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Thread: RAF/RAAF Sembawang. Grateful for even a tiny "Wiring Diagram"

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    Default RAF/RAAF Sembawang. Grateful for even a tiny "Wiring Diagram"

    Hello All,
    I am after some details for RAF/RAAF(?) Sembawang in Singapore before the capitulation.
    RAF/RAAF Sembawang (GE 1.427542 103.812766?) was the HQ of the RAAF in Singapore. It had, at one stage, resident:
    1 (RAAF) Sqn – Hudson
    21 (RAAF?) Sqn – Wirraway/Buffalo
    453 (RAF?) Sqn (RAAF?) – Buffalo
    (I am aware that the precise, technical, nomenclature of RAF/Commonwealth Squadrons/Stations is a bit of a minefield!).
    I am trying to find out how their daily Met briefings were carried out – and (importantly!) – by whom?
    Were they (a) briefed by the Duty Forecaster from their own Met Office (unlikely), or were they briefed from a Forecast that had been prepared at some distant main Met Office, signalled forward to the Station, and actually briefed by the Ops/Int Offs, or the Duty Pilot (assuming any of them had been on the (very!) short “Met-speak” course?). This is the question.
    Do I look into the depths of UK TNA, or the depths of Australian Archives, for the answer?
    Any guidances, and/or steers, will be gratefully received.
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: RAF/RAAF Sembawang. Grateful for even a tiny "Wiring Diagram"

    Hello,

    I suggest you take a look at the following:

    Sojourn in the Far East 1942 - by Keith Hannay*.

    https://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/fam/0339.html

    It provides a rare glimpse of the activities in the RAF Met Office at Sime Road (and elsewhere), during 1941-42.

    * https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/vet...=1049849&c=WW2
    (+ 27/10/2008, Byron Bay Hospital, Byron Bay, N.S.W.)

    You will find some background material on the organization of the RAAF in Malaya 1941-42, here:

    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1417587

    Invaluable, is the following:

    Glory In Chaos - The RAAF in the Far East in 1940-42
    Hall,E J (Bon)
    West Coburg (Vic.): Sembawang Association,1989.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th October 2020 at 02:59.

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    Default Re: RAF/RAAF Sembawang. Grateful for even a tiny "Wiring Diagram"

    Col,
    Very many thanks for that (and your time/effort finding it!).
    It is just what I was looking for. I have already linked a few of the names with my UK Met Uniformed/Commissioned s/sht(s). I've now got the 'big picture' and should be able to fit the little bits I come across into the right place(s). Brian has also sent me (off-Forum) several pages of the official report!
    Tks again.
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: RAF/RAAF Sembawang. Grateful for even a tiny "Wiring Diagram"

    Col (et al),
    In “Sojourn in the Far East 1942” - by Keith Hannay. p.351 is the following extract:

    So for the next three weeks or so that is where we worked—virtually as supernumeraries—with Wing Commander Grimes and Squadron Leaders Lee and John—these three being in peace time members of the British Meteorological Office in Singapore and well-experienced in tropical meteorology. We had to get some local knowledge of tropical weather processes, as none of us had practised so near the equator and certainly not in the northern hemisphere with any consistency. Contact with these men was valuable to us and we had many learning sessions. Resources were primitive and the observations uncertain both as to networks and completeness, in view of the rapid progress of the Japanese as was to be expected.

    This was expected. They were Arthur Grimes, Ieuan Gwynydd John, and Clement Awdry Lea. In addition was James Chambers Thompson. He was a surveyor in the Malayan Survey Dept (the Malayan Met Service was part of that Dept). When I checked them against my Commissioning s/sht I found that at the capitulation they all appeared to be still civilians. Grimes was Commissioned (Sqn Ldr) on 1 Apr 43 (RAFVR Met Branch 140773), John (Flt Lt) on 1 Dec 43 (140774), Lea (Flt Lt) on 1 Apr 43 (140775), and Thompson (now, mysteriously, morphed into a Met Forecaster!) on 1 Dec 43 (140776). Note the successive Service Numbers – but differing dates!!! This confirmed to me that they were all connected. Grimes (eventually a Wg Cdr), John, and Lea remained in FEAF until after the end of the war. Thompson re-appears in Perth, WA, involved in forecasting for the Catalina “Double Sunrise” flights Perth> <Ceylon, but he falls ill and dies on 30 Oct 45 in Hollywood Hospital, Perth, of an unspecified illness. He would, thus possibly, be included in the UK Met Office Roll of Honour – except he was never, as far as we can determine, ever employed by the UK Met Office.
    If Hannay is correct and Grimes, Lea, and John did actually have military ranks before the surrender (to give them military Officer status) then it looks as if the signals/paperwork never reached Air Ministry – or, ultimately, the London Gazette. At least, I can’t find them!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 5th October 2020 at 16:03. Reason: QSD
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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