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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Melbourne to Cambridge, Massachusetts
Long-range Forecasting
Synoptic Meteorology
Dynamic Meteorology I, II, III
Dynamic Meteorology IV
Physical Meteorology
Audrey Joins Me in Boston
Was it Worthwhile?

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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Melbourne to Cambridge, Massachusetts

My passport shows that I arrived in Honolulu on 8 September 1951. The unpressurised BCPA Douglas DC4s in use on the trip across the Pacific in 1947 had been replaced by pressurised Douglas DC6s which had sleeping bunks. These had two levels, one at the level of the normal seating and the other at the level of the luggage rack above the seats. I recall that we used these bunks on the Nandi (Fiji)-Honolulu leg which had an intermediate stop at Canton Island. I remember sleeping snugly in an upper berth when we landed at night at Canton Island.

The DC6s flew higher and faster than the DC4s and if I remember rightly there were no overnight stops in Nandi and Honolulu as was the case with the DC4s. It was obvious that BCPA were getting more passenger miles from their DC6s and avoiding the cost of overnight accommodation for passengers.

At Cambridge, Massachusetts, I met two other Commonwealth Fund Fellows, Walter Shepherd-Owen from the staff of Liverpool University and Ted Mayne, a telecommunications engineer employed by the British Post Office. Walter, a short, urbane, intellectual person was about my age while Ted, a taller, practical type, was somewhat older. We maintained contact throughout our Fellowships but had different programs of study.

When I had settled into the somewhat rudimentary accommodation in the students residential quarters I reported to the Meteorology Department of MIT and was granted an interview with Dr Henry Houghton, the Chairman of the Department. I explained that I wished to do some reading and have discussions with staff but he quickly informed me that the best arrangement was to take a number of formal courses for which I would attend lectures, complete assignments and take examinations. It was 15 years since I had attended university. Houghton explained that a masters degree would normally take two years but if I did well at the courses taken and produced a thesis I may be able to earn that degree in one year.

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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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