max drew up an action plan which indicated the critical path required priority to be given to site selection and the construction of towers and offices to house the 277 equipment.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Air Mass and Frontal Analysis Section (AMFA)

People in Bright Sparcs - Brann, Harold Walter Allen Neale (Bill); Johnston, John (Jack); Phillpot, Henry Robert; Ryan, Patrick (Pat); Squires, Patrick; Stout, Reginald William (Reg); 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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