COMMAND STRUCTURE IN THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC AREA
DURING WWII

 

Not long after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbour, the 8 ships of the American Pensacola Convoy arrived in Brisbane on 23 December 1941 with approximately 2,400 United States Army Air Corps Troops, 2 Field Artillery Regiments, and over 70 aircraft. This was the first major influx of American personnel into Australia.

On 28 December 1941, Lt. Gen. George H. Brett arrived in Australia to take command of all United States forces. General Barnes was his Chief of Staff and General Brereton was in command of all Air Forces. The Americans headquarters moved from Brisbane to Melbourne. The Americans needed to establish an organisation structure to distribute supplies and personnel throughout Australia. The set up what was known as numbered Base Sections of the United States Armed Forces in Australia (USAFIA).

General Douglas MacArthur escaped the Philippines, and arrived in Melbourne on 21 March 1942. He was appointed Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA). On about 9 April 1942 work started to fit out the empty Trustees Executive building at 408 Collins Street, Melbourne to be MacArthur's headquarters.

 

American-British-Dutch-Australian Command ABDACOM

 

Supreme Allied Command South West Pacific Area
18 April 1942 - 3 May 1942

 

Allied Air Force Headquarters
Victoria Barracks, Melbourne

 

Allied Air Force, SWPA

 

Central War Room

 

War Cabinet Room

 

Air Board

 

Air Defence Areas for Australia

 

Composition of the Australian Army in Australia in September 1939

 

Composition of the Australian Army in Australia in April 1943

 

Composition of the Australian Army in Australia in September 1943

 

Command Structure for Allied Intelligence Organisations
in SWPA, May 1943

 

RAAF Central Area Headquarters

 

AMERICAN COMMANDERS

General Douglas MacArthur

Lt. Gen. George H. Brett

General George Churchill Kenney
Major-General Lewis Hyde Brereton Brigadier- General Martin F. Scanlon General Kenneth Walker
General Ralph G. Royce Lieutenant General Robert Eichelberger Lieutenant General Hap Arnold
Chief of Staff of the Army Air Corps
Colonel Le Grand A. "Pick" Diller Brigadier General Richard Marshall
MacArthur's Deputy Chief of Staff
Lieutenant General Richard Sutherland
Major General Charles Andre Willoughby Brigadier General Julian F. Barnes Vice Admiral Leary
Colonel Ross G. Hoyt Colonel Edwin S. Perrin Colonel Eugene L. Eubank
Lt.-Gen. Ennis C. Whitehead Brigadier General Henry B. Clagett Eleanor Roosevelt
Wife of the American President
Lt. Col. Lloyd A. Lehrbas Major Charles H. Morhouse
Aide-de-Camp to General MacArthur
Brigadier General Harold H. George
Lt. Col. Francis H. Wilson Lt. Col. Sidney L. Huff Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, Jr.
Colonel Merian C. Cooper Major John De Vos
Aide to General Brett
Lieutenant Colonel Boyd D. "Buzz" Wagner
Lieutenant Colonel Roger Olaf Egeberg
Doctor and aide-de-camp to General Douglas MacArthur
Major General Spencer Ball Akin  

 

AUSTRALIAN COMMANDERS

General Sir Thomas Blamey Major General Cyril Clowes Group Captain William Henry "Bull" Garing
Air Commodore A.H. Cobby General Gordon Bennett  Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles Burnett,
Air Vice Marshall Bostock Air Commodore Joseph C. Hewitt Wing Commander Walters
Group Captain Cam S. Wiggins Wing Commander Hancock Group Captain F.R.W. Scherger
Air Vice Marshall Jones Air Commodore McCauley Air Commodore Wrigley
Air Commodore G.J.W. Mackinolty Lt. Gen. Lavarack Lt. Gen Morsehead
Lt. Gen Mackay Maj. Gen A.S. Allen Air Commodore Lukis

 

Other Miscellaneous personnel

Captain Alonzo P. Mercier Major General Chih Wang Nurse Mabel "Robbie" Robertson
  Lt. W. L. Hook, Chief Nurse Base Section Three    

 

This is a very complex topic and will take me some time to work it all out.

So, I need all the help I can get.

 

American Base Sections in Australia during WW2

Air Defence areas for Australia

V Bomber Command

V Fighter Command

Military Time Zones

 

REFERENCE

"They Passed This Way"
by Barry Ralph

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

"Australia @ War" Research Products

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 20 August 2000

This page last updated 09 February 2017