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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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Climate and Statistics (continued)

Des Halsted joined the Bureau in Sydney in 1938 as a cadet meteorologist and must be included with Max Cassidy, Col Hounam and Pat Ryan as one of the original cadets. David Mares was in charge of the Sydney Divisional Office at that time. Under the influence of George Ainsworth (mentioned earlier as the OIC of Macquarie Island at the time of the Mawson expedition and one time Secretary to World War I Australian Prime Minister, Billy Hughes), Des became interested in climatology.

His university studies were interrupted by the transfer of most of staff of the Bureau into the RAAF Meteorological Service. Des recalls with happy memories his time in Central Office while being inducted into the RAAF with "Doc Treloar, writing his own style of English—not to be corrected—and, as an instant officer in squadron leader's uniform, waving his umbrella in response to salutes from the rank and file".

Des's war service is of such interest that it is worth repeating here. With Arch Shields he served with the RAAF in Noemfoor and Morotai in what was then Netherlands East Indies. He was a member of a special five-man detachment of the RAAF First Tactical Air Force assigned to the Allied landing force attacking Tarakan, in Borneo.

At the tender age of 24 he was the meteorological officer responsible for advising General Wooten who was in charge of AIF forces in the landing. In a note Des has written that "the General looked at me and said 'we want a forecast each day at 2 pm for the next day. On your forecast we will decide what type of aircraft to use in support'. 'Yes Sir' I said but I thought 'oh shit'".

Des's forecasts, produced with the usual completely inadequate data, earned a special mention from Normie Warren on his return after 18 months service.

After the war Des returned to Sydney where he completed his degree under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme and became a forecaster at Rose Bay for the TEAL flying-boats.

In 1949 he was promoted to the position of statistical officer in the Climate Section and, on Normie Warren's direction, spent some time in the Bureau of Statistics in Canberra, learning about Hollerith punch-cards. This enabled him to supervise the introduction of the Hollerith system of punch-cards, sorters and tabulators for the recording and processing of the Bureau's climatological data bank.

People in Bright Sparcs - Mares, David John; Mawson, Douglas; Ryan, Patrick (Pat); Shields, Archibald John; Treloar, Harry Mayne; 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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